I recently watched a funny reality television show while I was flying on a business trip. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was that in Japan, beer is very popular.
By the way, I am usually not interested in television shows unless they are about blue-collar workers or prison. I don’t know why but those types of reality shows are very interesting to me. Locked up Abroad, Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, World’s Most Dangerous Prison, Alaska Fish Wars, Alaska State Troopers, Most Dangerous Catch, Ax Men, Swamp People, Mountain Men, and Ice Road Truckers are the types of shows that sucker me in. I really don’t get it. I’m a CPA who likes running and sports. So why am I obsessed with these reality shows?
But the one I watched recently while flying was called “Better Late than Never.” and it was pretty interesting. Another reality show for me to watch…
Which brings me to another strange obsession: the Japanese obsession with beer!
Japanese Love Beer: Who Knew?
I am not a big traveler so this show about some older celebrities living in Japan was interesting to me. It was actually pretty funny even though I couldn’t hear the commentary or dialogue. I didn’t want to pay for the headphones on the plane and figured they might have subtitles – but they didn’t. There were a lot of interesting things about Japan in the show, from the culture and lifestyle of those in the city to the beautiful snow-covered mountains of the north.
But aside from all that… there was also a segment in the show about how the Japanese love beer. I knew that the favorite drink of Americans was beer and I think everyone knows it is the favorite of Germans. But the Japanese? I guess I would have guessed that it was Sake.
Apparently about a third of Japanese drinkers prefer beer. That is a pretty big group. Compare that to about 43% of people who prefer beer in America.
I guess when the country has beer vending machines you know it is popular.
So the other interesting thing about beer in Japan is the non-alcoholic drink called “Kids Beer.” I’m not joking. This is a very popular product. I am not a big fan of that because I wouldn’t want my kids getting used to beer. I don’t really understand why anyone would want to buy this for their kids.
The idea seems to be to include kids in family celebrations but with their own drinks. Apparently it doesn’t taste like beer but rather like a grape soda so it wouldn’t cause kids to get a taste for beer.
The main point seems to be for the drink to look like beer so everyone feels included. I would liken this to Root Beer in the United States. You know kids are always joking about it being beer. The only difference is that it doesn’t have a frothy head like a typical beer and like the Kids Beer does in Japan.
Have any experiences with Japanese beer? Have you ever seen Kids beer?