Beer-like beverage made with rice koji in Aichi Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A beer-like beverage made using rice malt

A brewery called ideai in Nisshin, Aichi Prefecture, and the prefecture’s Food Research Center have jointly developed a beer-like beverage called “Rize” that uses rice malt instead of the more common barley or wheat malts. Bottles will be sold exclusively at the brewery’s stores from Dec. 24, with online sales planned in the new year.

Rice malt made from the prefecture’s Aichi no Kaori rice is used to produce amazake, which is then filtered, and hops are added.

The alcohol content sits at around 5%, about the same as for the major commercial beers. It has a light color reminiscent of rice, a dry refreshing taste, and a distinct apple-like aroma.

The brewing method for the beverage was developed by the center, and the company, which manufactures doburoku unrefined sake and other beverages, has been working to commercialize it.

“It is a new drink that is like beer but has an aroma reminiscent of sake, and goes well with food,” said Fumiko Makara, president of the company. “We hope it will help people discover how delicious Aichi rice is.”