Why is This Hiroshima Guy’s Glass of Beer So Superb?
Now you might want to know what makes his beer so special. What is the tasty glass of beer that makes us so happy? When asked what beer he poured, he answered, “Just normal Asahi barrel draft beer for business.” If it is regular Asahi barrel draft beer, why then do we need to go to Hiroshima, 500 miles (800 kilometers) away from Tokyo? Major beer companies’ products in Japan are perfectly controlled; thus, there is little difference in product quality from one side of the country to the other. Nevertheless, when you have a sip, one glass of beer makes you feel so good and another one does not.
Suppose you go to a restaurant and order a glass of beer. The beer is poured into a dry glass. If you see a lot of air bubbles on the inner surface of the glass, which I actually see a lot, then the glass is dirty. Even if you have a chance to drink tasty beer, when it arrives at your table, unfortunately the taste is no longer good.
“Japanese people don’t yet know truly tasty beer and its smooth sensation in the throat, or its profound taste. Making tasty beer is a manufacturer’s job; serving it at its best condition is my job,” Yutaka said. What’s striking is that the secret of the “best conditions” are comprised thorough preparation and cleaning. Instead of a magical secret to pouring beer, 80% of the best condition depends on preparation, he affirmed. In particular, the cleanness of the glass or mug is about 50% of what it takes to make the beer truly tasty.
Yutaka thoroughly cleans not only his glasses, but also his beer servers and hoses, until they literally shine every day. A kitchen sponge must be used exclusively for the glasses so that it is completely free from oil. After the glasses are washed, they will be dried naturally. Yutaka’s secret was not derived from his techniques but from his respect to beer!
When he started to pour beer professionally, his senior told him it would take three years just to master how to clean beer glasses. The glass is a container, a contact point with the human mouth and an important junction between the beer and the customer. There is no doubt that the beer is incredibly tasty because it is Yutaka who is pouring it. No matter how meticulously they prepare and cleanse, a layman will probably not be able to pour a beer as skillfully as Yutaka does. He might tell you how many seconds he pours first, then how many seconds he stops pouring for, and the angle of the glass when he is pouring, etc.. However, his remark that the technique is far less important than the preparation, which anyone can do, is quite impressive.
Another recommendation to make beer better is to soak the glass in cold water before pouring, ideally in icy cold water. Even with a clean glass, if it’s dry, there will be friction between the surface of the glass and the liquid as it slides into it. This friction stresses the beer, deteriorating the taste. “Beer is a very sensitive drink. Removing the stress caused by the friction will help beer to become more clear and tasty. Do soak the glass before pouring,” Yutaka said.
There are five kinds of beer on the menu at Beer Stand Shigetomi: One-time pour, which gives you an exhilarating feeling in your throat; two-time pour, which adds savory to the one-time; three-time pour, which is slightly less carbonated and has a little more foam; a refreshing and clear type, which gives you sharp feeling with contained foam and bitterness; and a mild type, which is suited to those who are not fans of bitterness and carbonate. The three-time pour and mild types take four minutes each before they are ready to be served.
A tiny storm is generated in the glass when beer is poured from a server. The thirsty customer will need to wait until the storm calms. And then another storm occurs when another pour is made. The inclement scenery in the glass settles down little by little. When the storm is gone, creamy foam comes up to the top of the glass. Vivid yellow liquid goes down at the same time, quietly turning a clear gold color. Finally, the glass is ready for you. Even before the glass touches your lips, you will probably be smiling.