Japan’s Newest Import: No Alcohol Beer

Posted by BeerMaven | Asian Beer | Posted on February 25th

It is common knowledge that Americans love beer. Whether it is big name brands,  stellar microbrews, international beers or rare suds, Americans welcome them all with open arms. However, most Americans go for the traditional kind of brew—that which contains alcohol. With the imminent arrival of Japan’s Kirin Free No Alcohol Beer in the West Coast, the Americans’ tolerance for unique brews will be tested.

Americans are not new to the non-alcoholic beer variety. The Dixie Brewery in New Orleans remained in business during the Prohibition by making non-alcoholic beer in the 1920s, and this kind of beer is still being sold in stores throughout the country. However, the “non-alcoholic” beers sold in the United States are not really free of alcohol. According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, those beers contain 0.5% alcohol by volume. The import from Kirin Brewery is a different breed of brew altogether, as it is the first “0.00%-alcohol beer” in the world.

Beer lovers from the United States may be wondering why the ever ingenious Japanese decided to create this kind of product, especially when alcohol is considered a crucial part of the beverage. People may be surprised to know that the decreasing and aging population of the country Japan is the main reason behind such innovation. Due to the poor beer sales, Kirin Brewery and other drink makers in the Land of the Rising Sun is forced to think outside the box to increase revenue. Kirin decided to bring the new merchandise overseas, specifically in the United States. The Japanese brewery is set to test-market the 334ml bottle of Kirin Free at 1,000 restaurants in cities across the West Coast starting March 2011.

So how will American consumers respond to the newest kind of non-alcoholic beer? Only time can tell if it would be a hit like other Japanese favorites such as sushi and ramen. However, one can guess how the American buying public will react to the latest Japanese import. Naturally, beer lovers who prefer the traditional brew may not be willing to try it. Most beer drinkers, especially the men, love alcohol in their beer and would not settle for anything else. After all, you can never expect Homer Simpson to drink anything but Duff. However, some may become intrigued and try the product at least once.

If ever Kirin Free becomes widely accepted in the U.S. consumer market, its main supporters would probably be the health conscious types and pregnant women. More and more people in the United States are choosing to live healthy, and the no-alcohol beer would be best for their lifestyle. As the number of health conscious individuals increase, so will the sales of ‘healthier’ beverages. Kirin Free will surely be welcomed by women who are expecting, those who crave a good old brew once in a while. Those who want to drink beer and still be able to get behind the wheel will also probably try the product for themselves.

5 Responses to “Japan’s Newest Import: No Alcohol Beer”

  1. Sam Meyer says:

    I am very interested in knowing more about Kirin Free beer. Please send me more information and how I can aquire it.

    • BeerMaven says:

      They plan to start testing it in the US this month in the west coast. I haven’t seen it yet. I would check BevMo or any of your large local beverage shops.

  2. Mary Antonelli says:

    This is extremely interesting, and I intend to try it. Right now when my husband and I go out, one of us ends up drinking tea or soda because we are driving. The ability to have a relaxing dinner with a good, cold beer and not have to worry about who is driving home will be a nice change. :)

  3. hassan behzadi says:

    i want to buy the malt syrup for botteling non alcoholic beer 0% in my factory.
    pls send me by reply the spsification and …
    ithanks
    hassan behzadi

  4. Drew says:

    This alcohol free beer is nearly impossible to find, I went to different BevMos all over LA county in hopes of finding this gem but no luck. I’ve had it once a few months ago at this sushi resturant not to far from where I live and it’s rather refreshing.

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