The beverage giant recently released this canned brew in direct response to consumer surveys asking the Japanese public to name its most desired qualities in a beer…

Asahi, that massive Japanese beverage maker not featured in Lost in Translation, is best known for its Super Dry brand of beer. Coming in a distinctive silver can, the brand made Asahi a household name in both Japan and abroad, and can now be enjoyed in bars and restaurants all over the world.

Super Dry increasingly faces stiff competition, though, with a craft beer market that has boomed in recent years, and rivals Suntory and Kirin both grabbing a large market share with their flagship beers.


In a bid, it seems, to introduce one canned beer to rule them all, Asahi recently conducted a survey of Japanese consumers asking them what qualities they’d most like to see in a beer. The company’s new “The Dream” label is the result of that survey and purports to bring exactly what Japanese consumers are looking for in a beer — namely, a sharp body and a clean finish. This being an alcoholic beverage, we obviously jumped at the chance to give it a try.


Given the fancy packaging — complete with a ribbon pattern that almost makes the can look like it’s gift wrapped — we expected The Dream’s color and flavor to approach something resembling a craft beer, but, pouring the drink into a 3/4-pint glass, we noted the color was very much the light amber color common to Japan’s ubiquitous pale lagers. It looked enticing enough, though — in the way that all beer is enticing — so we proceeded to take a couple of furtive sips, followed by several big glugs to thoroughly taste test The Dream’s profile.


So, how did it taste? Well, unfortunately, in their pursuit of the perfect balance of a sharp body and clean finish, Asahi has wound up with a weird Frankenbeer that we found chemical-y and manufactured, and somewhat flat right out of the can. Asahi’s brewers apparently took their task a little too seriously, creating a beer that checks off the consumer panel boxes a little too on the nose. Yes, it’s sharp. Yes, it has a clean finish, but it’s all a little too clean, like you’re not so much drinking a beer, but carefully lab-crafted “beer-like molecules.”


That’s not to say The Dream is bad, per se. It’s perfectly satisfactory and also boasts 50% less sugar than other standard canned beers. It’s easily a step up from the happoshu near-beers so common in Japanese convenience stores, but it’s clearly not quite the perfect beer that Asahi was apparently dreaming of.

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