Plus, a pop-up boba theme park hits Tokyo this summer.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 23, 2019
Credit: aloke1984tw/Getty Images

These days, beer comes in a mindboggling mix of flavors — many of which could objectively be called ridiculous. I say “objectively” because when a brewery like Bolero Snort makes a heavily-hopped orange vanilla milkshake IPA, they have to know not everyone is going to love it, but at least they are making it with love. However, some new beer creations seem to lean more towards ridiculous for ridiculousness’s sake — and a new series of “boba beers” might just fit into that category.

The Malaysia-based chain The Beer Factory recently took to Facebook to announce its “Boba Beer Series” — billed as “the matchmake of the century.” Honestly, the idea of a bubble tea-inspired beer doesn’t sound inherently bad. I could even see a beer with tapioca pearls in it working under certain conditions. But here’s the important thing to understand: These boba beers aren’t specifically brewed to be turned into bubble tea: They’re just a mix of bubble tea and existing beers… and pretty average existing beers at that.

The four varieties in the series are Butter Beer, made with Kirin Ichiban; Guinness Milkshake, made with Guinness; Strawberry Lime Cider, made with Apple Fox Cider; and Watermelon Beer, made with Tiger. So yeah, this line of “boba beer” actually sounds a bit like the kind of lazy mixology you might try to pull off with floaters left over at a house party. I’m not saying it can’t be good; I’m just saying I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be good. Sadly, I won’t be able to try it either way because it’s apparently only available for a limited time in Malaysia.

But if you are willing to travel to Asia for everything bubble tea, here’s another piece of boba news you might be interested in: Japan is getting a pop-up bubble tea theme park. Tokyo Tapioca Land — as the event is called — will be held at a shopping area in front of Harajuku Station from August 13 to September 16, according to Eater. Apparently, that will even include bubble tea rides. That’s gotta be a straw-like tube that you can slide down into a ball pit, right?