SanktGallen Brewery, the oldest microbrewery in Japan, makes an excellent Amber Ale, Brown Porter, Golden Ale and Pale Ale, but it has made a name for itself by making more unconventional beers featuring fruity and dessert-inspired flavors. In 2006, its Imperial Chocolate Stout, marketed for Valentine's Day, was picked up by media, and demand for its stouts and more experimental flavors have risen ever since.
Last month, we covered SanktGallen's Apple Cinnamon Ale, but now they're releasing a beer flavored with wanashi 和梨 Japanese pears (AKA asian pears, or apple pears). Their "Pear Weizen," as they call it, already sounds like a delightful fall treat, but enthusiasts will surely find it even more pleasing when they know the reason SanktGallen decided to choose apple pears this fall.
This year, a period of long rains and a lack of sun created unfavorable conditions for Japanese apple pears, which resulted in unwanted changes in texture and blemished skin. Normally, such fruit is deemed unfit to sell. Although the farming community sometimes uses a part of this crop for their own food, much of it ends up discarded.
However, SanktGallen saw an opportunity to help. Since the changes didn't affect the taste of the fruit, these Japanese pears were fit to be made into beer. So, they bought a total of 350 kilograms of damaged pears from farmers in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture and Kamo, Niigata Prefecture and used them to make Pear Weizen.
This isn't the first time that the brewery has come to the aid of others. Earlier this year, it began selling a beer called Amabie IPA, proceeds from which are donated to a fund dedicated to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Making "Pear Weizen"
The pears are added in three stages: sliced, processed into a puree, and processed into juice.
The result is a very fruity beer with very minimal bitterness which captures the sweet aroma and fresh flavor of Japanese pears.
Pear Weizen has 5.5% alcohol, comes in 330 ml glass bottles and costs 460 yen + tax. You can purchase them from SanktGallen's online store here or look for them in direct retail shops, Keio department stores, the Yokohama Sogo department store and Shinanoya supermarkets.
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