This blog post is intended for readers 21 and older.
By Rob McFee
This Week's Pairing:
Our pairing begins with a quote "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy;" (Hamlet, Act I Scene 5) When William Shakespeare penned those words he probably had no idea that one day they would so aptly apply to a pairing of a manga and a craft beer.
The heart of both of these creations begins in Japan. Tokyo Ghoul is a manga; "manga" as a term used outside of Japan and refers to comics originally published in Japan. The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, business and commerce, comedy, detective, historical drama, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and fantasy, sexuality, sports and games, and suspense, among others, much like comic books in other parts of the world including the United States.
The Sorachi Ace hop named after the Sorachi Subprefecture in Hokkaidō, Japan, was developed for Sapporo Breweries and used in their beers. The pedigree includes Brewer’s Gold and Saaz and has high yield potential. It was originally released in 1984 and was grown for a while in Japan and China. Sorachi Ace became commercially available in 2006 and since then, has become a variety that has garnered a large amount of interest for use in intense American beer styles.
Now that you're up to speed on the basics of this pairing, lets get into why they go so well together. At first pour Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace Saison is light in color, imagine hay on a farm with a sunset as the backdrop. It's a little cloudy with a full head that fades to a nice lace. The aroma is lemongrass with a hint of spice and a floral bouquet, reminiscent of springtime; that's the magic of the Sorachi hops. At first taste your palate is greeted with lemon zest, bitter hops and a light sugary sweetness, the spicy notes are peppery. The aroma and flavor of this Farmhouse Saison are the essence of Tokyo Ghoul's protagonist Ken Kaneki; innocent, well rounded, and yet a little odd. But what of the 7.2% ABV you ask? Well, that's where the ghoul lies in wait.
Welcome to the world of creator, writer, and artist Sui Ishida, a world where ghouls exist; ghouls who feast upon the flesh of human beings. In this world the monsters hide in plain sight, because they look like you and me. They hunt their prey in broad daylight, revealing their true form when it's too late for their victims to do anything but become their next meal.
Our protagonist, Ken Kaneki, a shy college student, is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize, a young woman who Kaneki has had a crush on since he started college. Unfortunately, it turns out that she's only interested in his body--eating it, that is. When a morally questionable transplant operation transforms him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of ghouls, which exists alongside our own. Thus begins the tragedy of Ken Kaneki a college student, a human being and now a Tokyo Ghoul.
How will Ken cope with the monster he's become? Will he be accepted by either side? Will he ever go on a date again? I don't know, but I'm picking up another six pack of Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace Saison and the next few volumes of "Tokyo Ghoul" to find out.
If you're looking to add a little international flare to your mind and palate give this pairing a try.
Until next week, read and consume responsibly.
Click Here to buy "Tokyo Ghoul" Volume One
If you missed issues #1- #5 check click on the logos below to catch up on all the IMBIBE pairings.
Please feel free to comment. If there's a craft beer or comic you'd like to see paired, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.
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