Frozen beer arrives in Toronto
Polar beer, a frozen version of draught that's wildly popular in Japan, has arrived in Toronto. Kind of like a soft serve version of your standard pint, these beers are served colder than usual and come topped with a curled frozen foam that resembles the retro-styled ice cream product. More than just a visual flourish, the foam has a lid-like effect, which prolongs the period that one's beer stays cool (most estimates put this at around 30 minutes or so). It helps that the beer starts out at around -5C before a special blade is used to whip air into its natural head.
Brought to Toronto by DK Squared Inc., local iterations of polar beer are typically made with Sapporo (Kirin's version is popular in Japan). At present, it's available at Don Don Izakaya, Nome Izakaya, Kintaro Izakaya, and Tsuki Izakaya, though there are plans to increase the number of establishments at which it can be found as the warm weather arrives. I tried one at Don Don, and was surprised at just how sturdy the foam is. While the blade whips the foam considerably, it stayed frozen during the 20 minutes or so that I consumed my pint.
Craft beer fans will likely scoff at the lack of flavour, but I suspect this will actually serve as plus for prospective drinkers. This is about as easy-drinking as beer gets, and it seems a natural fit for patios given its cool-temperature properties. Yes, it's all a bit gimmicky, but not as a packaging ploy. Polar beer has a certain novelty to it that's likely to give it legs in the local market this summer.