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Trying to find a Japanese beer 2011/9/8 06:28
Hey everyone! I don't live in Japan, but I have been recently trying to find a Japanese beer that I would enjoy. I have only tried Asahi and Kirin Ichiban. I didnt particularly like either of them. (Although I liked Kirin more)

Beers that I do enjoy are: Corona, Blue Moon, Dos Equis, Shock Top, Sol, Presidente etc.

As you can see, I have a taste for Mexican and Belgian beers. Most real beer connoisseurs would down-vote my taste in beers, but I like what I like! :)

So can anyone suggest some Japanese beers that I might enjoy? Thanks!
by Jesen  

.. 2011/9/8 09:42
Beers you listed are light compared to the majority of Japanese beer. If you din't like Asahi and Kirin, I can't recommend any Japanese beer to you.
by Tokyonet (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/9/8 10:20
I'm not sure what is easily available in the USA, but the other beer that is available where I live is Sapporo beer.

You may also try and find a good authentic Japanese restaurant that has beers and/or beer on tap, as this will often give you a better choice.

Also you should check the bottles of the beers you have tried as often they are brewed by licensed breweries to a specific recipe but they do taste different than the Japanese beer (brewed in Japan). As an example Kirin Ichiban is brewed by Anheuser-Busch in the USA.

Enjoy your beer!
by GC3 rate this post as useful

GC3 2011/9/8 11:13
Thanks for the advice! I did try Asahi in Tokyo. Kirin was unfortunately tried locally in Florida. I did notice a bar called "World of Beers". I may try them since they have at least 4 different Japanese beers.
by Jesen rate this post as useful

Yebisu rules 2011/9/8 11:40
I'm shocked that no one has mentioned Yebisu! They are the king of Japanese beers!

by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Uco 2011/9/8 12:49
Thanks Uco, Sapporo seems to be the beer of choice judging from other outlets as well. I really need to try this 3rd major brand.
by Jesen rate this post as useful

. 2011/9/9 05:20
There are very few Japanese beer brands available in the USA, and even fewer are actually imported from Japan. Whereas for the domestic market the four big Japanese brewers produce dozens of different beers or, because of Japanese tax laws, happoshu and third kind non malt beverages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happoshu), each brewery often launching a new beer every few months. These brands often only stay on the market for around three or so months, before being replaced by the "next big thing."

There are three Sapporo brands available in the USA, all are brewed in Canada. So, when they say "Imported" on the label, it means imported from Canada, not Japan. Of those brands, I would say only the Premium is the same/similar to the brand available in Japan (Sapporo Kuro/Black Label). Sapporo Reserve and Sapporo Light are made for the US market:


None of the Yebisu beers are available in the USA.

When you say you have tried Asahi I assume you mean Asahi Superdry. There are two other brands available in the USA, Asahi Black, which will not be what you are looking for and a brand called Asahi Brewmaster's Select, which I believe is a beer made only for the US market. Select might be a beer that you would like as it seems to be similar to some of the beers you listed.:


As for Kirin, there is just the Kirin Ichiban brand available in the USA and (as has already been mentioned) is brewed in California by AB-InBev.

Orion Premium is distributed in the USA, but it may not be available in Florida. Usualy found in Japanese restaurants and oriental food stores.

The other large Japanese brewer, Suntory, seems to no long distribute there beer in the USA.

You say you like Belgian beer, although you don't actually list any. You did mention the US brewed Blue Moon from Coors, so I guess you mean that you like Belgian style wit beer (as opposed to abbey, Trappist, lambic, etc). In that case, you might like Hitachino Nest White Ale, a Japanese micro beer that is distributed in the USA, although it is quite expensive.
by RobBeer (guest) rate this post as useful

Yebisu Beer 2011/9/9 05:27
Nijiya (Japanese Food Store Chain in the USA) has Yebisu. I have purchased it; however, it is expensive, at about $18 to 19 per six pack. A number of Japanese restaurants serve it too.

