Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Zenkoji Roman Beer Rindou - 330ml can

Name: Zenkoji Roman Beer Rindou

Brewery: Reijin Shuzo Co.

Style: Stout

Purchased at: Liquor store in a super market.

Price: ¥250

Taste: 7/10

Alcohol Level: 5%

Music: Been listening to Alcest - Kodama a lot recently. I love all of Alcest's albums, my favourite song off this one is probably Eclosion. I am glad Neige brought the harsh vocals back on this album.

Snack: Beef Sausage (Good) and a ``Kebab``(Abysmal)

Website: http://www.reijin.com/info/


Zenkoji is the name of a huge, famous temple in my town. It is about 1400 years old, but it's been burned down and rebuilt a bunch of times. If you spend any amount of time in Nagano you'll probably visit it at least once. They hold a lot of festivals and events here though out the year, and it's just a nice place to take a walk. For the few weeks that pokemon go was popular, it was a great place to do laps and catch pokemon, until they put up signs asking people not to play it near the temple.

Saturday night was the Zenkoji Lantern festival. Hundreds of lanterns decorated by people in the town lined the streets and the temple itself was lit up with a sound and light show. I really like these festivals where everyone in the town seems to come out, it's a great atmosphere. Since it was saturday night and Zenkoji's festival, I decided to have a ``Zenkoji`` beer.

I think they make this beer in a town called Suwa, which is and hour or two south of Nagano city. Looking at their website, it appears that they have made a number of beers themed on things in Nagano. It looks like the company focuses more on their sake than beer. The company appears to be quite old, but I'm sure that their beer would be a newer venture for them.

This beer was a stout, I think. It had a pretty strong toffee sort of flavour. Seems like it would be great drinking it in the warmth of  pub, unfortunately I was outside and didn't bring gloves. Drinking a Zenkoji beer in Zenkoji itself was a pretty cool experience though and my hand which was slowly succumbing to frostbite was able to keep the can cold. I've seen this beer for sale at the station, so a lot of people probably buy this beer right before they jump on the shinkansen. While drinking this beer I was eating some of the food being sold from stalls along the street. I had a sausage, which was really good, and a kebab which was terrible.

Kebabs in Australia are unreal, easily one of my favourite foods. I've tried to find kebabs here in Japan, and I've been disappointed every single time. For some reason every kebab vendor in Japan uses shredded cabbage instead of lettuce. They use mayonnaise instead of more traditional kebab sauces. And they are always tiny. Sometimes the meat in them is pretty good, so it's not all bad I guess, but they are nothing like back home and I can't imagine any kebab enthusiast ever being satisfied. Still, I'll continue searching this country for a decent kebab. If I ever find one, they will have an extremely loyal customer.

Anyway on this particular night a local restaurant that will remain nameless set up a food stall. They had fried chicken and kebab rolls. Great, I thought, beers and kebabs, what a great festival. Boy was I wrong. The kebab was ice cold and it had coleslaw in it with some meat. Had I had a few more beers and not been at a festival I would have thrown it to the ground and stomped it. Why even call it a kebab? It was a coleslaw wrap if anything. This is probably a similar feeling that Japanese people get when they travel abroad and encounter deep friend mayonnaise bombs advertised as ''sushi''. I get that different countries have different interpretations of classic dishes, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing.

Anyway, the beer was really good. If you drink a Zenkoji beer in Zenkoji temple, I'm sure it's gotta be good luck or something, so try it out. You'll find this beer at the station and pretty much any souvenir shop that sells food. My  photo was pretty crap, so look for the red can with a picture of the temple on it.

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