Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Summing Up: New Beers from the Japanese Major Brewing Companies in 2018 /日本の大手企業からの新しいビール 2018: 結語


Over the past four posts, I reviewed the majority of new beers brought out by the four major Japanese breweries. If you like, have a look at the posts for Asahi (HERE), Kirin, (HERE), Sapporo (HERE), and Suntory (HERE).

The four major Japanese brewers produced 56 different beers, down by 18 from 2017.
They made 18 different styles of beer, four fewer than the 22 styles produced the year before.

The most common style (18 / 33%) was, of course, pale lager, with Asahi producing eight, Kirin six, Suntory three, and Sapporo only one.

The second-most popular styles, at five each, were Imperial Pils/Strong Pale Lager, Oktoberfest/Märzen, and Pilsener.

Judging from RateBeer average rating scores and my own ratings (out of a possible top score of 5.0), admittedly a limited sample, for all 56 new beers, Sapporo and Suntory produced somewhat more interesting and tastier beers than did Asahi or Kirin, pretty much the same as last year.

Sapporo: 11 new beers
RateBeer Avg. 2.87    My Avg. 3.09

Suntory:  14 new beers
RateBeer Avg. 2.87     My Avg. 2.72

Asahi:  18 new beers
RateBeer Avg. 2.83    My Avg. 2.59

Kirin:  13 new beers
RateBeer Avg. 2.82    My Avg. 2.56

Kirin's Grand Kirin series is the probably still the best of the "crafty" brews being produced in Japan. However, Suntory’s Premium Malt’s line continues to be the best series of Premium Lager made in Japan (especially the three beers in the Master’s Dream series, which can be considered ultra-premium).

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