Musical Cheers: Kirin Ichiban

Davies Wakefield

davies wakefield | musical cheers | march 2017

In the spirit of beer being the beverage of the everyday man (and woman), we present Musical Cheers, a column that puts real beer in the hands of real people. Musical Cheers is guest authored by a revolving selection of friends and columnists with tastes as varied as the beers they review.


Guest reviewer name/occupation: Davies Wakefield, retired manufacturing executive, writer, all around raconteur

Currently listening to: Patsy Cline, George Jones, Willie Nelson, The Byrd's “Sweetheart of the Rodeo"

Last video game played: Pinball in college

Random fact: Given the chance, I would eat raw oysters until I exploded.

Preferred Blue Collar Brews: Schlitz, the 7-ounce glass of dark in the men's stand-up bar at Berghoff's in Chicago; Old Style at Wrigley Field; Grain Belt if you can find it.

Preferred White Collar Brews: New Glarus Raspberry Tart, Titletown Brewery India Pale Ale, Point Brewery original Point Beer


Name of beer reviewing:

Kirin Ichiban

Type of beer:

100 percent malt beer, first press


Kirin Ichiban comes in a very attractive six pack container that features a mythological beast called the Kirin that is half dragon, half deer. The legend states that the Kirin appeared at the bedside of the mother of Confucius as she was about to give birth to the philosopher. Today the Kirin is considered a symbol of well being and good fortune.

The alcohol level is moderate at 5 percent. This current brew was developed in 1990 and is brewed at Kirin's American partner Anheuser-Busch under supervision of the Japanese team.

When first opened, the malty nose catches your attention and invites a first sip. This beer is worthy of a proper frosty mug that accentuates its darker amber color. The taste is crisp and smooth from start to finish. Large carbonation bubbles with a thick but fleeting head.


This is a beer that demands a second and third if you just finished mowing the lawn or after a summer softball game. It is not heavy but refreshing like a glass of iced tea or lemonade, but it is full bodied and satisfying in contrast to lite beers.

This beer is also a food beer. If you like sushi, try one the next time you're at Little Tokyo, Koko or Phin Sushi. I know it goes well with any type of teriyaki as well. If you are visiting Hawaii try it with Hawaiian poke (marinated, spiced, raw Ahi tuna). Here in GB try it with fried cheese curds, yum!

You'll like this beer if:

you like the lighter IPA's.

You'll dislike this beer if:

you are a fan of big heavy beers like stout or dark porters, you probably won't care for this style.

Reviewer Rating:

8.5 out of 10

Real beer reviewed by real people …

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