Free Beer? Kirin Free is All Fizz, No Buzz

Free beer? It's more likely than you think... if you're in Japan, at least. That's because Kirin has introduced Free, a de-alcoholized brew with all of the fizz but none of the buzz.     

OK I admit it, titling this post "Free Beer" was a cheap & cheesy way to grab your attention. If you're reading this, however, it worked so I'm not repentant.

And, Kirin's new beer IS free... well, "Free" to be exact. That's what the label sez and according to the ad copy, "The alcohol-free beertaste beverage" has a "Refreshing and rich taste for your free life!" 

Not only is Kirin Free alcohol-free thanks to the Original Yeast-Free Process used to brew it, the alcohol content is stated to be 0.00%... which may not be lower than 0% but it sure looks impressive. 

You might be wondering why anyone would drink beer without the hope of getting a buzz; well face it, sometimes you want a beer but DON'T want the buzz:


  • Designated drivers feel more comfortable when quaffing near-beer.
  • Sushi goes much better with beer than, say, Mountain Dew.
  • After a round of golf or some other remotely located sports activity, you might want to sip a cold frosty one before slipping behind the wheel.

When it comes down to it, though, taste is what's going to make or break Kirin Free in the marketplace since the only buzz it generates comes from its name.

Early reports are not promising - one beer-loving Kentuckian who tried Kirin Free didn't pull any punches: "This stuff tastes horrible... like chemicals. This is not beer, it is a noxious beer-flavored soda water. This stuff takes pure water, ruins it, then sells it for 140 yen a can."

Hmm, not exactly a glowing review and to top it off, we learn that Kirin Free's alcohol-free beertaste will cost you 140 yen (about $1.45) per, umm, pop. (via Japan Marketing News and Good Beer and Country Boys)