Well the Japanese are well know for being innovative, and when it comes to beer they have pulled quiet a clever stunt. The Japanese breweries come up with a plan to avoid having to pass on the huge alcohol tax to their customers by producing a beer which isn’t beer. Here’s how, Japan taxes its beer drinkers on the amount of malt in a beer, if the drink contains 67% there is a huge tax, if its less than 25% there is a small tax, so that’s what the breweries did, produce a beer like product with little malt. What resulted is a beverage that tastes just like beer and a lot cheaper, many are low carb and marketed as healthier alternatives to real beer. For the serious beer drinker the flavor is not as full and usually a bit sweeter than the real thing, but they contain the usual 4- 5% alcohol content and are cheap. There have been dozens of new brands enter the market over the last few years and they have made big inroads into Japan’s ‘beer’ market.
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