As an expert sommelier and brewer, I can confirm that Kirin, a popular Japanese-style pilsner, is indeed brewed in the United States. Despite its Japanese origins, Kirin beer is now produced in both Virginia and southern California by Anheuser-Busch, a subsidiary of the global brewing company AB InBev.
It is interesting to note that while Kirin is often associated with Japan, the beer has expanded its production to meet the growing demand in the American market. This is not uncommon in the beer industry, as many breweries have expanded their operations to different countries to cater to local tastes and preferences.
The decision to brew Kirin in the United States is likely a strategic one. By producing the beer locally, Anheuser-Busch can ensure freshness and minimize transportation costs. Additionally, brewing Kirin in the U.S. allows the company to adapt the recipe and brewing process to suit American palates, ensuring that the beer appeals to a wider range of consumers.
Personally, I have had the opportunity to taste both the Japanese-brewed Kirin and the American-brewed version. While there are subtle differences between the two, the overall flavor profile remains true to the style of a classic pilsner. The American-brewed Kirin maintains its crispness, light body, and mild hop bitterness, making it a refreshing choice on a hot summer day.
It is worth mentioning that the labeling and marketing of Kirin may vary depending on the country of production. In the United States, for example, Kirin is often referred to as a “Japanese-style pilsner” on the Anheuser-Busch website, which highlights its heritage and brewing tradition. This distinction helps to position the beer within the broader category of pilsners, which are known for their clean, crisp flavors and golden appearance.
Kirin beer is indeed brewed in the United States, specifically in Virginia and southern California. While it may have originated in Japan, the decision to produce Kirin locally allows for greater accessibility and customization to suit American consumers' tastes. Whether you enjoy the Japanese-brewed version or its American counterpart, Kirin continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a refreshing and well-crafted pilsner.