First-Pressed Beer（Ichiban Shibori）
Kirin prides itself on its ‘Ichiban Shibori’, or ‘first press’ technique, which is used in its namesake product line. Like many other Japanese creations, it requires a long list of steps, but is all the better for it, and is the embodiment of teinei. ‘Ichiban Shibori’ means they only use the first press (the liquid that is pressed after the malt is milled and then mashed) to create their beer, whereas other breweries tend to combine both the first and second press. It leads to a refreshing, crisp flavour, with the distinct smell and taste of malt. Adding in the second press would alter and slightly dilute this flavour, and thus create a completely different outcome once the hops are added afterwards.
Only using the first press means Kirin imbibers get to savour the purest version of a malt beer. Being restricted from using the malt mash again may make the process more labour-intensive and time-consuming, but it is precisely the effort which goes into it all that gives the Kirin Ichiban Shibori beers their signature taste. It is a form of respect towards the customer, and towards the beer brewing process itself.
The process and creation of the beer is also a never-ending quest: it’s not just about the final product in a glass or can, but also about how you actually experience that beer yourself, how it feels in your mouth, how you taste it. Having a beer is thus a full experience, from its initial hoppy conception right down to you finally sitting down with a cold one.