One of the joys of summer in Japan is heading out with your co-workers on a hot evening to one of the many beer gardens. A lot of times these beer gardens occupy the rooftops of buildings in the city. These beer gardens are so popular that wedding chapels and hotels have their own all-you-can-drink (and eat) affairs. This summer my co-workers and I headed to the immensely popular Beer Terrace at the ANA Grand Plaza Hotel. On the walk to our table, we walked past the self-serve beer taps and low and behold… holy crap, Kirin Ichiban Shibori “Frozen”! I’ve been waiting two years to try this!
Pictured above is Kirin’s version of a 7-11 Slurpee machine, only instead of sweet globs of frozen sugar water, it pumps out frozen beer foam. Anyone who follows Japanese beer is familiar with Kirin Ichiban Shibori Frozen by now, so you’ve probably read that the frozen foam serves to keep the beer cold for up to 30 minutes and does not really have much flavor, while the actual beer part is just Kirin Ichiban Shibori.
So my thoughts on this beverage are that the foam serves it’s purpose to keep the beer cold. However, in my case (above) it really hindered the drinking experience. Since we were using regular beer mugs, and the frozen foam was “self-serve” I put too much on top, and ended up with a situation where the beer would not come out of the mug. Ideally, you would use a wide-mouth glass and have a thin layer of frozen foam on top, so that the frozen foam mixes with the beer and gives a nice crunchy texture.
Kirin Ichiban Shibori Frozen is a unique concept that has proven it’s popularity over the past two years by being unleashed internationally. Properly served, it’s an amusing beverage to drink during the hot summer. Give it a try if you have the chance.