From the earliest days of the Back of the Ferry beer blog it was noted that we don’t write exclusively about Australian Craft Beer. As followers of our Untappd account will know, we’ll drink anything that is a beer. In a way that is Back of the Ferry service we provide, hence the hashtag #wedrinkitsoyoudonthaveto™.
The Orange Supermarket at Wentworth Point, near the Sydney Olympic Park ferry wharf has a great Asian beverage section. As a sinophile I got all nostalgic at the sight of green longnecks of Chinese lager. But two other cans caught my eye: Asahi Style Free and Kirin Bitters.
I checked the Asahi into Untappd to discover that it is classified as “Happoshu”. It turns out Happoshu is a peculiarly Japanese style that avoids tax. If your beer is less than 67% malt content – then it is cheaper. Drinking this version makes you realise how important malt is in a beer. This Asahi version is named Style Free – it is also Taste Free. My tip, if your Untappd search says you’ve come across a Happoshu “beer” and you haven’t opened the can – leave it that way.
#Wedrinkitsoyoudonthaveto™. You’re welcome.
The other oddity I picked up didn’t even make onto Untappd. I associated Kirin with beer – fair enough, but the Japanese have a bewildering range of ways to get you pissed and it turns out I was looking at a can of Chūhai. Chūhai is a variety of Shōchū – an alcoholic drink made from barley. Quite often citrus flavoured and high alcohol content – Kirin Bitters lacks the former but has the latter.
#Wedrinkitsoyoudonthaveto™. Enough said.
Nice pointer on happōshu, but, if you’re (a poor student) on a budget at a hot sticky Japanese summer bbq, it’s a bit like a mango Xxxx Gold or Great Northern — I.e. cheap, functional and hydrating 🙂
Chūhai, meanwhile, is basically a women’s drink (forgive the expression but just relaying cultural anthropology here). ‘Chū’ is from shōchū (or soju in Korea) and ‘hai’ i think is from high-ball, so a kind of local version of a whisky soda made w shōchū.
Thanks Richard – I like the analogy. What went wrong with the translation to come up with “Style Free”?