Japanese Name: オリオン島恵み
Release: Nov. 29, 2016
Purchase Price: ￥149 @Yamaya
Orion has put out a few fruit flavored brews over the past year, and their newest is Shima Megumi. This brew incorporates acerola juice, called Barbados cherry in other parts of the world. Okinawa’s Honbu-machi produced the fruit used in this brew. Not only is Shima Megumi flavored with acerola, but it is a white style brew made with wheat, orange peel, and coriander seed. Orion made this exclusively for the Aeon grocery chain and it was originally sold only in Okinawa.
Shima Megumi pours a standard golden straw in the glass, but with aromas of citrusy-sour cherry that acerola is known for. Up front is a slight sweet fruitiness, but nothing too overpowering. The middle is very smooth and is where the acerola flavors start to kick in. While on the backend, there’s a nice vitamin C like bitterness accompanying more fruit.
Since living in Japan, I’ve been a huge fan of the acerola drinks sold in stores. They’re not too sweet and pack a hefty dose of vitamin C, perfect for cold season. Since Okinawa is a big producer of acerola I’m happy that Orion came up with this concoction. I can’t say that I love it, but Shima Megumi is a nice refreshing drink. For those who want something bubbly without the bitterness of a lager, the sweetness of the acerola cuts down on the bitter notes, while not making the brew too sweet. It’s worth a try.