Japan has been building its craft beer credibility over the last several years, but we don’t know if this is going to help. Yamauchi, a seafood retail company, just released a very limited edition beer called Hoya Ale. Hoya, for those who don’t typically traffic in odd marine life, is known in English as the sea squirt. In Japan and Korea, hoya is often eaten raw and has a bit of an acquired taste often described as soapy. But, at least according to Rocket News, the beer is not so bad. Reviews say it smells smoky, finishes crisply and actually doesn’t have enough sea squirt flavor (although we’d say any sea squirt flavor is probably enough sea squirt flavor).
This actually isn’t the first time Yamauchi brought the odd ale to market. They produced a similarly limited batch in 2010, but an earthquake and tsunami devastated the sea squirt habitat they sourced from. But with the creatures back in abundance they brought the beer back for another round.
Hoya Ale is available to order online for about five dollars (plus shipping), although they’ve already sold over a third of their stock. So if you’re hoping to taste your first sip of sea squirt, you better hurry up. If you’re feeling a bit more conservative, though, you can always go with some good old-fashioned American lobster beer.