Cheap beer-like drinks most often consumed alone at home


What do you usually drink? graph of japanese statisticsFirst there was happoshu, a most foul fizzy alcohol drink, then there was third sector beer brewed from non-traditional ingredients like corn, peas, and old socks. Now there is new genre fourth sector beers, which seem to be going back to being based on the traditional barley, but with lower sugar, carbohydrates, purine, and taste content. This new genre of brews were the subject of a survey from MyVoice.


Over the first five days of August 2009 13,517 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 15% were in their twenties, 34% in their thirties, 30% in their forties, and 21% aged fifty or older.

I recently had some Style Free, I think it was, a zero carbohydrates drink with just 35 or so calories a can, which was surprisingly pleasant, and without the heavy sugary aftertaste of many other canned beers. It seems to be a happoshu rather than a new genre beer, but let’s ignore that and continue with my description. The morning after was better as well, without an overnight festering of sugars in my mouth. I recommend you give them a try – they are cheap and with dozens of different brands, there’s lots of scope for finding one that suits your palate.

Oh, and a quick shout-out to Gaijin Tonic, where you might or might not find reviews of some of the fine products listed below.

Research results

Q1: Which of the following new genre beer-like drinks have you drunk this year? (Sample size=13,517, multiple answer)

Nodogoshi <Nama>32.5%
Kinmugi (Golden Barley)31.1%
Clear Asahi29.1%
Mugi (barley) and Hop22.5%
Jokki Nama18.4%
Draft One16.2%
Strong Seven12.2%
Asahi Off11.5%
Koku no Jikan8.8%
Sparkling Hop8.4%
The Straight6.3%
Super Blue5.8%
Reisei SAPPORO4.6%
Topvalu Mugi no Kaori (Smell of Barley)3.7%
THE BREW Nodogoshi Sukkiri1.5%
Southern Star0.9%
None of the above2.0%
Don’t drink new genre beers42.3%

Q2: What do you usually drink? (Sample size=13,517)

New genre beer21.0%
Premium beer2.6%
Don’t drink any kind of beer13.3%
Don’t drink alcohol20.7%

Q3: How often do you drink new genre beer? (Sample size=13,517)

Every day7.4%
Four to six days a week7.0%
Two or three days a week12.7%
One day a week9.6%
Two or three days a month7.5%
One day a month3.0%
Less than that8.4%
Don’t drink new genre beer44.5%

Q4: Where do you buy new genre beer? (Sample size=13,517, multiple answer)

Discount store (or beer supermarket)22.3%
Convenience store13.3%
Liquor shop7.3%
Drug store6.1%
Mail-order (catalogue, internet, etc)1.2%
Department store0.3%
Don’t buy new genre beer myself39.7%
No answer0.9%

Q5: With which family members do you drink the new genre beer you buy? (Sample size=beer buyers, multiple answer)

Grown-up children4.0%
No answer4.5%

Q6: What points are important when buying new genre beer? (Sample size=beer buyers, multiple answer)

Ease of drinking39.4%
Resembles beer25.8%
Favourite brand13.5%
Favourite maker12.4%
Television advertising image8.4%
Promotional campaign, discount price7.9%
Volume of can7.4%
Just because6.7%
In the habit of drinking it6.5%
High alcohol content5.6%
Is new product4.5%
Friend’s evaluation3.0%
Packaging design3.1%
In-store promotional material2.1%
Other media advertising image1.5%
Has free gift1.4%
No answer1.9%
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  1. Brian said,
    August 26, 2009 @ 02:03

    Umm, beer doesn’t have cholesterol, so I don’t know how you could make a low cholesterol beer. 糖質ゼロ means no sugar or no carbs, I’m pretty sure.

    • Ken Y-N said,
      August 26, 2009 @ 07:46

      Brian, ah, yes, my mistake! I was translating in a hurry and recalled the wrong word. Now fixed.

  2. August 26, 2009 @ 06:23

    For the best heart friendly alcohol choose wine although beer is high in Silica which can be good for connective tissue.
    Test tube, animal, and some population-based studies suggest that the flavonoids quercetin, resveratrol, and catechins (all found in high concentrations in red wine) may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. By acting as antioxidants, their nutrients appear to protect against the damage caused by LDL cholesterol. When choosing wines, generally go for the deepest red colour and a good tannic structure. A guide is as follows:

    • High: Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, and Chianti
    • Intermediate: Rioja, Pinot Noir
    • Low: Côtes du Rhône, Beaujolais, most rosé wines, whites

  3. umebossy said,
    August 26, 2009 @ 08:39

    Kinmugi is nice! Had some at the weekend and it went perfectly with curry. Is Style Free really only 35cals a can? The sugar free/diet stuff tends to have about 25-30calories per 100ml which brings a can in at around 100cals as opposed to 180 or so for regular. It’s sad that I know this.

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