Garden releases papaya beer

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man holds bottles of craft beers Izu Papaya Hazy, left, and Izu Banana Crocodile IPA under papaya trees at Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden in Higashi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden, a botanical garden with alligators in Higashi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, has started selling craft beer made from papaya grown in the park.

It also released a new version of banana beer, in which the production method was changed. The beer, made from bananas harvested in the park, had been well received after its debut in March.

Hansharo Beer Brewing, run by Kuraya Narusawa Co. in Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture, brewed the new Izu Papaya Hazy, which uses Florida and three other varieties of papaya.

For the updated Izu Banana Crocodile IPA beer, the brewery used only one variety of banana — Taiwan Senninsho. The brew it released in March had blended five kinds of bananas.

Thanks to a new brewing method meant to retain more of the flavor of the fruit, the Taiwan banana’s characteristics come through more firmly in the final product.

Hansharo Beer Brewing brewed 1,000 liters of each beer and started selling them in bottles in July.

The original banana beer was proposed by the brewery as a way to publicly promote the park, which has been suffering from a decline of visitors amid the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the unusual beer’s popularity at the park’s store and online shop, they decided to make a new version.

A 330-milliliter bottle of the papaya or banana beer costs ¥750.