Tag Archives: アサヒビール

Winter beer

26 Oct

Beer brewers in Japan are always offering special beers. One of the most common is season beers for spring, autumn, Cherry Blossom season, and starting at this time of year…winter beer.

Around this time last year, I bought Kirin’s winter beer…and today, I bought a case of Asahi 「冬の贈り物」 (“Winter Gift”) beer.

(Actually a 発泡酒 (low-malt liquor)...but tastes like lager beer to me)

Do beer brewers in your country sell “seasonal beers”? Do brewers outside of Japan sell 発泡酒 (low-malt liquor) that is similar in taste and appearance to lager beer…but cheaper?
Have you ever tried a Japanese 発泡酒 (low-malt liquor)? What do you think of them?

エクストラコールド BAR

3 Jul

I wrote an earlier post about Sapporo Beer‘s new Ice Lager Beer for this summer.

(Click here to read it.)

Well, Asahi Beer has a new bar in Tokyo called the 「エクストラ・コールド BAR」 (“Extra Cold Bar“).

This bar is in Tokyo’s 銀座 (Ginza) area and will only be there until 2010 August 31.

In this bar, the beer is served extremely cold…between 0°C and -2°C.

Even the beer taps are freezing cold and covered in ice. Customers are welcome to pour their own beer from the icy taps if they want to.

If you’re in Tokyo before August 31 and you want to go to the “Asahi Extra Cold Bar”, it’s near JR 有楽町駅 (JR Yurakucho Station) or the 銀座一丁目駅 (Ginza 1-Chome Subway Station).

It’s hours of operation are:
Weekdays 6:00PM – 11:00PM
Saturdays 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sundays and (Japanese) holidays 11:30AM – 9:30PM
(Last order is a half-hour before closing).

Asahi Gold

11 Oct

Today we went to a neighborhood festival that we usually go to every year.

While we were there, I went to buy a beer…and I found a retro style can of beer by Asahi Beer, so I bought a can.

Asahi Gold 50 year anniversary re-issue

Asahi Gold 50 year anniversary re-issue

It’s a re-issue of their “Asahi Gold Beer” in a can that looks like it did when that beer was sold in Japan fifty years ago.

Asahi Beer is selling this beer for a limited time only in the special retro design cans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Asahi Gold beer and also the 120th anniversary of Asahi breweries itself.

asahi-gold01

The original Asahi Gold beer that went on sale in 1958 in Japan was sold in cans without any tab on the top of the cans! A can opener was needed to punch two holes in the top of the can to drink the beer!

1950's can of Asahi Gold Beer with no tab on top.

1950's can of Asahi Gold Beer with no tab on top.

This was also Asahi Beer‘s first beer sold in a can (rather than a glass bottle).

Of course, the cans of this beer being sold today have the easy-to-open tabs on top.

This is a good beer. I recommend buying some while they’re available.

I have a collection of unique beer bottles and cans…I’ve added this one to my collection!

麦搾り

18 Sep

Last Tuesday, Asahi Beer released a new beer (actually a 発泡酒 (Happoushu*)) called 「麦絞り」 (which translates to something like “Extract Of Wheat”).

* (発泡酒 (Happoushu) is similar to Malt Liquor. It looks like beer and tastes nearly identical to lager beer. Some people don’t like them…but, just as with regular beer, some taste better than others.
I think most of them taste exactly like beer.
The best thing about 発泡酒 (Happoushu) is that in Japan there is a high beer tax…but since 発泡酒 (Happoushu) isn’t technically a beer, there is no beer tax on them. So a 500ml can of 発泡酒 (Happoushu) is often cheaper than a 350ml can of beer!)

mugishibori

It says on the can 「アルコール分ちょっと高め」…which means “The alcohol is a little bit higher”.
And it’s listed as “between 5.5 – 6.5% alcohol”.

So, I bought this beer and drank it with dinner last night.
It was good. I recommend it.

To all the beers I’ve drunk before

4 Aug

I don’t claim to be a beer ソムリエ (sommelier), but I know what I like.

I’m gonna try and make a list here of as many of the different beers I’ve tried that I can remember. And I’m gonna try to rate them (with a rating scale of 1-3 stars (★★★). One star () being the lowest, and three (★★★) is the highest).

I also wrote the beer’s country of origin.

The star ratings are simply my personal opinion. Kirin Beer is my favorite. And I think any cold lager is good.

Just so you know where I’m coming from.

