What is rice beer?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “What is rice beer?” Also, we’ll explore how rice beer is made, where rice beer is made, what the nutritional content of rice beer is, and what are some guidelines for drinking rice beer. 

What is rice beer? 

Rice beer alludes to an alcoholic beverage that is made from using rice in the mash, along with other grains. 

Popular rice beers include Sapporo, Hayabusa, Supra Deluxe, SamuraI Gazebo, and many others. 

While some other more commonly found beers in the USA may be made with rice, it’s important to note that for it to be called a rice beer, at least one-third of the mash has to be made up of rice. 

Rice beers are noted for being less cloudy than their counterparts made with barley. This is because rice has a lower protein content, and additionally, it has less flavor than barley, making it ideal for other ingredients in the mix to stand out. 

How is rice beer made? 

Rice beer is made differently than beer made from barley mash. This is because chemically, rice contains fewer enzymes (proteins) than barley, and these enzymes play an important role in converting starches to maltose and glucose. 

Commercial enzymes can be used to convert the starch into these sugars, and other microorganisms can be used with other substances to give the beer a signature taste. 

The process, however, remains the same. Grains are soaked in water to harvest raw materials (sugars), boiled with other ingredients for flavoring, and then fermented. 

As there are many varieties of rice, many crafter beer brewers are taking an interest in experimenting with different combinations and flavors. 

Many would be inclined to believe that rice beer is of a subpar quality when stacked up against beer made with other grains, though this is not the case, as, in actuality, the process is even gaining the curiosity of brewers who wish to try their hand with nutritious varieties of rice, such as black rice. 

Where is rice beer made? 

Rice beer is most commonly made in Japan, though some craft brewers in other countries have also taken to exploring the process and using different rice varieties to make new products. 

The oldest breweries in Japan were founded in the late 1800s and unmistakably were influenced by European (German) brewers. German beer production dictated that beer had to be forcibly made with barley, yeast, hops, and water. 

As barley was not commonly found in Japan, breweries turned to their staple grain–rice. 

By definition, the Japanese have been making rice beer for many centuries–in the form of Sake.

Rice beer can also be found in countries where rice is a staple grain, such as China, India, South Korea, and other southeast Asian countries. 

What is the nutritional content of rice beer? 

The exact nutritional content of rice beer will depend on the brand, the ingredients used to brew it, and of course the size of the portion. For reference; 1 can of Korean rice beer will supply: 

  • 200 calories
  • 1.5 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 19 grams of carbohydrates (6% of the recommended daily intake) – of which all of them are sugar

*Recommended daily intake values are calculated using a 2000 calories per day diet as a reference. 

What are some guidelines for drinking rice beer? 

Drinking rice beer, like any other alcoholic beverage, should be done so in moderation, and sporadically. 

Rice beer can have anywhere between 4 to 10% alcohol, and while it’s not as strong as other beverages, namely, distilled spirits, it should still be ingested in moderation. 

The side effects of copious alcohol consumption can be divided into short-term effects and long-term effects. 

Short-term effects include inebriation, which can lead to others such as a loss of judgment, mood swings, a loss of physical coordination, and an inability to perform day-to-day tasks. People under the effects of alcohol are urged not to drive, operate heavy machinery, and carry out other tasks that require attention to detail. 

Long-term effects of alcohol consumption include a risk of liver disease, heart failure, circulatory problems, an increased risk of cancer, cognitive disorders, and many other health problems. Additionally, those suffering from alcohol abuse may find it difficult to hold down a job or cultivate relationships with those around them. 

We encourage our readers to always prioritize their health and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. 


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “What is rice beer?” Also, we’ve explored how rice beer is made, where rice beer is made, what the nutritional content of rice beer is, and what are some guidelines for drinking rice beer. 










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