I agree with prior posts; Japanese beer which is brewed outside Japan is not worth the purchase price. I have seen 12 packs of Sapporo (the kind which is brewed outside Japan) sell for ridiculously low prices (like $5 dollars for 12 cans). Still not worth the price.

by Oenophile Angler (guest) rate this post as useful

IF you like Belgians 2011/9/9 07:06
A craft brewery in Japan called Hitachino Nest has their White Ale released in the States that you'll like if you're into Belgian White Ales. They also have another beer released in the States called their Red Rice Ale. However they're both $6 per 11.2 oz bottle.They have very high reviews amongst beer lovers.



Reviews: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/697/2013
by rsxguy04 (guest) rate this post as useful

Correction 2011/9/9 07:09
Actually to correct what I wrote, the brewery name that makes Hitachino Nese is called the Kiuchi Brewery.
by rsxguy04 (guest) rate this post as useful

Robbeer 2011/9/9 11:49
Wow..well as Robbeer and others have stated, I wont get legit Japanese beer unless I am in Japan. I wonder if I can get some imported? Because I really have no interest in trying a Japanese imitation that's made in Canada or California. So I will have to wait, or import. The Asahi that I had was actually in Tokyo, so that was the real stuff. Im not sure which type it was though, as I told the waitress to surprise me. Of course she gave me one of the more popular ones :-/ Thanks for everyone's input.
by Jesen rate this post as useful

the real thing 2011/9/9 12:52
I don't know about the USA but in Australia several of my favourite Japanese restaurants have a good selection of Japanese beers, produced in Japan not locally. I'd keep looking.
by pacifictonz (guest) rate this post as useful

Hi again 2011/9/9 21:57
If you live in California, New Jersey or Illinois, there's a Japanese market called Mitsuwa. Of course they sell the Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin made in Canada. However, they also sell some of the beers of the mentioned breweries that are imported from Japan. Last month, I found Asahi at my local Mitsuwa market in Southern California where it was actually imported from their brewery in Tokyo, Japan. I hope this helps.
by rsxguy04 rate this post as useful

Rsx 2011/9/10 00:17
Very cool. I used to live in NY for a greater part of my life, so ill be back there again. Next time im over that way, ill stop at that market in Jersey. Thanks!
by Jesen rate this post as useful

beer 2011/9/10 13:40
have you ever tried Koshihikari Echigo (こしひかり越後)?? its good, you mention dosxx and corona, its similar, i believe you can get this beer at decent japanese restaurants.
by rahburt (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/9/10 22:15
We buy imported Kirin, Sapporo, Yebisu, Asahi (including the 1L cans), Hitachino's Nest and Baird from a bottle shop 10 minutes from our house, and we live in regional Australia. There are certainly specialised importers around. Incidentally, the Kiuchi Brewery at Naka is a nice little side trip from Tokyo. There beer isn't cheap, but it is delicious and creative.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Rahburt & Sal 2011/9/11 02:43
The Koshihikari Echigo sounds like it might be nice. I hope that I can find it over here! I may need to go to Orlando since its a very international spirited city.

Or maybe I can find something like Sal was talking about :)
by Jesen rate this post as useful

hmmm 2011/9/11 16:31
there is a bar here in Melbourne (in Fed Square) that seels "Boutique Japanese beers": from researching the brewery on the Internet it appears to be run by expat Brits: truly, the beers were undrinkable, and I just love Asahi, Kirin and Yebisu....so be careful, everyone!!!!!
by fmj rate this post as useful

. 2011/9/11 19:22
Hey fmj I think I've been to that bar in Fed Square. You may have tasted one of the Hitachino's Nest beers. I wouldn't say they're similar to the big brand Japanese beers, so may not appeal to everyone. They're very much boutique/craft beers, with a lot of distinctive differences between each brew. The white ale has coriander, for example.
They use beer to make their umeshu too. Interesting company.

Keep an eye out for Baird too.

by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

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