new products

Clear near beer is here - Japan’s new zero-alcohol, zero-color brew

11 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Just about any time is considered a good time to crack open a beer in Japan. But that “just about” is an important qualifier, because even in Japan there are times when people don’t want to get liquored up, which has resulted in a rise in non-alcoholic beer sales over the past few years.

Most of these brews make great efforts to mimic the beer-drinking experience as closely as possible, with matching the color of ordinary beer being a major objective. But this month Suntory has gone in the other direction entirely by releasing a non-alcoholic beer that’s totally clear.

af-2.png

Called All-Free All-Time, it’s the newest member of Suntory’s zero-calorie, zero-alcohol All-Free beer line. As soon as it hit store shelves on Tuesday, we sent our Japanese-language reporter Ahiru Neko across the street to our local convenience store to pick up a bottle.

Despite being completely alcohol-free, All-Free All-Time is still stocked in the alcoholic drink section of the cooler. It’s a convenience store-exclusive, and priced at 147 yen.

Clear soft drinks have been steadily gaining in popularity over the past few years, with one theory why being that their transparency makes them look more “mature,” and so Japanese office workers feel more comfortable sipping them than brightly colored sodas while at their jobs. So with working adults being the primary market for clear drinks, Suntory figured there’s latent demand for a version of Japan’s favorite adult beverage that can be drunk while on the clock. All-Free All-Time even comes in a plastic bottle, as opposed to the bottles or cans of other non-alcoholic beers, to make it appear extra-innocuous.

And when they say All-Free All-Time is clear, they mean it. Peel off the label or pour the drink into a glass, and it’s visually indistinguishable from sparkling water or a clear soda like Sprite.

Suntory is specifically pitching All-Free All-Time as a drink to enjoy during mid-workday lunches or meetings. Ahiru Neko, though, chose to drink his bottle at his work desk, so after saying a quiet kanpai to himself, he twisted off the cap.

Before opening the bottle, he was worried about how it might smell. After all, even if what you’re drinking contains no alcohol and doesn’t look like beer, if it smells like it, you’re not going to be projecting a very professional image. To his relief, All-Free All-Time’s aroma is very faint, and smells like something between beer and citrusy soda. He couldn’t even really notice the scent until he held the open bottle right under his nose, so while you might want to pop a breath mint afterwards for maximum stealth, the scent of All-Free All-Time shouldn’t attract significant unwanted attention.

As for the flavor, Ahiru Neko found it especially satisfying for a non-alcoholic beer. He says there’s just a tiny bit of citrus in the flavor profile, something he’s notice with other zero-alcohol brews, but this is one of the best-tasting beverages in its class.

With no alcohol, limited bitterness, and a crisp finish, All-Free All-Time is more of a thirst-quenching beverage to pound on a hot summer afternoon than a substantial sipping stout. Ahiru Neko admits that it didn’t entirely eliminate his desire to stop off for an alcoholic beer on his way home from work, but as a way to tide yourself over until quitting time, it does an impressive job, provided your boss is OK with you drinking near beer in the office.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Now you can have beauty-conscious non-alcoholic beer from Suntory!

-- Tokyo’s green tea beer garden gives you all-you-can-drink matcha and hojicha beer this summer

-- Woman arrested for drunk driving after having “15 non-alcoholic beers”

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
Login to comment

Zero interest.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just drink a beer!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some of the non-alcohol beers are not bad. No calories, no alcohol. The only problem I can see is that most of them use an artificial sweetener, and most of those are turning out to be very bad for us.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Beer?

Zero alcohol, Zero colour.

Not beer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Beer without alcohol is like coffee w/out caffeine or sex with a mannequin. Something rather essential to the experience is lacking. What's next--spending all day commenting on the internet and calling it a social life?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I drink non-alcohol beer when I go to yakiniku with my family and have to drive home. Not bad. Also, I heard non-alc beer is helpful after running or marathons. During the day at work however I stick to water, mugicha or coffee.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

'Water' with beer flavor? Sounds gross to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds awful. What's worse, it's in a plastic bottle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All-Free All-Time’s aroma is very faint, and smells like something between beer and citrusy soda. He couldn’t even really notice the scent until he held the open bottle right under his nose, so while you might want to pop a breath mint afterwards for maximum stealth, the scent of All-Free All-Time shouldn’t attract significant unwanted attention.

Sounds like a lot of unnecessary hassle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Despite being completely alcohol-free, All-Free All-Time is still stocked in the alcoholic drink section of the cooler

Why, is there not enough space available with the other clear sodas for it to fit in?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please start making clear food ASAP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites