"Imported" Kirin not actually from Japan


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At least it is actually BEER. Unlike most of the Wasabi people eat, which is horseradish and green food coloring


It says right there on the back of the bottle it’s brewed in Los Angeles or Williamsburg, VA, by A/B, and the word “imported” does not appear anywhere on it, so…

Here’s a link to the label in all its glory:


And really, to be honest, it’s a beer one would rather have brewed nearby than far away. It’s doesn’t keep well.


I’ve always found Kirin to be a run-of-the-mill lager that could be produced anywhere, so this doesn’t surprise me particularly. I just wonder how much culpability restaurants have. Every sushi place I’ve been to sells Kirin as an “import”, marked up accordingly. Do they share some of the blame or are they also victims for being told the beer they were buying for resale was imported?

Anyway I’ve always found that a nice IPA goes better with sushi, and have no problem paying a little more for it.

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since restaurants regularly label “George Killian’s Irish Red” as an import, i’m guessing that they just don’t give a shit. or maybe Ireland conquered Colorado at some point?


They don’t. And good luck with the fish!

You know, I’ve always been told that I should order Kirin over Sapporo, and I’ve always, like the sub-taster I am, ordered Sapporo instead. My only beef with them is when they stopped making oilcans with handles. Those were the best.

You also see Sam Adams listed as an “import.” That words does not mean what that word actually means when it comes to beer. Just means “more expensive.”


Looks like most of the major Japanese beers sold in the U.S. actually come from Canada…

produced at a Sapporo-owned brewery in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Suntory beer is not available. Orion Beer is also available, imported from Okinawa Prefecture.

I’ll be on the lookout now for Suntory or Orion.


Oooh! Oooh! You must be one of those grammar-nazi vocabulary elitists who thinks words should mean what they mean, rather than what illiterate or don’t-give-a-fuck people use them for! Why do you hate the evolution of language?


So still imported, then.

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Sapporo is produced at a Sapporo-owned brewery in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

I got no beef with that. Shipping a 99% water product in aluminum across the ocean is, after all, pretty stupid.

Suntory beer is not available.


Orion Beer is also available, imported from Okinawa Prefecture.

Interesting. I’ve seen it in a supermarket in Japantown, and in a Izakaya joint in Berkeley that seems to specialize in Okinawan liquor (Ippuku, strongly recommended), but I always assumed they were importing it independently for novelty value.

It…lends authenticity, I guess.

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do you really want something shipped over in a huge Tanker that may or may not have previously contained bleach?

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Ahh, the soba houses in Okinawa. I don’t recall what beer I was drinking then, it’s likely I was happy enough to have communicated enough to get the beer and food in the first place. In fact, when I was in the grocery store, I’d often do a Mystery Can by buying one of the chilled aluminum cans in what I thought was the beer section. Sometimes it was horrid green tea, other times a salty, brothy thing, and every now and again it was beer.
Occasionally I’ll buy a Kirin, mostly because I think the can itself could be used as a bludgeoning device, but the beer isn’t bad while it’s cold.

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Comment by ‘beerisgood’ from the original article:
The settlement does not require receipts for claims up to $15. Claims can be made on line at www.kirinbeersettlement.com starting next week.
Correction: claims up to $12.

Look out for Hitachino Next Beer, too.


I can get it at my local Whole Foods, most of the time.


It makes sense that A-B would brew Kirin, because it is a rice based lager, as is their “Budweiser” (30% rice). It’s hard to get a strong-flavored beer with rice.

Just about every Japanese restaurant I’ve ever visited didn’t offer anything other than their run-of-the-mill Japanese lagers or Heineken. And I’d take a Japanese lager over a Heineken any day. Which is strange, because I’ve eaten at some pretty nice sushi places and you’d expect that they’d understand the importance of pairing an excellent beer with excellent fish.

Even when I went to Japan, I didn’t find much in the way of “beer culture” though I didn’t really get a chance to explore that much. I think I did have a Baird beer there that was pretty good - I think they’re the local equivalent of Sam Adams. I also visited a place called Craftheads in Shibuya and they had some decent stuff on tap, but I don’t think the craft beer movement is very widespread in Japan at this point.

Exactly! Just like how the imported Chinese pajamas at WalMart are so much more costly than those from the tailor in town.

there’s the Kiuchi brewery which produces the Hitachino Nest brand of beers. they’re expensive and hard to find in the US, but i’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ones i’ve had. particularly, their “real ginger beer” is the only one i’ve ever tried that was good.

I remember some issues with Carlsberg ‘Export’ that was (and is, presumably) brewed in Britain.