Back in the day, we thought we knew what ramen was: it came as a dry wavy brick of noodles with a foil packet of salt and flavorings, it cooked in about three minutes, it was extremely cheap and fairly nasty. Well, once we grew up, we discovered that real ramen, like real beer, was actually something really spectacular and delicious.
When Ippudo got in touch with us about a beer, we have to admit to ulterior motives – “hey, maybe we’ll be able to get into Ippudo more often and eat more ramen!” But when Ippudo showed us how they make their tonkotsu broth (it takes 24 hours), and their noodles (made fresh every day) and told us about their philosophy of cooking, we knew that they were kindred spirits – exactly our kind of people. Our brewmaster sat down with ramen master Chef Kanegae, a man with over 200 ramen recipes in his head, and they started dreaming up a beer to drink with ramen.
The result is our new Brooklyn Kaedama Ale, brewed just for Ippudo. “Kaedama” is the Japanese regional tradition of “extra noodles”. Ramen is a food meant to be eaten quickly, even though its flavors are complex. True ramen aficionados know that when the noodles sit in the broth for too long, they’ll lose their “tooth” and become too soft. This is where the kaedama comes in – you keep your broth and swap out your noodles for fresh ones, and your ramen is perfect ‘til the last slurp. The kaedama tradition is a perfect metaphor for Ippudo’s perfectionism and commitment to true hospitality.
Brooklyn Kaedama Ale is brewed from German and American malts, German hops, Belgian candi sugar syrup, and a hint of vanilla bean and then fermented with a Belgian yeast. It has a rich russet color, a slightly spicy dry palate with gentle notes of dark fruit, and a clean dry finish. Like Ippudo’s ramen, it’s complex, but you’ll want more. And it’s great with those pork buns too – c’mon, we saw you looking at them. It’s okay; we’re already on our second pork bun order ourselves.