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List of Japanese Beers | 15 Popular Beers From Japan To Try!

list of japanese beers

Here’s a list of Japanese beers for you try in Japan! Check it out!

Beer has been made in Japan since the 19th century and today it is known for its fine quality beer. For a very long time, the Japanese beer industry was only synonymous with rice beer. 

But today, the entire scene has changed and the Japanese beer market has diversified and brought several different styles of beers. Today there are some major beers that are available worldwide. 

There are so many beers that you can try but here is a list of Japanese beers that I personally enjoy a lot.

List of Japanese BeersABVTasting Notes
Sapporo Premium4.9%Malt, Sweet, Bitter hops
YoHo Brewing Tokyo Black5%Chocolate, Smoke, Bitter hops
Asahi Super Dry5%Grains, Bitter hops, Clean
Kirin Light3.2%Malt, Sweet, Bitter hops
Echigo Koshihikari5%Malt, Floral hops, Lemon
Orion Premium Draft Beer5%Malt, Bread, Herbal hops
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale7%Malt, Bread, Berries
Kawaba Snow Weizen5%Wheat, Lemon, Banana
Yebisu10%Chocolate, Coffee, Bitter hops
Baeren Classic6%Toasted malt, biscuit, hay, mint, orange peel, white pepper, wet concrete, hojicha, and (faint) caramel
Sapporo Premium Black Beer5%Coffee and dark chocolate
Minoh Stout5.5%Malt, espresso, toffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and sour barley
Iwate Kura Oyster Stout7%milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans, honey, fresh flowers, thyme, and sea salt.
Wednesday Cat5%Malt, clove, honey, and pepper
Kyoto White Yuzu Ale5%coriander, white pepper, clove, honey, light toast, and yeast

Related: Best Japanese Whiskey Brands

List of Japanese Beers

Sapporo Premium

This is my all-time favorite beer produced by Sapporo, which is the oldest brewery in Japan. It is also extremely popular throughout the nation. The premium beer by the brand is an American-style lager beer. 

Sapporo premium is one of the top-selling agent beers in the US market. Chances are that if you ever tried a Japanese beer, this is probably the one. It starts off with a slightly sweet taste and gives you a super clean finish.

YoHo Brewing Tokyo Black

YoHo is one of the oldest breweries that is known for their popular craft brews. The brand was founded in 1996. The brand’s Tokyo Black is extremely popular and it shows the depth of what this brewery has to offer. 

I really love this beer. It has a taste exactly like that of a Porter’s. It is a dry beer and has a slight chocolate note and has a velvety texture. It is extremely easy to drink.

Asahi Super Dry

The brand claims that this beer is super dry and it really is. If you are looking for a drink to complement your food, this is the one. 

It really works wonderfully with every kind of food. It has a light and delicate flavor that does not compete with any of the food items that you are consuming. It can go really well with different flavors. I love drinking this beer with spicy food as well as pickled vegetables.

Kirin Light

The Kirin brand is one of the most popular brands in the Japanese beer market. In the recent past, the brand has faced a lot of backlash in the form of a lawsuit. Despite that, the brand has not lost its popularity. The Kirin light is one of the few widely available light beers. It has a sweet taste with a slightly bitter hint to it.

Echigo Koshihikari

This is a beer that has rice as its major ingredient. The beer is brewed using a variety of rice that is known as Koshihikari, which is short grain rice grown in a region that is known for its highest quality rice produced in Japan. 

The beer that comes out of it is a pale rice lager that has a crisp and clean finish. The brand uses a laborious German-style decoction mashing method to brew this year.

This method helps to squeeze out more flavor. The pale gold color along with the floral, citrusy, and herbal aromas really appeal to me. It has a soft palate with a mild sweet flavor.

Orion Premium Draft Beer

Orion is the fifth-largest brewery in Japan and it is really different from other breweries thanks to their beer that has a bit more punch. The beer has a deep flavor. The brewery ensures that the beer is carbonated naturally so that you get a nice and slight carbonic acid taste. The malt profile is also quite complex. It is quite light but extremely palatable.

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

I enjoy this beer a lot because it has a very light and refreshing taste. The slight fruity undertones also appeal to me a lot. I also enjoy it because it is an ale and it has been made using red rice. This is quite an adventurous bid done by the brand. 

When we talk of Japanese beer, we almost always think of rice, but this brand has diverted from the traditional norms and brought out something very adventurous and fun. The red rice used in this beer gives it a rose like color and a slightly fruity flavor.

