Mr. Sato finds that it indeed does, under the right circumstances.

The changing of an era in Japan is potentially an event that only happens once or twice in a lifetime, so it’s a fairly exciting event. For most people, it’s a time to reflect on the previous period and hold new hope for the next, but for the business-minded it’s a marketing goldmine.

Products branded with “Reiwa” (the name of the new era) can’t help but spark intrigue among consumers by representing both rarity and elegance. Case in point is Reiwa Beer and a very curious SoraNews24 Japanese writer named Mr. Sato. Was this drink worthy of the name “Reiwa” and could it possibly capture the feeling of entering a new era in its taste?

There was only one way to find out, so Mr. Sato headed over to the Isetan department store in Shinjuku to buy a bottle of history.

Reiwa Beer was located in the sake section of the store which also showcased craft beers. It was brewed by Kohan No Mori Beer in Akita Prefecture and sold for 756 yen (US$6.80) per bottle. Despite the low-key location there were still a lot of people buying up the auspiciously named beer, and Mr. Sato was one of them.

The name was enough for Mr. Sato to buy one, but he was pleasantly surprised by the ingredient label too. In addition to hops and malt, it uses high-quality Akita Komachi brand rice.

Pouring it into a glass, our writer thought it looked paler than ordinary beer. Perhaps it was because there were more bubbles. 

Overall it seemed slightly lighter than amber in color.

By the way, this tasting took place on 2 May at about 1 p.m. which was the second day of the Reiwa era and technically a public holiday. Nevertheless, Mr. Sato still had to work.

After taking the first sip, he felt that it had a very crisp mouthfeel and a sharp, bitter flavor. However, underneath it all he thought he could detect the mellow sweetness of rice as well. It would probably make for an excellent beer to drink outdoors on a hot summer day.

It was very nice, but the big question was whether or not it tasted like Reiwa. Mr. Sato said, “The bold taste could be compared to the fanfare of ushering in a new era and the ‘beautiful harmony’ of hops and rice is true to the meaning of the name ‘Reiwa’ and uh….”

Mr. Sato trailed off for a moment and then came clean, telling us that he really just felt bummed that he had to work on a holiday and decided to cheer himself up by having a beer during working hours.

However, he added that drinking beer and getting paid for it was “a heck of a great way to kick off the Reiwa Era.”

Photos: SoraNews24
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