Japan Today
Image: PR Times

Japanese craft brewery saves pears damaged by bad weather and makes delicious Pear Weizen

By Ben K, grape Japan

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.

Image: PR Times

Image: PR Times

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.

Image: PR Times

Image: PR Times

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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© grape Japan

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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They didn't produce a Perry because it is a craft brewery making it.

I don't follow your reasoning. Surely a craft brewery can make a perry.

It's not like you have crawl over mountains of Kirin or Suntory perry at the supermarket, is it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds good... They didn't produce a Perry because it is a craft brewery making it. Pears go great with the Heffe style...Sounds like a recipe I need to try to brew...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yup, booze made from pears is Perry.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While I praise their using what would otherwise be wasted it raises the question that has been asked around the world; why is so much food wasted on purely aesthetic grounds? Blemishes do not affect the flavour. Supermarket chains in the UK have been forced in to changing their policy by massive public complaints and action over the issue.

Why not produce a Perry instead of a beer or as well as?

Kohakuebisu, there is no such thing as pear cider, it is a contradiction in terms. Cider is made from Cider apples. Fermented pear juice is Perry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Get some rotten fruits and sell them at high price as beers"

In other words, ripe fruits already fermented.

Yer rite; great idea.

Even I a teetotaller must agree.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sign me up!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry that's sparkling pear juice, not booze.

I've bought some kind of berry flavoured pear cider in Ikea before though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds good. The price isn't as expensive as I expected.

I don't think "beer" is allowed to include fruit juice, so for tax purposes this will be categorized as some kind of happoshu or mixed alcohol. Hoegaarten is treated the same way in Japan.

You can buy pear cider in Ikea, 500 yen for 750ml, which is cheap for Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great business idea. Get some rotten fruits and sell them at high price as beers

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Doesn’t sound like my particular taste but I’d be willing to give it a go.

Excellent idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An excellent idea!!! Lots of awesome craft beers in Japan now for sure, light years ahead of when I washed up here in 1991 when the only premium beer was Yebisu!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds like a great beer, would love to have a couple on draft!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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