In 2015, we stocked Hitachino Nest Beer in store and gradually added to the range. However as of 2019, we are no longer stocking Hitachino Nest.
So what’s the reason behind the name? As they explain on their site, Hitachino is the name of the province in ancient Japan. The beer is made in the village of Ko-u-no-su (鴻巣) and ‘su’ (巣) means ‘nest.’ “This is our NEST where beer enthusiasts who care for brewing live.” Since we, as beer enthusiasts, can’t go and live over there, we thought a little of Japan in our fridge at Swanny Cellars would suffice for now.
Before 1994, only four large breweries were permitted to brew beers in Japan due to a strict alcohol tax. However when the laws changed, that was when Kiuchi Brewery could start experimenting with beer. After a lot of research Hitachino Nest Beer was born in 1996 and no sooner were they selling their beers, were they winning competitions. The first was in October the following year when the Amber Ale won a gold medal in the Dark Ale category at the first international beer competition in Japan.
These award winning Hitachino Nest beers are brewed at Kiuchi Brewery in Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan which is 120 km north east of Tokyo. Having started out brewing sake in 1823 it has a rich history. It remains family owned and now the 8th generation is working on Hitachino Nest Beer.
Currently they import hops and malts from the west but in 2014 they started to grow hops at their brewery so one day perhaps they will be able to produce and make everything on their premises – there’s an environmentally friendly company!
The brands are:
- Amber Ale
- Espresso Stout
- Japanese Classic Ale (an India Pale Ale)
- Lacto Sweet Stout
- New Year Celebration Ale (a spiced ale)
- Pale Ale
- Real Ginger Ale (a ginger flavoured ale)
- Red Rice Ale
- White Ale
- XH (a Belgian strong ale)
- Dai Dai (Orange IPA)
And if you head over to Japan, you can go to the Hitachino Brewing Lab where you can taste the beers as well as have a go at brewing too. There’s the pub too, True Brew or a tasting bar (Kikizake Dokoro) at the brewery itself. So much to see here, the Swanny team will need to arrange a visit!
*As of 2019, we are no longer stocking Hitachino Nest.*