Wordless Wednesday – “G” is for Ginga Kogen Beer

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On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I was able to introduce my friend Tamara to one of my favorite spots in Epcot – the cute little sake bar in the back of Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion. Now, Tamara had been to Mitsukoshi several times before, but had never been able to venture any further than the Pokemon area in the front of the store.

This time, we started at the back (which is the correct way to peruse Mitsukoshi, if you ask me). I had my favorite vintage sake (which you can see here). But this time they were offering something new – Ginga Kogen beer. Frankly, the bottle was so beautiful we had to try it. Plus, it’s a wheat beer, and both Tamara and I are big fans. For $10 a bottle, it had better be damned good.

Ginga Kogen Beer description

Ginga Kogen Beer

Ginga Kogen bottles

Ginga Kogen bottles

Ginga Kogen served

Ginga Kogen is served

Seriously, the beer is as beautiful as the bottle! It was refreshing and crisp, with a light lemony-banana-clove flavor. Not quite as floral as a German hefeweizen, with more citrus notes. If I find this again, I’ll definitely order it.

Kanpai!

Kanpai!

Have you tried the Ginga Kogen? What did you think?

And thanks to Debs at Focused on the Magic for hosting today’s blog hop!

Focused on the Magic Wordless Wednesday

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Hidden gem in Epcot – the Mitsukoshi sake bar

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I’m sitting in my living room watching Tropical Storm Irene (downgraded from hurricane status a few hours ago) wreak havoc with my vegetable garden.  We don’t get weather like this in New England very often and are not used to dealing with it.  As a result, every loose branch and unsecured piece of patio furniture finds a way to come loose and take out the power lines.  In Orlando however, high winds and rain seem to be an almost daily occurrence in the late summer, and is taken in stride. 

The beauty of the Disney Downpour is the regularity and predictability of the late afternoon rain, and that it almost always clears up after an hour or two and leaves the early evening cleaner and slightly cooler.  During our last trip to WDW we were caught in such a storm while touring through Epcot’s World Showcase.  We ducked into the American Experience pavillion to put on our rain ponchos (a necessity for your pack!) and drink some Frozen Cokes.  Since we had a couple of hours before our dinner reservation at Tokyo Dining, we decided to spend some time in the Japanese Anime exhibit before heading up to dinner.

The exhibit is very cool whether or not you like anime.  But if you or your kids are into Miyazaki movies, Pokemon, or Hello Kitty, it’s a little slice of heaven.  It was still pouring when we left the exhibit, so we ducked into the back entrance of the giant Mitsukoshi department store.  Hidden in the back corner of this gargantuan store is a very nice surprise – a Sake bar!  I’m guessing it was a combination of the thunderstorm, the sake, and being at WDW, but it had one of the friendliest, happiest bar crowds I’ve ever encountered.

Here’s a portion of the menu, which I snapped to remind me which sake we ordered so that I could buy it later.  There are around ten different sakes available, plus plum wine.

I usually prefer unfiltered sake, and there is one on the menu.  But I’ve tried that brand before, and it’s not my favorite.  So, I chose Tenryo Koshu, the vintage sake, while my drinking companion chose the yuzu flavored.

Here’s the very sweet bartender pouring my sake, the bottle, and a snap of the finished product.

The vintage sake was lovely!  Complex, refreshing, and unlike any I’d had before.  The yuzu flavored was sort of like a sake wine cooler.  I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you really just don’t like sake.  But then, why bother?
And happily, if you really like the sake at the bar, you can buy a bottle to take home, right there.  (The sake bar is not a free tasting menu.  It is a bar.  The sake runs between $4 – $10 per glass.)
Sadly, the food at Tokyo Dining was not nearly as fun a find.  Mediocre, mall-food-court grade sushi, and salad that anyone should be embarrassed to serve. 

The best thing we ate at Tokyo Dining, oddly enough, was dessert.  The green tea mousse is truly outstanding.  Sorry, no pic.  My kid attacked it too quickly. 
Next trip, we’re planning to check out Kimono’s in the Swan for sushi, but maybe will stick with Yakitori House at Epcot for a snack to go with our sake.
Mitsukoshi Sake Bar:  4 Mice
Tokyo Dining:  1 Mouse