Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Behold the insanity

Ah, fermentation - the process by which we have so many wonderful alcoholic beverages. For many of us, I think I am safe in assuming, the alcohol in these potent potables is often the ingredient that makes them more appealing than, say, a soft drink. I mean, sure, taste matters - don't get me wrong. Sometimes on a hot day or after eating something really salty, like an entire pallet of squid jerky or a bag of potato chips, a nice, cold beer just hits the spot - am I right?

Before I make my point, and there is one coming, first allow me to concede that I'm not exactly the exemplar of the beer drinker. Sure, I enjoy imbibing a few from time to time, but for me, especially here in Japan, it is more about having something alcoholic that can go down quickly and smoothly. Back home my friends made sure I was nursed at the humble bosoms of the likes of PBR, Coors, and Natty Light. Micro brews and high quality labels have never been my thing, for I am the anti-beer snob (Ben - my wallet salutes you). So it is with this background and in this spirit that I question the sanity of those who buy products such as this. No-alcohol beer? Why even bother? I suppose you may tell me it's about taste, but then I may tell you that you're full of it.

In case you don't care to read the article, Japan's Kirin Brewery just recently busted out what it claims to be the world's first really 100% non-alcoholic beer. And according to the article, it's selling fairly well, especially among truck drivers, pregnant women, hospital patients, and "beer lovers on long-distance golfing trips" (wtf?). Yeah, that's an important demographic right there - good capture.

But what did I expect from the country that sells little baby cans of beer?
Seriously, I think they're like 75 ml - that's roughly 2.5 oz. I guess they're pretty serious about their beer being accessible to everyone - even those women who get drunk after like two sips (over half the Japanese female population).

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