Booze News

October 29, 2008

Japan marketing News has had a lot of good alcohol-related stories lately. They recently reported that Japanese izakayas (traditional pub/ restaurants) such as Toritetsu are starting to install play areas for kids.

I’m not sure how I feel about screaming toddlers in the pub on a Saturday, but I suppose such play areas are common in European beer gardens, and at least it’s better than leaving the little’uns baking in the car with the windows rolled up, as pachinko-addicted parents are prone to do, if the newspapers are anything to go by.
I wonder if the kids will be drinking the hilarious kids’ beer, Kodomo No Nomimono.

The same site reports that a new ginger-flavoured beer from Asahi has come out, backed by a trendy marketing campaign. I never get jaded with products in Japan- they’re changing every other week. Each new trip to the convenience store is a voyage of discovery. “Asahi Ginger Draft” is actually rather tasty, but I’d better not get too attached, because it’ll probably disappear by Christmas, replaced by turkey-flavoured egg-nog-soda or something.

Also, most excitingly, in December Kirin will be releasing two limited-edition cans of beer to celebrate their 120th anniversary. These classy lagers will be recreations of the brews the company produced when they first started, when their beer didn’t contain dubious things like starch or rice that are in today’s brews. This New Year’s Eve I’ll be loading up on these beers and partying like it’s 1899.


Strong Stuff

September 10, 2008

There’s a growing demand in Japan for the kind of high-alcohol beers and alco-pops that strapped-for-cash teenagers and homeless guys guzzle in parks in the UK. Chemical concoctions akin to Special Brew, with the power of paint stripper, aimed to get you utterly wasted for as cheap as possible.
Kirin’s new “Hyoketsu Lemon Strong”, a vodka-based alco-pop, contains 7% alcohol, and has been selling like hotcakes.

Thanks to Lemon Strong’s success, Kirin will soon be releasing “Strong Seven”, which sounds like a kung-fu movie, but is actually a happoshu (fake beer) which is also 7% alcohol.
Penny-pinching piss-heads throughout the nation are rubbing their hands with glee and anticipation.

Read more at Japan Marketing News.