Taste Test: Japan’s Clear Beers

The clear drink fad currently happening in Japan isn’t stopping at soft drinks. Japan now has two clear beers: Suntory All-Free All-Time and Asahi’s Clear Craft. Bottoms up!

Suntory All-Free All-Time

As previously reported, this one was released on June 19. It’s 0% abv, zero calories, and comes in a plastic bottle to further try and not look like a beer.

On the nose it actually does smell quite like a beer, but that doesn’t last to the body. It’s very sharp and dry thanks to the high carbonation, so I could see this working quite well over Tokyo’s hot summer. Flavor-wise there’s no hops to be found here, instead it’s got a lemon/lime edge to it. If you like the taste of Sprite, it’s worth a try as it’s not nearly as sweet.

Asahi Clear Craft

Just today Asahi announced they’re releasing an experimental clear beer called “Clear Craft,” a 5% abv beer that’s also clear. This one is only available in draft form, and only at four of Asahi-owned-and-operated beer pubs throughout the country. It will be around until the end of August, and who knows when or if it will be available again.

Unlike Suntory’s offering, Asahi’s Clear Craft actually does contain alcohol, and it manages to taste like it too. There’s a lot of fruitiness going on, but calling it light would be an insult to actual light beer. Instead it’s like a toned-down Zima. After the first couple sips you’ll find yourself struggling to find any flavor at all. There’s no bitterness, let alone any real malt flavor to it.

Some quick googling shows Miller tried something similar in the early 90s in the US with “Miller Clear.” TAB Clear, Crystal Pepsi, and probably some other clear of course was as that was released around the same time.

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