In our last post (read here), we shared the back story behind our latest Locality Series beer, Higashiru. Our Locality Series focuses on a partnership within Kyoto, in order to support a cause or create something unique, and subsequently gift the proceeds to an organisation that we wish to promote.

As was shared in our last blog, the concept for this beer was based upon what the gardeners of Higashihonganji and Shoseien gardens might enjoy at the end of a long day working in the sun. For inspiration, we turned to a favourite style of ours, the saison. Originally created by farmers in Belgium during the early months of the year, this was a beer enjoyed in the summer. It’s not surprising, when you drink it. While the yeast may be characterful, the fruity notes it creates, along with the dry finish, make it an excellent choice for hot days and active work.This time around, we also tried to imagine what it might be like in terms of the malt bill, and chose to go for additions of wheat and spelt, imagining the mix of grains that may well have been used based on what was around the farm.So what about the name, Higashiru? First of all, it plays on the word “Higashi”, meaning East, which is also in reference to the temple, Higashihonganji. The characters chosen are a little different, however, with the first character meaning sun, and the last to know or understand. The sun bears much reference to this beer’s concept, while the intention of the beer is to make people aware of the project and the initiative as well.

With the beer having gone on sale within Kyoto last month, it is now available across the country. In addition to helping support the project through fundraising, we also help this beer will help spread the word and truly make the area in front of the temple one that lives up to its purpose.