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Hoppy Beer : Tokyo’s Best Kept Secret

One of the staple meals in Japan is curry-rice, which is the perfect go-to dish for convenience, thanks to the popular curry cubes that are so widely available. However, for curry lovers who feel that even making curry from an instant curry cubes is to much trouble, the easiest and the best way to enjoy tasty curry is the iconic retort pouch curry. First introduced in Japan in the 50s, the retort pouch is the most convenient option for curry lovers. Simply drop the sealed pouch in boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes and voila! You have instant feast, ready to eat in minutes!

 

1. History of Hoppy

Post WWII, beer was expensive and not too many people could afford to drink it, and that’s when Hoppy was born. Hoppy tastes very similar to beer since the ingredients and the process used in making Hoppy is similar to that of beer. However, the main difference between Hoppy and beer is that Hoppy contains only 0.8% alcohol, making it an almost non-alcoholic drink. It also has almost a quarter of the calories that beer has, making it a healthy guilt-free drink. As a result, Hoppy is a popular among underage people in Japan.

 

2. Ways To Drink Hoppy

Originally Hoppy was intended to be an alternative to beer, but as beer became inexpensive, people began to change the way they consumed the drink. Over the years, Hoppy drinkers discovered a very special way to enjoy their favourite drink. One of the most popular ways of drinking Hoppy today is to use it as a mixer with a stronger drink, similar to the way soda is mixed with whiskey.

 

3. Hoppy with Schochu

A schochu is a a strong distilled alcoholic drink, made from one or many ingredients, such as rice, barley or buckwheat. The Hoppy Beverage Company recommends that the best way to drink Hoppy is with Korui Schochu, a drink which has been distilled for two times or more and contains at least 25% alcohol. Prior to drinking, the glasses should be chilled in the freezer. According to traditionalists, at the time of drinking, chilled schochu should be added to the glass first, and then the Hoppy should be added in a vigorous manner, which results in the drink foaming up, without stirring. Ice is not recommended, as it merely dilutes the flavour of the drink.

 

Many people prefer to mix Hoppy with other strong liquors, including Gin, Vodka, Plum Wine, etc. That’s the real beauty of Hoppy. The fact that it can be customized just the way you like it. If you want a light beer, you can drink it as it is. If you want to get a light buzz, mix it with a mild alcohol, and enjoy the drink. And if you really want to get drunk, enjoy a couple of pegs of Hoppy with schochu. Like many Japanese things, Hoppy is all about being flexible, yet distinctive. Next time, I’ll tell you about my favourite places to drink Hoppy-Schochu

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