Kyoto Brewing Co.

はばかりさん (Habakari-san)

1 bar limited to 1x kegs max

Aomori is a place of great importance for Kyoto Brewing Co. as it is where the three founders originally met way back in 2005. Feeling a similarly strong attraction to the “Blue Forest,” Gareth Burns opened Be Easy Brewing in late 2016, and the shared love of Aomori and brewing quickly solidified our friendship.

For the brew conducted here in Kyoto, we decided on an adaptation of the classic Belgian Wit style while utilizing kettle souring and unique botanicals to give the beer a 21st century spin. When the style was first taking shape in the middle ages, the high proportion of wheat in the beer and the fact that brewing equipment and technology were much less refined than they are today almost certainly meant that these beers had a degree of acidity associated with them. We decided to revive this unique character that modernization has groomed out of the style, while at the same time rallying against the botanicals that define it: orange peel and coriander. Instead we looked to more vibrant versions of these citrusy ingredients that typify Thai cooking: lemongrass in place of orange peel and kaffir lime leaves in place of coriander.

The result is a slightly tart and cloudy beer with a refreshing citrus character that seems to shift from lemon and lime to yogurt and cream between each sip. It is truly a unique brew that captures the “try and see” spirit underlying this collaboration!

Naming: For this collaboration, we decided to take a leaf out of Be Easy Brewing’s book and make use of the local dialect in our naming. Being based in the Western half of Aomori, Be Easy uses “Tsugaru-ben", a famously characterful regional dialect, to name its beers. “Kyoto-ben” is also well known, so we decided to follow Be Easy's pattern and use a distinctly Kyoto word with which most people would be unfamiliar.

“Habakari-san” is Kyoto-ben for “Gokuro-san” or “Otsukaresama”, phrases used in Japanese to say “good job” or “you must be tired” as a way of thanking one another after putting in a hard day’s work. In addition to these two collaborations involving traveling to the other side of the country, they both involved labourious techniques. In this beer’s case, a lot of work in preparing the lemongrass and lime leaves for the beer and, by the end of it, every one on the brew team was pretty tired!

So, to that, Habakari-san! Time for a beer.

Style: Sour Belgian Wit

Malt Bill:
Pilsner, Wheat, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats

Bittering: Merkur
Flavour/Aroma: Motueka


Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Leaves

Yeast: Belgian Ale

ABV: 5.0%

IBU: 5

Gas Volumes: 2.5