Beer Type Thingy

In a previous post I wrote of what I mistakenly referred to as malt beer (happoshu). It actually is a low-malt beer with under 67% of parts representing malt. This is the standard Japan uses when taxing alcohol. Anything under 67% is in a lower tax bracket, thus contributing to its lower cost.

Well, as it turns out, Japan’s major breweries have found even more ways to save consumers their fiercely protected yen – a daisan no biru, or “third type beer”, consisting of under 25% malt infused with liqueurs and other dubious ingredients(thus entering an even lower tax bracket). Basically, via very careful mixology and because of rather bizarre/antiquedated tax laws, the big breweries have created artificial beer (but with alcohol). It is the cheapest available “beer” in the supermarket, and since I am not a stickler for taste but more interested in “does this can of brew help me forget this insultingly boring job that holds me hostage for much of the day?” – I was more than willing to hop on the happosei(as third type beers are labeled on the can) bandwagon.

The key to drinking any beer (or bioengineered beer type beverage) is to drink from a frosted mug pilfered from the Sapporo Beer Garden.


I bought Sapporo’s White Belg solely based on its unique can and its low-low price. The can explains, in English, that it is made from coriander seeds (liqueur), orange peel (liqueur), and Belgian malts (very little). All fancy scientific brewing techniques aside, this wasn’t all that bad. Beer experts will complain about metallic tastes and whatnot, but a 500 ml can costing only 187 Yen (Tokou Supermarket) and enjoyed on my flowered balcony looking out towards Mt. Moiwa on an early fall evening – that’s a pretty good drink.