  • Kirin Lager () – Japan
  • Kirin Classic Lager () – Japan

  • Kirin Ichiban () – Japan
  • Kirin Strong Seven () – Japan

  • Kirin Tanrei () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanei Double () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanrei Green Label () – Japan
  • Kirin Nodogoshi () – Japan
  • Kirin Enjuku () – Japan
  • Kirin Koku-no-jikan () – Japan
  • Kirin Aki-aji () – Japan
  • Budweiser () – America
  • Bud Ice () – America
  • Bud Dry () – America
  • Heineken () – Netherlands
  • Guinness () – Ireland
  • Hitachino Nest Beer () – Japan
  • Asahi Super Dry () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Draft (red can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Aqua Blue (blue can) ( ) – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Gold (gold can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Cool Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Southern Star () – Japan
  • Suntory The Premium Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory MD Golden Dry () – Japan
  • Suntory The Straight () – Japan
  • Suntory Jyokki-nama () – Japan
  • Suntory Gold Brew () -Japan
  • Carlsberg () – Denmark
  • Beck’s () – Germany
  • Yebisu Premium () – Japan
  • Yebisu Premium Full Malt () – Japan
  • Sapporo Draft One () – Japan
  • Sapporo Nama Kuro Label () – Japan
  • Satan () – Belgium
  • Singha () – Thailand
  • San Miguel () – Philipines
  • Corona () – Mexico
  • Samuel Adams () – America
  • Miller Genuine Draft () - America
  • Kamakura Moon () – Japan
  • Coedo Ruri () – Japan

    coedo

    "Coedo Beer" from Kawagoe (Koedo), Saitama, Japan

I may have tried others that I’ve forgotten. This is all that I can remember off the top of my head.

As you can probably tell by my ratings, I love beer…and I’m not real picky. But I’ve tried Guinness Beer and I didn’t think much of it. やっぱり、I like lager beer.

What do you think of my list? Have you tried any of these beers? Are your impressions different from mine?  What’s your favorite beer? How often do you have a beer? I have a couple with dinner everyday.

Japanese beer

22 Feb

Do you like beer?
Have you ever tried Japanese beer?

I beer!

「麒麟ビール」 (Kirin Beer) is my favorite…but I’ll take any cold lager!

Kirin Tanrei Double

Kirin Tanrei Double

Japan has five major brewers:

  • Kirin Beer – This beer began in the late nineteenth-century in 横浜 (Yokohama, Japan). It’s named after a mythological creature called a 「麒麟」 (kirin) that looks like a dragon (it’s featured on the beer cans)…not named after a giraffe (which is 「キリン」 (kirin), also).
  • A mythological "kirin".

    A mythological "kirin".

    Many people don’t know that hidden in the creature on Kirin Beer cans is the word 「キリン」 (kirin):

    「キ・リ・ン」 (Ki-ri-n) written in the creature's mane.

    「キ・リ・ン」 (Ki-ri-n) written in the creature's mane.

    (I wrote another post that mentions Kirin Beer. Click here to see it.)

  • Asahi Beer -Started in 大阪 (Osaka, Japan).
  • asahibeer_logo1

    The Asahi Beer brewery is a Tokyo landmark.

    The Asahi Beer brewery is a Tokyo landmark.

    (I have pictures of old Asahi Beer posters on the end of another post. Click here to see it.)

  • Suntory Beer – Also started in 大阪 (Osaka, Japan).
    Suntory Beer got it’s name because the founder’s name was Mr. Torii…or Torii-san. So, he took the words Torii and san and reversed them into San-torii and changed the spelling to Suntory.
  • (Another famous Japanese company got their name in a similar manner. The Bridgestone company was founded by Mr. Ishibashi…which translates into Stone bridge, which he reversed to Bridgestone.)

    Suntory Beer

    Suntory Beer

  • Sapporo Beer – Started in 北海道札幌 (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan).
  • Sapporo Beer

    Sapporo Beer

    Sapporo Beer bought the Yebisu Beer brewery (which was from Tokyo), so they make that beer as well.

    Yebisu Beer (pronounced "Ebisu")

    Yebisu Beer (pronounced "Ebisu")

  • Orion Beer – From 沖縄 (Okinawa, Japan)
  • Orion Beer

    Orion Beer

Have you ever tried Japanese beer? Which ones have you tried? Did you like them?
What’s your favorite beer in the world?

As I said above, I like 「麒麟ビール」 (Kirin Beer) best…and probably オリオンビール (Orion Beer) as my next favorite.

Akihabara

6 Oct

Last year and this year, I have been on the PTA of my daughter’s school.

My wife was on the PTA every year since our kids were in 保育園 (Nursery School)…quite a few years.
So I decided it was my turn.

As most fathers do, I have to work full-time so all that is usually expected of the fathers on PTA is to help set up for the festivals and events the school might have, and clean up afterwards.
Occasionally, we have meetings and sometimes gatherings at an 居酒屋 (Japanese pub/restaurant).

