It was an unseasonably hot Friday when I swung by Powell Brewery to try one of their latest limited release brews, the intriguing ‘Rising Sun’ Jasmine Black Rice with Yuzu Lager. The beer is a collaboration with Handtaste Ferments and was originally concocted for 2016’s ‘This Sandwich, That Beer’ challenge. The style’s low 4.8% ABV and refreshing character made it easy to justify an early afternoon beer pit stop, especially during the mini heat wave that kicked off the weekend.
The ‘Rising Sun’ is crisper and dryer than most non-rice lagers I’ve tried, which is to say it nails all of the style’s best qualities. Although I’ve seen yuzu recently added to light sour German beer styles such as berlinerweiss and gose (I assume in order to highlight the tartness here), its slightly exotic, grapefruit-like acidity is subdued by the rice. It brings a balancing quality that ups the drinkability factor associated with a lager, with the added plus of also being palate cleansing.
Despite the niche-sounding description, it’s actually a very sensible beer as yuzu fruit is most commonly used in Japanese cooking, putting its food-pairing possibilities on the far side of endless. It’s also the perfect summer thirst-quencher on its own.
The ‘Rising Sun’ is currently available from select liquor stores as well as on tap at Powell Beer’s tasting room, where it’s also growler ready and sold in tall cans, either individually or in four-packs.