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Top 11 Japanese Beers to Try

 A bottle of Asahi Super Dry Beer closeup on a bed of ice. Asahi was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1889 as the Osaka Beer Company.

Japanese beers are a delightful combination of tradition and innovation. Known for their clean, crisp flavors and exceptional craftsmanship, these beers offer a refreshing alternative to the usual brews. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just someone who enjoys a cold one on a hot day, Japanese beers have something for everyone. From light and easy-drinking lagers to rich and flavorful ales, there’s a style to suit every palate. If you appreciate the art of brewing and love exploring new flavors, Japanese beers will definitely pique your interest.

Asahi

Asahi
source: asahisuperdry.com

Asahi is a super dry and crisp beer with the taste of Karakuchi or subtle spiciness. I appreciate this beer’s quick and clean finish, making it an excellent pallet cleanser alongside a meal. You can sip this beer without lingering taste, so it doesn’t disrupt the other flavors from the meal.


Sapporo

Sapporo
source: sapporobeer.com

One of the most well-known of all Japanese beers is Sapporo. Sapporo is a light beer with a smooth and slightly sweet taste. It’s the perfect beer to sip on while relaxing or enjoying a meal. The smooth flavor of Sapporo is perfect for any occasion and pairs nicely with most dishes, making it ideal for an international buffet gathering.


Kirin

Kirin
source: kirinichiban.com

Kirin Ichiban is a brand of Japanese beers that prides itself on paying close attention to the details, and that’s reflected in the unique taste of its brews. I appreciate their classic type of beer with a fresh, revitalizing taste and smooth finish. It’s ideal for any time of the day, but I particularly recommend it for warm afternoons.

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Echigo 

Echigo 
source: echigobeer.com

Echigo makes a light-bodied beer with a refreshingly sweet honey-toasty taste. They also make a 100% malt stout with a rich flavor that adds complexity to the original beer’s taste. I love how smooth and accessible all of their beer is.


Orion 

Orion 
source: orionbeer.co.jp

Orion is a craft draft beer from Okinawa known for its rich orange color and refreshing taste. It’s one of the best Japanese beers for beer drinkers who appreciate creamy foam, as Orion’s foam retention is notable. The foam also helps retain the lovely taste of the beer, making it ideal for slow sipping.


Suntory 

Suntory
source: suntory.com

Suntory is a multi-brewing and distilling company and a global leader in consumer packaged goods with a laundry list of well-known brands, including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. Their premium malt beer is one-of-a-kind, using 100% natural underground water for consistent, reliable quality and taste.


Kawaba

Kawaba
source: denenplaza.co.jp

Kawaba is an award-winning micro-brewery beer from Gunma, Japan, with a fresh, local taste. Kawaba is a small village in Gunma that the beer is named after, as the villagers brew this beer using German-imported ingredients combined with the local natural spring waters. What’s not to love?


Yebisu

Yebisu
source: sapporobeer.jp

The aforementioned Sapporo owns Yebisu but has an even more premium taste and feel than the original Sapporo. It’s an authentic malt beer with a toasty aroma, ideal for those who appreciate a robust and rich taste. The hops used are of the highest quality, creating an incredibly sophisticated flavor and aroma.


Baird 

Baird 
source: shop.bairdbeer.com

Baird is a small craft brewery from Numazu, Japan, focusing on creating quality beer with the best ingredients and environment-friendly brewing techniques. Their flagship beer is the Red Rose Amber Ale, a delightfully smooth and balanced beer with an incredibly unique taste. I love how Baird takes the time to create an exceptional beer that’s perfect for any occasion.

See also  Domestic Beers vs Imported

Ise Kadoya

Ise Kadoya
source: biyagura.jp

Ise Kadoya is a craft brewery from Mie Prefecture, Japan, focusing on creating a beer with the freshest ingredients. They make a Belgian-inspired white ale that genuinely rivals any Belgian beer in terms of taste, aroma, and finish. It’s a little sweet with a hint of citrus, making it easy to drink throughout the year, especially on warmer evenings.


Kiuchi

Kiuchi
source: hitachino.cc

Last but certainly not least is Kiuchi, a craft brewery from Ibaraki Prefecture. Kiuchi has a unique blend of domestic and imported hops to create their signature Hitachino Nest beer – another white ale beer. It has a refreshingly crisp taste and aroma of citrus, which is the perfect way to quench your thirst on a hot day.


Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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