Japanese Name: キリン アイス プラス ビール
Release: Jul. 27, 2011
Type: Japanese Beer（ビール）
Purchase Price: ￥217 (Lawson)
Before my beer drinking days, beer over ice was the standard drink of my grandfather in Hawaii; he’d give me a taste when I asked, and it tasted like strange water. Walk into a bar and ordering beer and a glass of ice and you’ll get some stares in most places. This is the path that Kirin has chosen to go down with its newest creation, Kirin Ice + Beer. In the current Japanese mindset of energy savings, what better way to refresh yourself than a cool glass of beer, but instead of using a refrigerator to cool that beer, you’re keeping it cool with ice. Do this with a standard beer and you’re just diluting the goods, but this special brew is made to be poured over those cold rocks. Let’s take a gulp, and find out if this brew hold up.
Out of the can, this beer is somewhat darker than your average Japanese brew, and with it’s rich aroma you can tell this lager was brewed for some dilution for the Japanese market. Chilled over ice, Kirin’s Ice Plus Beer has a lot of depth a lot of beer drinkers are looking for, and the casual lager drinker will be happy that the flavors do not go overboard, being minimized by the dilution of the ice, in the end producing a beverage that is refreshingly cold with a hint of sweetness. Those looking for a stronger brew, can just forgo the ice, and you’ll get the unadulterated taste and aroma.
Whether you like the concept of Kirin Ice Plus Beer, or not, the interesting point for me is that Kirin decided to produce a “real” beer instead of a dai-san happousei brew. For my palate, I actually enjoyed this one over ice. It had some nice rich malty flavors, however I found myself drinking it quite fast as I did not want the richness to be diluted. The next can I buy will be drunk minus ice.
Find your very own can of Kirin Ice + (plus) Beer in the cooler of your favorite Japanese convenience store chain, while supplies last.