Beer producers double down on canned brews

Japan’s social media has been abuzz recently over Asahi Breweries’ new canned offering that features a removable top, allowing them to be chugged down like an ice-cold mug of draft beer, known as nama in Japanese. Beer makers suffering from a plunge in consumption at restaurants and bars during the pandemic are zeroing in on canned beer, backed by tax cuts for regular beer and a surge in household alcohol consumption. The situation is giving an edge to such products as Asahi’s new Super Drye.

The beer sold out within days of being released in convenience stores and then in supermarkets. Fans will have to wait until mid-June for more, said Asahi. “We want to enhance the home drinking experience by offering customers a product that reminds them of the joy of drinking a freshly poured nama beer with a creamy head,” said Kristin Chiu, spokesperson for Asahi Group Holdings. While the release of the product couldn’t have been better timed, it was actually four years in the making, she said.

The can’s design features an interior coating with fine protrusions that generate delicate bubbles and a smoother head, as well as a top that can be torn off entirely to emulate a pint glass. “We want to enhance the appeal of beer since the market has been shrinking for years,” Chiu said.

Shipments of beer by the nation’s four top beer makers has fallen for 16 straight years. The trend has been attributed to a graying, shrinking population and changing tastes.

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