But on Saturday, there was a meeting with dinner (刺身 (Sashimi)) and drinks for the PTA for all the schools in our vicinity. A couple of weeks ago the PTA president asked me to give a speech at this meeting.

I wrote a short speech (in 日本語 (Japanese), of course) and had been practicing it everyday.
I was so nervous on Saturday before I gave the speech…but I think I did a pretty good job. (But I hate speeches, and I hope I never have to do that again! :) )

+++
Yesterday was our town’s 運動会 (Sports Day event). My youngest daughter played the trombone in the event’s opening ceremony (as she did for her school’s 運動会 (Sports Day event) last week).
+++

After my daughter finished with the town 運動会 (Sports Day event), my three kids went to my in-laws’ house for dinner…so my wife and I went to 秋葉原 (Akihabara).

Have you ever heard of 秋葉原 (Akihabara)? Have you ever been there?

It has an interesting name. If you can read Japanese, you know 秋葉原 (Akihabara) translates to “Autumn leaves field“.
Also it technically should be read “Akibahara” (the b and h transposed)….that’s why the town has the nickname “Akiba” (it used to be that only dorks would call the town “Akiba”…but it’s become a common nickname).

Part of 秋葉原 (Akihabara) is called 「電気街 (“Electric Town“) because of all the electric and electronics stores in that area.
And that is what 秋葉原 (Akihabara) is famous for…being one of the biggest electronics shopping areas in the world.

It used to be that only オタク (fanatics; nerds) and those who needed to be there were found in 秋葉原 (Akihabara). All of the shops there, back then, were small and only the オタク (fanatics; nerds) really knew where the good deals were.

But two things changed 秋葉原 (Akihabara) a bit. One was a TV drama that was popular in Japan a few years ago in which the hero was an オタク (nerd) who hung out in 秋葉原 (Akihabara).
The other was the fairly recent opening of the “Yodobashi Camera” superstore near 秋葉原駅 (Akihabara Train Station).

Yodobashi Camera” is big, popular chain of electronics stores that are in many locations around Japan. When this store finally opened their 秋葉原 (Akihabara) branch (which is surprising that they didn’t have one there before), alot more non-オタク (fanatics; nerds) starting going to 秋葉原 (Akihabara).

We went to the “Yodobashi Camera” there to look at TVs. I bought our current Sony® TV years ago and it’s about ready to be replaced.

We didn’t buy a new TV, we just checked out what’s available and the prices.

Here’s something I saw that used to be a much more common sight in Japan:

There’s an old wives’ tale in Japan that says if you put plastic bottles of water around your property it will keep stray cats away. These bottles are called 猫よけ (Scare-cat).
Supposedly, the cats see their reflection in the water and think it’s another cat and run away.

Anyways, I saw those 猫よけ (Scare-cat) bottles and took a photo because it’s one of those only-in-Japan things.

Here’s a picture I took of 秋葉原 (Akihabara):

And a few videos:

Afterwards, we went to a small restaurant for dinner.

Many times in these types of restaurants in Japan, they’ll have a ticket vending machine at the front of the shop. You’re meant to buy the ticket for the food and beer (the drink menu at these places often consists of beer or water), and give the ticket to the cook behind the counter.

He’ll call you to pick up your order from the counter when it’s ready.

Here’s the ticket machine at the place where we ate:

This restaurant had old, retro Japanese “Asahi Beer” posters hanging on the wall (today’s beer ad posters usually have girls in bikinis).

This one is read top to bottom. It says 「アサヒビール」 (Asahi Beer):

This one also says 「アサヒビール」 (Asahi Beer)…but it’s written right to left. Writing this way isn’t as common in Japan as it used to be, so at first glance, I read 「ルービヒサア」 (Ruby Hisaa) (which doesn’t make any sense):

Yabusame

19 Apr

Today in 隅田公園 (Sumida-kouen) in Tokyo, there was a 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show.

I have been to 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) shows a few times before, including the one at Sumida-kouen…but it’s not too far from our house. So I decided to go to today’s show too.

Asahi Beer bldg

In 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery), the archers and the others who assist by setting up the targets, etc are dressed as Samurai because it was the Samurai who trained in horseback archery centuries ago.

After the archers parade past the audience, the targets are set up. There’s three posts spaced out along the horse running track and various targets are set up for the archers to try to hit with arrows while galloping down the the track on horseback at full speed.

The targets are usually pieces of plywood first, then plywood with packets of confetti inside (for visual effect when the target breaks), ceremic targets and various others.

It’s quite exciting!

Here are couple pictures I took of archers hitting the targets as they sped by:

I also took a short movie of an archer hitting a target. You can see the confetti fly when he breaks the target:

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