The Best Japanese Beer: Yebisu beer

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Yebisu - Premium Japanese Beer

After trying many, many Japanese beers, my favourite is the Premium Yebisu All Malt Beer.

Being a premium Japanese beer, Yebisu beer does cost a little bit more than the others. A single 500ml can (pictured to the right) costs around 275 Yen from a supermarket (look for Meglia) or about 320 Yen from a convenience ?store (conbini). You can buy Yebisu in smaller 375ml cans also.

Yebisu is made by Sapporo Beer. The alcohol content is 5% and has 42 calories per 100ml.

The reason why I think Yebisu is the best Japanese beer, is because it actual has a really full malt taste. Other Japanese beers, even though they still have an alcohol content in the range of 4 – 5%, taste very light and watery.

Drinking in Japan is fairly unregulated, so go pick one up from a supermarket or conbini and crack one open right out on the street if you like! As a foreigner you will get away with it.

What is your favourite beer? Asahi Super Dry is decent, but I liken it to perhaps a Tooheys Extra Dry in Australia… the cheap stock standard.

Limited edition Kohaku Yebisu Premium Japanese beer (amber ale)

UPDATE: In the autumn (October) of 2011 in Japan I found this delicious limited edition Kohaku Yebisu Premium beer at a local booze store.

Limited edition Kohaku Yebisu Premium Japanese beer (amber ale)

Limited edition Kohaku Yebisu Premium Japanese beer (amber ale)

This is a limited edition amber brew. Kohaku in Japanese means amber. It had a small thick amber/white coloured head that didn’t hold for too long after pouring (but I’m not a fan of head on my beer so there wasn’t much to complain about).

Tastes really nice, very smooth which I’ve come to expect from Yebisu. It is very much a premium beer, 10 yen more than the Yebisu Premium at my local bottle shop.

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13 comments

  1. Japan Australia

    Yes, Yebisu is one of my favourite Japanese beers. As you said, it is a little more expensive than others, but worth it for the great premium taste. Other Japanese beers I enjoy are Asahi Super Dry and Sapporo Black Label. I also really enjoy the various seasonal beers in Japan.

  2. Dan

    Definitely one of my favourites too! It’s a shame we can’t get it here in Australia outside of restaurants.

    Don’t knock too hard on Super Dry though – to me it’s so much better than TEDs or Pure Blonde. In fact, when I was in Osaka once I stumbled across this Aussie pub and had a Pure Blonde – it tasted horrible after all of the Japanese beers I had been drinking.

    Besides, Super Dry was something in the mid-range, I thought. Did you try that Asahi Clear stuff (and similar made from 豆)? Horrible.

    • Cheers again for the comment mate. I’m not a fan of Pure Blonde in Aus but I do like TEDs. Yeah I tried the Asahi Clear, but that was before I knew what happoshu… it is foul and I will never drink a happoshu “beer-like-drink” again.

  3. Ken

    I liked Yebisu Beer the best but now the second.
    Current best is Premium Malts by Suntory. Try once.
    Before, only Yebisu was made from only barley and other Japanese beer is containing alcohol of corn starch or rice.
    At that era, an English man used to say, “Yebisu is good and only. Other Japanese beer make me feel headache later though I do not know why.” I explained above difference. Then, he seemed to have convinced himself.

    • Cheers for the comment Ken. Although I totally disagree that Premium Malts by Suntory is the best. It may be the most advertised, but it is also the most expensive. Premium Malts has a slightly plastic smell and carbonation is low. It tastes flat, not a good beer.

      But of course, beer taste is down to personal opinion!

      • Ken

        Beers for the reply JTM.
        I like the thickness of Yebisu but taste something impurities at the same time.
        On the other hand, Premium Malts is more genuine.
        I think it is using only top of the 1st squeezed soup from barley like Kirin Ichiban.
        Do you have a tongue for it?

        • Well I love Yebisu Premium (the gold can), it’s got a really full flavour. I don’t like the Premium Malts at all, it reminds me of this really over-rated Australian beer called Crown Lager. But both Premium Malts and Crown Lager are supposed to be great beers, perhaps I just don’t have a taste for that kind of premium beer.

          • Japan Australia

            I agree that Yebisu Premium is one of the best Japanese beers but I’m also fond of a few Crown Lagers now and then.

  4. Justin

    Ah yes Yebisu beer. Natsukashii. Used to drink the stuff on tap at Valley bar next door to my apartment across from the Aoyama Gakuin West Gate. Was a fun crowd of local designers & a great place to drink til 2am & then off to Mix. Yep Yebisu beer brings back fun memories @ 10 bucks a Midi/Pot as a few throw downs before the bottle keep of Scotch/Bourbon or the flavour of the day was broken out
    & the Ice was hand crafted into a baseball sized ball of almost perfection. I know it’s been taken over from Taniguchisan now but if you have a chance to go check it out. This is what Yebisu beer means to me & it sure is a great drop!

    • Cool thanks for the share Justin. So Aoyama Gakuin, that sounds like a university, I’m guessing in Tokyo? Valley bar sounds very cool I’ll check it out when I’m Tokyo at the end of the year.

  5. Harlan

    Love Japanese beers AND sake. Which beer goes best with takoyaki?? Impossible to find takoyaki in the U.S. (at least in my corner – western Florida) Kanpai!

    • Deano「ヂィノ」 Wormald

      All the mainstream beers go well with takoyaki! Asahi, Sapporo, Yebisu. If you can find a good Japanese restaurant in Florida, hopefully they make takoyaki.

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