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Craft beer made with rose yeast from Hiroshima Pref. a blooming success

The sold out, turbid draft pale ale brewed with rose yeast is seen in this image provided by Bingo Fukuyama Brewing College.

FUKUYAMA, Hiroshima -- A craft beer brewed with rose yeast in this western Japan city has been such a hit that it sold out within a month of going on sale.

    Microbrewery Bingo Fukuyama Brewing College in the city of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Fukuyama University co-developed the pale ale -- categorized a sparkling liquor under tax law -- with fermented yeast extracted from roses. A second batch is planned for sale in spring, and Shoji Kobatake, 49, the microbrewery's representative, said, "I'd like people to enjoy its unique flavor, which you'll find nowhere else."

    The beer was released in December 2020 and quickly sold out of all of its approximately 300 bottles, each containing 330 milliliters. A Fukuyama University research team extracted the yeast from roses grown at a municipal garden in the city. The unheated, non-filtered pale ale is characterized by unique turbidity, or cloudiness, and has a rich fragrance with a bitter accent from the hops.

    One of the microbrewery's five other beers won a gold medal at the International Beer Cup 2020. While the company was pondering how to make a unique beer with yeast that could define the drink's taste and flavor, a Fukuyama University team researching rose yeast since 2013 offered the yeast to them. For the second batch coming in March, the microbrewery plans to use extracted rose yeast that the university team has improved with data from the previous brew.

    Shoji Kobatake, representative of Bingo Fukuyama Brewing College, is seen in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, on Jan. 14, 2021. (Mainichi/Shinji Kanto)

    "People learned about our local craft beer, which no one else can easily replicate," said Kobatake. "We want to further polish the second batch."

    Visitors to the microbrewery can experience beer-brewing. For more information, call 080-7538-8857 (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Shinji Kanto, Fukuyama Bureau)

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