Tag Archives: kirin

Old beer posters

5 Nov

Here are a couple of retro Kirin Beer posters that I saw yesterday at an 居酒屋 (Japanese izakaya restaurant).

taisho15

「大正15年」 (1926) キリンビール (Kirin Beer) poster.

showa11

「昭和10年」 (1935) キリンビール (Kirin Beer) poster.

Compare those with a more modern Japanese beer poster:

Tokyo Marathon and spring beer

26 Feb

The 2012 Tokyo Marathon was held today.

Twenty-nine year old Michael Kipyego of Kenya, Africa came in first place with a time of 2 hrs 07.37 seconds.
藤原新 (Arata Fujiwara) came in second just a few hundredths of a seconds later.

Arata Fujiwara of Japan and Michael Kipyego of Kenya show their silver and gold medals, respectively.

I don’t enjoy running…or even jogging, for that matter. So I can’t imagine running a 42 kilometer (26.22 miles) marathon!

Do you like to run or jog? Have you ever run a marathon? The Tokyo Marathon?

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Now that it’s getting closer to the end of winter and 花見 (“Cherry Blossom Viewing”) season will be here before long, many Japanese brewers have begun selling beers in cans decorated with 桜 (Cherry Blossoms).

Autumn is coming

9 Sep

The weather is still hot and humid in Tokyo now, but some signs of Autumn (秋 (Aki) in Japanese) can be seen now that it’s September.

The leaves haven’t begun to change color yet. That’s called 紅葉 (Kouyou) in Japanese and it does happen in late October or so and it’s very beautiful…especially to someone like me who came to Japan from Florida where the leaves on trees are green all year round.

The signs of Autumn that can be see every year in Japan at this time of year are some foods and drinks that can be purchased now.

All of the major domestic beer brewers in Japan offer special seasonal brews at the turn of each of the seasons. Right now, they’re all offering their various Autumn beers.
I currently have in my house a case of Suntory 「秋楽」 (“Aki-raku“) beer.

Suntory "Aki-raku" autumn brew with 6% alcohol!

This beer’s name translates to “Comfortable Autumn”.
Kirin Beer offers a beer in a similar can called 「秋味」 (“Aki-aji“), which means “The Flavor of Autumn”.

Another sign that autumn is near is when McDonalds in Japan offers their special, popular 「月見バーガー」 (“Tsukimi Burger“).
This burger is only available for a limited-time each year in autumn.  And it’s currently on the menu again.

The "Tsukimi Burger" is currently available at McDonalds Japan

The Tsukimi Burger has an egg on it because the egg looks like a full-moon in the sky.
You may wonder what an egg resembling the moon has to do with anything…

But you’d need to understand that for centuries, 月見 (tsukimi)…which means “moon watching”…has been a popular autumn past time in Japan.
月見, autumn moon-gazing parties, are popular and McDonalds capitalized on that and offered a temporary burger for the occasion every year.

Another recent sign that autumn is approaching in Japan is the increasing number of stores that put up Halloween decorations.
When I came to Japan in 1990, Halloween was unheard of here…but, recently, it’s become much more well-known. But it’s still not really celebrated. Going “Trick ‘R Treating” around the neighborhood isn’t done here, and private homes aren’t decorated. But many stores capitalize on the western holiday and put up Halloween decorations in an attempt to draw customers.

Are there unique customs in your country in the transition between seasons?

Winter beer

19 Oct

I just got a case of Kirin Beer’s latest beer*.
(*Actually, it’s a 発泡酒 (Happoshu) which is a low-malt beer. These are popular because they avoid the high beer tax in Japan and therefore are cheaper. They taste quite the same as “regular” beer, so I like them.)

This new beer is called 「冬麒麟」 (“Winter Kirin“).

It tastes very good. It has a “mild taste” just as it says in the ad.
This is a temporary beer offered by Kirin Beer for this winter season, so if you’re in Japan, I recommend trying a can or two.

(The Kirin Beer Company is named after a mythological dragon-like creature called 「麒麟」 (Kirin)…not a “giraffe” which is also called “kirin” in Japanese but written 「キリン」.)

Sake

16 Jul

Many people outside of Japan call Japanese rice wine “Sake”…often mispronouncing the word as “sah-key“.

But actually 「酒」 (Sake) is pronounced as “sah-keh“, or more politely 「お酒」 (O-sake) and it’s the Japanese word for alcohol in general.

“Japanese rice wine” is called 「日本酒」 (“Nihon-shu”), literally “Japanese alcohol”.

日本酒

There are other Japanese traditional alcoholic drinks that aren’t as famous outside of Japan.

Do you know 「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu)?

焼酎

「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu) looks similar to 「日本酒」 (“Japanese rice wine”), but it has more alcohol per volume and a “harder” taste.
It’s usually brewed from potato.

Because of the high alcohol content and hard taste of 「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu), people usually mix it with water or fruit juice.

When it’s mixed with fruit juice, the drink is called 「酎ハイ」 (“Chuu-Hi“). The name comes from “Shou-chuu” + “High-ball” mixed drink.

Kirin Lemon Chu-Hi (6% alc) and Kirin Lemon Chu-Hi "Strong" (8% alc.)

Have you ever tried any of these drinks?

300,000 hits and 1000 beer

17 Mar

I started this blog almost exactly two years ago.
It didn’t get many visitors at first…but the number has steadily climbed.

After eighteen months, my blog got 100,000 hits.

It was only four months from that point to reach 200,000 hits.

But currently this blog gets an average of over 1,500 hits a day. It took only two months to get another hundred-thousand hits. My blog reached 300,000 hits today.

So, thank you to everyone that reads my blog posts, especially those that comment.
Please continue…it’s the feedback that make blogging enjoyable.

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Kirin Beer released 「キリン・サウザン」 (“Kirin 1000 (thousand))“) beer yesterday.

Ad for "Kirin 1000" beer.

Kirin 1000 beer is actually a 「発泡酒」 (low-malt beer) which are much cheaper than “real” beer because there’s no beer tax added to their price.
Some people don’t like 「発泡酒」 (low-malt beer). I don’t know why…they taste good to me. Any type of cold beer (except “lite”, “diet” or “non-alcohol” beers) are good to me. 😉

Kirin 1000 got it’s name because it’s made with “hard water” container 1000 mg of magnesium per liter of water.

I haven’t tried this beer yet. I just bought a case of Suntory 「金麦」 (“Kinmugi”) beer (in the special “spring season” cans decorated with sakura).

Ad for Suntory 「金麦」 beer 2010 spring edition with sakura design.

This beer doesn’t taste any different than it always has…the cans just have a sakura design added to them.
(It’s a good beer at a good price either way).

Anyways, once my case of Suntory is gone, maybe I’ll choose Kirin 1000 next.

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.