Kirin beer’s attempt to
exploit help drinkers concerned about dealing with the impending heat during Japan’s second summer of setsuden is Ichiban Shibori “Frozen” Draft. The chilled beer, topped with a frozen head of foam can be had at a few restaurants around town, but yesterday we gave it a try at the specially constructed “Frozen Garden” in Fukuromachi which is open until the end of August.
The Ichiban Shibori Frozen Garden opened on June 8 on the street that runs down toward Heiwa Boulevard from Anderesen Bakery, it’s just past Yours supermarket on the other side of the street. We had planned to try it out on Saturday night, but the place was absolutely packed, and returned for a Sunday afternoon tipple.
Your Frozen Draft comes in two sizes here; a pint for ¥700 or a 3/4 pint for ¥600. The frozen foam head is added using what looks like a frozen yoghurt dispenser and looks just like a scoop of ice cream neatly swirled on top of your beer. Despite appearances, the froth is made from 100% beer and, according to their PR materials, keeps the beer sealed below cold for around 30 minutes, even up to temperatures of 40 degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit).
The foam itself tasted like slightly bitter nothingness. It wasn’t particularly hot on my visit but the head held its shape and the beer did indeed stay pretty cold for quite a while – I’d be interested to try it on a scorcher of a day. On the downside, Frozen Draft is served in plastic cups, like those that a Frappuccino drinks come in.
Kirin hopes the brew will appeal to women and younger drinkers (and slow drinkers like me perhaps) who can’t (or choose not to) down a standard pint before it looses its chill. The Frozen Garden also seems to be aimed at this market, rather than hardened drinkers. It looks more like a chain coffee shop (or indeed frozen yoghurt shop) than a pub. There were quite a few young’uns there, but it was also proving popular with older folks and couples with young kids. It closes quite early, with last orders at 22:30 on weeknights and at 21:30 on weekends and holidays. In addition to Frozen Draft they serve rotisserie chicken, sausages, various hors d’oeuvres and some nice olive and zucchini salads. Other drinks, however, are confined to Japanese tea and mineral water.
It is nice that there are a couple of tables at which you can sit or stand outside (in fact I think that this is what makes the experience worthwhile) which should contribute to a fun atmosphere in Fukuromachi on summer evenings.
Have you tried Kirin’s Frozen Draft? What did you think?
Mon-Fri 16:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Sat, Sun, Hols 12:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)
Address: 1F Fukai Building, 6-42 Fukuromachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
Tel: 090-3342-5449 (but they don’t take phone reservations)
URL: http://www.frozen-nama.jp/frozen_garden/ [ja]
View Kirin Ichiban Shibori Frozen Garden in a larger map