From the Beer Writer: A beer brewed with rice is the West Coaster Beer of the Week? Hard as that may be to believe, it’s true. Marco-breweries’ use of rice as a cheap substitute for malted barley has given this ingredient a terrible rap, but as proven by Pure Project Brewing’s rice-infused Kölsch-style ale, Sensei, when treated with the care of an artisan versus the indifference of a supply-chain accountant, it can contribute to a nice beer. Most craft-beer enthusiasts don’t have much use for an even-drinking, crisp and refreshing beer like Sensei (though it’s incredibly crush-able and ideally suited for backyard barbecues and time spent in the great—and hot—outdoors). That’s okay. The glory of this 5.2% alcohol-by-volume, everyman beer is its ability to provide an option for people who subsist on American adjunct lagers (Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors and the like). It is perhaps the finest bridge from Big Beer to local, wholesome brews. So if you are tired of trying to get your Bud- and Miller-swigging buddies into craft only to have them sample a San Diego-hopped pale or IPA and respond with revile, take them to this newly minted Miramar-based tasting room and order a full pint (after all, as Budweiser’s latest ingenious Super Bowl ad, macro-drinkers don’t sip) and watch them finally respond with a raised eyebrow and a modicum of understanding to your chosen way of life. If they fail to do that, it’s time to face the sad fact that they may never get craft-beer. But that’s alright…more for us, right?
From the Brewer: “Sensei is our Kölsch-style ale brewed with rice and German hops that is a mash-up (see what I did there) between the German ales of Cologne and the rice lagers of Asia. Sensei is light and refreshing in body, but still has character to bridge the gap between macro and indie beer. It is also that go-to beer that can pair with any food; that pair of jeans that you can wear with anything, that are comfortable as hell and remind you of good times. ‘Why put rice in a Kölsch?’ you may ask. Traveling in Asia, especially Thailand and Japan, made me really enjoy the delicate light-bodied beers made with rice that really allow both hops and the food that you are pairing them with to shine through. Sensei and sushi are a match made in heaven.”—Winslow Sawyer, Head Brewer, Pure Project Brewing