February 4, 2009
Hitachino Nest White Ale: a love/hate affair


Oh, Hitachino Nest White Ale, how much I love you - I mean, how much I hate to love you. Before this all starts sounding like an Erasure song, let me explain.

Hitachino Nest White Ale, I remember when we first met. Josh Nelson from the Selland restaurant family introduced us back in November. He said that you weren't the typical Japanese beer - you know, the dry type that's often brewed in Canada and makes for a boring date.

From that first pour, Hitachino Nest White Ale, I knew you were different from the others. I was struck by your golden and slightly hazy color, with a fizzy but light foam. And then I took a sniff, my eyes growing huge like an anime character. Belgian styled ales like you usually boast some wonderful aromatics, but I'd never smelled a beer like you. Once I inhaled those wonderful orange, ginger and coriander scents, well let's just say I was totally sprung.

And how I loved your spritziness when I took a drink, plus all of that maltiness and fruitiness that made this love at first sip. You have a fairly light body, but I've never had a beer in this style with so much character. Some burly hophead types might think you sound too much like a soda-beer, but I will defend your honor until the end.

So here's the part that makes my heart sink: in stores you cost a little over $5 for a single 11.2 ounce bottle. In such local restaurants as the Kitchen and L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen, you can cost from $8 to $9 per bottle. I understand that you're not a cheap date since you're produced in small lots, utilizing some sake brewing techniques and have to be imported from Ibaraki, Japan.

Hitachino Nest White Ale, I could buy a six-pack of Budweiser for the same amount spent on only one of you. But all of those Buds put together don't come close to your character in just one glass. But $5 per bottle? Why do you have to play with my emotions like that?

It's tough when I see you on the shelves at Corti Brothers and the BevMo on Arden Way. I try to resist, but too often I end up taking you home. You're best poured in a snifter glass to capture your aromatics, and I'm known to enjoy you in a large Bordeaux wine glass. That may sound like hearsay (or perhaps, "beersay") to hopheads, but I don't care.

I love you, Hitachino Nest White Ale. When I see your price, I hate you. But mostly it's love.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Recommended Links

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives