After a brewing hiatus of a few months while a new assistant brewer was born and welcomed into the world, I've finally managed to get a new beer devised and brewed. I usually make fairly strong beers, 5% abv or higher is common, and I thought the time was nigh to rein in my usual tendencies and try to brew something a little less potent.
I had a couple of bags of the Japanese hop Sorachi Ace in the cellar which I'd been wanting to try out for a while, so that was the start of my recipe. Given a Japanese hop, I thought that I'd add some cooked rice into the grist as well, to further accentuate the influence of Nippon.
After those broad brush strokes of the recipe I was left with filling in the detail, and of course a name for the beer. Murasaki Shikibu was a 10th - 11th century diarist, poet and lady-in-waiting to the court of Empress Shōshi. And to add to those honours she's now lent her name to my latest creation: Lady Murasaki - Pale Japanese Session Ale.