Holiday Gift Guide

It’s trash day in my neighborhood and I snapped some photos with my cell phone on my way to work - reminded that Japan loves beer. And what’s funny is that for every household’s aluminum can bin, there’s usually only one or two brands in it. Beer brand loyalty is huge in Japan.

Like the Big Three of the U.S. auto-world, Japan has the Big Four of the beer-world: Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo. Drinkers identify with these four companies as they all have their own branded personalities (stereotypes).

Asahi: The White Collar Beer

Kirin: The Patriot’s Beer

Suntory: The Cheapo Beer

Sapporo: The Punk Beer



  • Yes, housewives and mothers love to drink beer here too, although most often less in quantity than their husbands. Actually, a sad fact is that a lot of lonely housewives waiting for their husbands to come home work often turn to alcoholism. It’s a problem that is not really addressed publicly in Japan (among many other things).

    yoko on

  • I like Asashi’s retro colors! Do housewives/mothers drink beer? I don’t know why but I can’t imagine that for some reason.

    Sonja on

  • One of my parents’ friends is so devoted to his brand of choice, Sapporo, that he’d demand it everywhere he went, even at a wedding for two Asahi employees (and you know how that’d NEVER fly here!). Word got to Sapporo somehow, and he was named an honorary ambassador of goodwill, or something to that effect! They even awarded him a plaque!

    emi on

  • The irony is that the production value of Japanese commercials are so high, yet the concepts behind them are mind-numbingly formulaic. It’s so frustrating!!!

    kayoko on

  • Hey Emi!

    Wow, yeah that is pretty daring. The Asahi newlyweds, must have known that their friend was a Sapporo freak before inviting him right? That is quite a story.

    yoko on

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