Sure the Japanese can make a good car...but can they brew a decent beer? In order to answer this important question, Bucky picked up a 500 ml can of Asahi Super Dry ("ASD") produced by Asahi Breweries Limited ("Asahi") of Tokyo. ASD was 5.0% alcohol by volume, and apparently has a production date printed on the bottom of the can. If anyone can decipher any of the following to come up with a production date, please let me know because I can't figure it out: U/0850C A283.
Asahi was founded in Osaka in 1889 as the Osaka Beer Company. Since that time the brewery has grown organically and through multiple acquisitions. In 1987 it introduced Asahi Super Dry, which initiated the Japanese craze for dry beer and became Asahi's flagship brand.A dry beer is one in which the beer is fermented longer and more thoroughly, decreasing the sugars left at the end of fermentation.
ASD poured a very clear golden yellow colour with lots of large visible carbonation bubbles. Pouring produced 1/2" of bubbly, extremely short-lived white head which left no spotting or lacing down the glass. Its aroma was quite mild, sweet light malts with hops in the background.The flavour began with a sweet light maltiness, with a delayed impact moderate bitterness after swallowing the beer and a dry finish. All very subdued. The carbonation was quite active though, but stopped short of prickly, and I would describe the beer as light bodied with a watery mouthfeel. In summary, I can't figure out why this beer is so big in Japan. It's certainly not offensive in any way, but there's really nothing here to bring me back for another. At $2.60 per 500 ml can, ASD is not inexpensive.
Debuting back in 1990, Kirin Ichiban is a Japanese beer that we found to have a light, crisp taste. Golden coloured with nice bubbles and effervescence, it drinks easily with a clean finish.
I consumed a bottle of Sapporo Premium beer at our local Japanese restaurant along with a plate of sushi. This beer is a slightly pale, golden colour and had a decent head which lasted for a surprisingly long period. The beer did not have a strong smell nor was it offensive. I would characterize it as a very drinkable, watery beer with a clean, crisp finish and a hint of lemon sweetness. Pretty close to water.
Overall, this is a pretty tasteless beer in many ways. Very drinkable, because of the lightness. Something to consider while on vacation, laying on the beach or playing volleyball.
Special note: Label stated "Japan's Oldest Beer" since 1876.
I had an opportunity to try a Vietnamese beer at our local Vietnamese restaurant. My wife and I really like to eat the "Pho" noodle soups, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to try one of their recommended libations as well. After much deliberation, I settled for an "Export 33" with input from "Sassy" our waitress. Easily recognizable, Sassy was wearing Drew Carey glasses without lenses and was quite talkative.
Anyhow, the beer was a disappointment. When poured, it was a clear, light golden colour with a small white head that quickly dissapated quickly after pouring. The beer smelled of untoasted grain and corn and was somewhat skunky. When first tasted, there was a slightly sweet flavor that quickly turned to a wet cardboard finish. I think this beer is imported to make immigrants feel at home or to serve in restaurants. Save your money on this dog... Woof!