Grassy India Pale Ale Review

Ise Kadoya

A Japanese craft brewery from Ise presents the Grassy India Pale Ale. The short brown bottle and high-gloss (and shiny!) label are instantly eye catching. The name is immediately evocative of European noble hops added late in the process.

Beer Specs

Grassy IPA

Grassy IPA

Alcohol Content: 6% ABV

IBU: Not Given

Style: India Pale Ale


Grassy IPA is a beautiful amber color with a strong opaque haze, which does not settle as fast as some bottle-conditioned ales. The beige head holds for a short while before giving way to light foam at the top of the glass.


There is disappointingly little hop aroma to this supposedly ‘grassy’ beer, with malt and old yeast dominating the bouquet. The aroma suggests Ise Kadoya, like many Japanese microbreweries, has yet to master their yeast bank management.


This is where the beer delivers on its promise of grassiness. From the start this IPA has a spicy and, indeed, grassy flavor, giving way to a strong, lasting bitterness with notes of lemon lingering on the palate. There is little to no ‘vegetal’ or ‘butterscotch’ flavor present, which is a large improvement over many local Japanese competitors, but an unfortunately high level of ‘old yeast’ flavor.

The mouth feel is malty and full, very good for the style. None of the oiliness present in so many new world ales and IPAs that are commonly available today. It’s a pleasant enough drink and the lasting bitterness invites a second bottle.

Grassy IPA


Overall, Ise Kadoya Grassy IPA seems like an offer from an aspiring home brewer. Good, but not great. The lack of aroma, the excessive haze, and the use of an overly-recycled yeast detract from what could otherwise have been a truly excellent IPA. The good balance of malt and hop flavor and the pleasant finish do a lot to make up for this, and the beer is well worth a taste. It may not be a winning beer, but it is a pretty good drop.

Recommended For:

A winter’s evening or a beer to go with strong-flavored hot dishes.

Ise Kadoya Grassy IPA is available in select bottle shops throughout Japan.


Have you tried the Grassy IPA or want to know more? Please leave a comment! Please also comment if you know of an international distributor, so other readers can enjoy this beer.


14 thoughts on “Grassy India Pale Ale Review

  1. Although I’m old enough, I don’t drink. I just never really liked the taste of it. But I’m looking to buy some different ales as Christmas presents for family members. I’ll definitely have to check this one out for them per your recommendation. Do you have any others you would recommend for a Christmas present?

    • Absolutely – you can often find “craft beer gift boxes” in liquor stores, which make a great present.

  2. As soon as I was done reading I began to wonder what kind of a person describes a beer is such a detailed and intricate fashion?

    Obviously someone who is really passionate about the process (I was compelled to read your about me page)

    I think this article and your website is a great resource for beer connoisseurs and brewers alike.

    Awesome job 🙂

    • Thanks Josh!

      The great thing about the craft beer movement is that there are now so many winning beers out there, and with so many intricate and complex flavours. Much like someone tasting wine and writing notes, beer tasters have a whole universe of tiny aromas and flavours to write about!

  3. I enjoyed this post..Its nice to know about different ales, its good know what good ales are out there and what best ales you should buy for your guests.
    From reading your review this grassy India pale ale seems quite nice although slightly bitter but many people like bitter tasting ale so I am told.
    You gave a good description of the appearance and taste of this ale.

  4. I have a question.

    Do you think beer will be popular if it’s available in the menu in a sushi restaurant?

    I mean, outside Japan. I am sure there are certain people in many other countries who would like it to go with a meal.

    Since it’s presentable and has a complimentary flavor I suppose.

    • Hi Tar,

      Beer and sushi are a great combo. Many sushi restaurants in Japan and other countries already serve beer!

  5. Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for the great review on Ise Kadoya Grassy IPA, I think I might like it, because I (personally, weirdly) prefer ale with less aroma. I’m originally from Japan but away from that country for over 20 years, when I was growing up all the available beer was lager (well you’re not supposed to drink alcohol when you’re growing up!) So it’s great to know that such a beer is available throughout the country now.

    I like the fact that the alcohol content is 6% – as I prefer higher contents around 5-6% in beer.

    Thanks again for the great info!

    • Hi Ray,

      Thank you for reading. Please do give the Ise Kadoya Grassy IPA a taste – it’s worth at least one try!



  6. Hi Jesse! I really enjoyed reading your detailed review and I can feel your passion for beers. I like drinking beer too with my Japanese friends but we mostly drank Asahi Dry or Sapporo Dry. This is the first time I heard anything about Ise Kadoya brewery. I would ask my friend to get me one when he drop by Japan. Anyway Kanpei!

  7. This looks like a really great beer and I wouldn’t mind drinking it myself. Can I ask why its called india if it is from japan? 6% alcohol is actually quite high for a beer as well which makes it easy to get drunk (good news;)) If it tastes like lemon, that is cool. If I was going to buy this beer, where would i get it from?

    • Thank you for your comment Josh!

      As far as I know, this is only available in Japan. The word “India” is a reference to where this style was born; British ships transporting beer to India in the days of the Raj would often find their beer spoiled by the tropical climate. India Pale Ale was made with higher alcohol and extra hops, both of which are preservatives. It has become one of the most popular styles around the world today.


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