There’s something special about tasting a beer brewed in your local area. It strengthens the connection you have to your hometown, which is exactly how I feel every time I taste a beer from Manchester. It’s even better when the beer has Japanese influences.
Runaway Brewery is one of Manchester’s biggest craft beer brewers and they have created a special Japanese concoction called Gari Gose. Done in collaboration with legendary local sushi restaurant Umezushi (which sadly closed its doors), Gari Gose combines northern hardiness with the complexity of Japanese ingredients.
The beer is named after Gari, Japanese picked ginger, which is eaten with or after sushi to help clean the palate. Runaway Brewery used ingredients found in the Umezushi kitchen to create the beer. It’s brewed with kombu (seaweed), sushi rice, root ginger and preserved wah plums.
From the moment you smell the Gari Gose, you know you’re in for a complex and memorable drinking experiences. It has a faint, spicy aroma that sets it apart from other Japanese craft beers. The ginger is the first thing you taste, a soft, fiery texture that builds in the centre of the mouth.
Next, comes the sour notes courtesy of the wah plums. A savoury undercurrent rises up, creating a three-layered beer that’s bursting with flavour. I found the mix of sour and spice to be great for the palate. Just as Gari cleans the mouth with sushi, the beer can do the same with heavier beverages like a stout or port.
Umezushi might not be open anymore, but Runaway Brewery have helped to keep the restaurant’s legacy alive with the Gari Gose. When you drink Gari Gose, you’re sipping a part of Manchester and Japan.