Call it a case of Sanrio Meets Sangria but Hello Kitty Beer is not only real, it'll get you real drunk in a real hurry. The officially licensed wobbly pop comes in a half-dozen different tropical fruit flavors, is rated at 2.3% alcohol by volume, and is only available in mainland China.
The entire concept of Hello Kitty Beer is anathema to serious beer snobs but the canned nectar isn't meant to be a serious beer. Instead, Taiwanese beer maker TTBC (Taiwan Tsing Beer Corp. Ltd.) has partnered with Hello Kitty creator Sanrio along with the Shanghai KT trading company as a way to get their foot in the door of China's massive beer consumption market.
It's not certain who the exact target demographic for Hello Kitty Beer is. Women might find the fruity flavors more appealing than traditional hoppy brews, for example, and Belgian fruit-infused beers such as Chimay and Duvel have already established a market niche.
There's also the fact that Taiwanese food and drinks are generally well-regarded in the PRC – mainland China's multitude of food and drink scandals help make ANY “foreign” consumables look good.
The 800lb gorilla in the room is, of course, the youth market and one wonders just how young you have to be to think Hello Kitty Beer is the bee's knees. Steady sales of Japan's notorious (though alcohol-free) Kidsbeer have shown that so-called beer has appeal to teens, tweens and pre-teens.
Actual beer flavored with fruit in cans embossed with Hello Kitty's likeness sounds like a recipe for being plastered. (via Kotaku, thanks to Myra for the tip!)