Kawaba Snow Weizen

Kawaba Snow Weizen is an unfiltered wheat beer that is brewed in the traditional weizen. Your first sip will give you a bit of sweetness and it contains notes of banana and citrus. The beer is extremely soft and more subtle and unlike most others that you would put in the wheat beer category.

Yebisu

Yebisu is a very old beer brand in Japan. This is a pale lager that is proved according to the Bavarian purity law. This beer only contains barley, hops, water and yeast. This has slightly more bitterness and body as compared to Sapporo. 

The beer is not available outside of Japan. Here’s hoping that this delicious beer is soon made available worldwide.

Baeren Classic

This is the beer for all those who are not a huge fan of beer that lacks character. This beer is made in the Dortmunder style, which means that it is as smooth as German lager but with a little more character. This year has a very subtle herbal aroma and a crisp finish. 

You will also be able to taste a very subtle sweetness but that fades quickly. This is a delicious beer, however, the only thing that I would like to complain about is that it is not very easy to find.

Sapporo Premium Black Beer

Sapporo Black is extremely dark in color and has slight amber highlights. I love the aroma of this beer and I also love that the two of my favorite flavors dominate here: coffee and dark chocolate. You will also find notes of brown sugar, honey, and chestnut. 

The beer is slightly sweet with low carbonation; this makes sure that the beer has a pillowy and soft texture.

Minoh Stout

Minu Stout is a beer that is not available outside of Japan, but it is so good I had to mention it. This beer has won so many international beer competition awards and all for good reason too; the taste is absolutely delicious and addicting.

This beer is almost black in color with aromatic notes of roasted coffee, malt, almond, and sour grains. The aroma is balanced by a subtle hint of herbal hops. When you tasted it is quite clean, dry, and crisp.

The flavor is dominated by malt with slight hints of espresso, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and sour barley. If you are in Japan, you really should try out this beer.

Iwate Kura Oyster Stout

To make this beer, whole oysters are used from nearby Hirota bay. This helps to add umami and briny minerality to the stout. To give the beer an authentic flavor, English East Kent Golding hops are also used. This is a very dark beer with mild aromatic intensity.

You will get roasted and floral notes. When you take a sip, it will be quite creamy but it slowly starts becoming very lean and ends with sweetness. The bitterness is moderate.

Wednesday Cat

Wednesday Cat makes use of pale malt, wheat, coriander, and orange peels to give it a very fun and complex twist. You will get hints of clove, honey, and pepper as well. It is not quite easy to find this beer but it is worth a try.

If you are in Japan try and hunt it down because you absolutely have to taste it for its extremely great style and flavor.

Kyoto White Yuzu Ale

This beer has a floral aroma and delicious flavor. The flavor is almost classically Belgian with lots of coriander, white pepper, clove, Honey, light toast, and yeast. It does not have a sour finish. This beer is simply one of the best.

List of Japanese Beers: FAQs

What is the most popular beer in Japan?

Based on consumption, Asahi Super Dry is the most popular beer in Japan. This is a beer that goes really well with any kind of food items. I love complimenting this beer with my food items, whether it is something very spicy or pickled. The beer has a very delicate flavor that does not compete with the flavors of the food items you are consuming.

What are the best Japanese beers?

The best Japanese beers to try are: Asahi Super Dry, Kirin Light, Sapporo Premium, Orion Premium Draft Beer, YoHo Brewing Tokyo Black, Kawaba Snow Weizen

Are Japanese beers good?

Japanese beers are known throughout the world because of their extremely good quality and great taste. There are several reasons as to why Japanese beers have now started dominating the world beer market. The craft beers in Japan are completely unique with ingredients that are found locally. The Japanese really celebrate the use of local ingredients to make their beers. The Japanese breweries are also quite consistent and they always ensure that their beer is flawless.

Is Sapporo a Japanese beer?

Sapporo is the oldest brand of beer in Japan. The brand first came into existence in 1876. The brand was the birth child and idea of Japan’s first German-trained brewmaster. Today, Sapporo is one of the most sought-after beers not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world.

Why is beer expensive in Japan?

Beer is expensive in Japan because of the high tax that needs to be paid. The tax on beer in Japan is one of the highest in the world.

Ready for a delicious evening?

These were some of the best Japanese beers that you can try out. Some of these beers are available in the US market, whereas others are strictly available in Japan only. Whether you are outside or in Japan, I highly suggest that you give these a try to know what the Japanese beer market is all about.

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