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December 30 2010

Top 5 Japanese Happoshus

Ok, this is my top 5 Japanese happoshus. Happoshu in Japan is a low-malt beer, kind of like a fake beer to get round the Japanese tax laws that increase as the amount of malt in a “beer” increase.
To find out more about this quirk in Japanese alcohol taxes have a look at my previous posts : What is Happoshu? and Daisan to Face a Tax Hike?.
As you’ll see I’m not actually a big fan of Happoshu’s. The phrase “not bad” and “nothing special” crop up a lot in the reviews. Still, they’re cheap, so good for people on a budget I guess.

Out of the many Happoshus I’ve tried, here is my Top 5:

at No. 5
Bergen Brau

Bergen Brau

This is actually from Korea but is sold in a large Japanese supermarket chain, and may be just for the Japanese market. Overall nothing special but it’s very cheap.
Full Review: Bergen Brau
at No. 4
Shiro Kirin

Shiro Kirin

A seasonal happoshu from Kirin, this comes out during the Winter and has a very nice Christmassy feel can design. A light lager feel, and overall, not bad.
Full Review : Shiro Kirin (White Kirin)
at No. 3
Hokkaido Namashibori

Hokkaido Namashibori

“A drink that quenches your thirst and satisfies your soul”.
Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s not bad.
Full Review: Hokkaido Namashibori
at No. 2
Goya Dry

Goya Dry

This bizarre little Happoshu is from Helios Brewery in Okinawa and is made from Goya, which is a very bitter fruit, often called a “bitter melon” in English.
I really don’t like to eat Goya, but it makes a surprising good happoshu.
Full Review: Goya Dry

and at No. 1
Magnum Dry Golden Dry

Magnum Dry

Looking back over this review, although it got the highest score out of the happoshu’s with 86, you’ve got to wonder about the competition when the review ends with “Tastes light and dry, but overall pretty bland.”
Full Review: Magnum Dry Golden Dry

So these are my top 5 Japanese happoshus (so far).
They seem to bring new ones out every couple of months, so I’ll keep on trying them, see if they get any better.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Wine Beer Whiskey Sake Others Wine Basics Blog « Top 5 Japanese Happoshus January 1 […]

    Pingback by Top 5 Japanese Daisans (Third-category beer) | Wine, Beer, Sake, Whiskey Blog at MoIppai — January 1, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

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