Buying Japanese Beer


In the UK

Still working on this one!  The beers from the major breweries - Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi - are apparently widely available in the UK, and you local supermarket may well stock one or two.  However, when you look closely at the label, you'll see that your 'Sapporo' has been produced under licence by Guiness, 'Kirin' by Charles Wells of Bedford and since Autumn 2005 your  'Asahi' comes from Shepherd Neame in Kent - prior to that it came from a Czech brewery!  If you've tried the originals in Japan, and wondered why the ones you get here don't taste the same, this is probably the reason - apart from the fact that anything you drink on holiday always tastes better in situ.  Once again a good place to start is Beers of Europe, a Kings Lynn-based company, who offer a good Internet service with reasonable shipping costs.  They have the big three brands but also have Kirin Ichiban and Orion, the beer of the Okinawan islands.  The country of origin of all the beers is shown as Japan, but I haven't been able to ascertain whether any locally-produced versions are included.



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