business

Changing tastes brew bitter times for Japan's beer makers

14 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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14 Comments
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Perhaps if it didn't rain every single day this summer business might be a tad better.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thank goodness for the craft brews of late, they are the only ones allowed in my fridge now 98% of the time & its great to be able to hit a BREW pub when I go to the city.

Now if only my favorite izakaya would start offering the odd craft brew then I could pretty much avoid the biggies, especially super dry, the least flavourful of the bunch!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

zero sympathy. all the big brewers have been producing the same variation on lager for decades (no matter what Suntory or Ebisu want put on their labels). increasing numbers of consumers demand quality, choice and want a variety of taste/beer styles and Asahi's response is ... Johnny Depp?! at least Sasaki-san at Kirin seems to kind of get it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Went to a beer tasting event just before obon and the big companies have brought out lots more beers but most had were weak flavor and just seemed as if they had different colors. Some of the smaller breweries had some nice IPA's one was from Wakayama but cant remember the name. Sapporo black label is always a safe bet for anyone wanting to drink beer that tastes.... like beer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm sure I read a very similar article saying the same either start of this year, or late last year. But of course the brewers are still crying over dropping sales, but still not chaning their options. Hopefully this is paving the slow path for more micro-breweries to offer better selections.

Alas living in Okinawa the selection of micro-brewery beers is rather limited, but thankfully Orion is learning and offering quite a few limited beer varietys, both seasonal and just random specials. Looking forward to seeing if they redo their white beer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Prefer a nice G&T.  Ad tip:  if you want to project a young fresh image and appeal to 20 somethings Jonny Depp is not your brand image.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Burning Bush Hear ya on how awful this summer has been. I can count on two hands how many days of clear blue skies there have been. It feels like one giant rainy season that began in June.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it has rice and corn in it I'm not buying it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Give me a Super Dry anytime anywhere. These new craft beers are overpriced and don't taste good. Don't even mention happoshu.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In the Czech Republic and Europe, Japanese beers wouldn't be allowed to be called beer, because most of them contain corn starch.

A few exceptions are the Premium beers and one variety of Kirin Ichiban Shibori.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't really feel sorry for the Japanese beer makers with the decline in sales in Japan ,in other countries in Asia eg Vietnam they are doing very well thank you

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with others that say most Japanese beer is pretty bland. Esp Super Dry, which is actually basically Coor's Light. They had a tie up years ago.

But the Japanese brewers, are not just beer companies. Suntory, is big in soft Drinks, and hard liquor. Kirin, is also pretty big in soft rinks, and medicine. Asahi, also big in soft drinks, and owns Calpis, which is a billion dollar brand iirc. Asahi also is big into baby food, with it's Wakodo brand. Finally, the smallest of the big 4, Sapporo. They are small, but have a presence in soft drinks, as well as real estate. They are also getting into juice in the US, and own Sleemans in Canada.

ANyhow, it's interesting that they are fighting in Japan, but they all have diversified, and are no long dependent on domestic beer only.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah, the main problem is definitely the customs of today's young people. It's definitely not that all Japanese beers are pretty much the same (mediocre rice/pale lagers), and all of them are very expensive compared to other alcohol. Make a commercial with Jonny Depp, that'll definitely fix things!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Recently we're seeing a wider choice of Beers appearing in the local Supermarkets, though even the micro-brews are lacking something that Western Beers mainly have. Perhaps its the Taxation system that doesnt help encourage innovation ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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