Bringing the izakaya draft beer experience home.

In the mood for a little liquid refreshment, we hit up our local convenience store to pick up a few cans of beer to enjoy after work. We opted for the always reliable Asahi Super Dry, but while the can looked familiar enough from the side, the top view was a very different story.

Unlike the many, many cans of Super Dry we’ve had up until now, these don’t have the customary tear-shaped tap to punch through and drink out of. The reason why can be found in the name of the new container, the Asahi Super Dry Nama Jockey Can, with “jockey” being the term Japan uses to mean “beer mug.” Yes, that’s right, the entire top of the can pulls off to create a wide, mug-like opening!

Asahi has a couple reasons for the innovative design. A wider opening allows you better experience the beer’s aroma, and also to more thoroughly enjoy a nice frothy head, something beer lovers in Japan have a deep appreciation for. And rather than taking tiny slurps through pinched lips, the Nama Jockey Can lets you savor luxuriously large sips.

The overall goal is to make your can of Super Dry feel more like a freshly poured draft beer at an izakaya pub (the nama in Nama Jockey Can is the Japanese word for “draft beer”). And we have to say, it really does deliver on that promise with the way the open-top design better transmits the sound and sensation of the foam, and the can even has a special lining to help it generate smaller, fizzier bubbles.

However, you might be thinking that tearing the top off of a metal container and then sticking it into your mouth is a quick way to slice up your lips, gums, and tongue. Fear not, though, because the new Asahi can is designed so that no sharp edges are left anywhere near the contact points.

So committed to proper head is Asahi that they even suggest an optimal serving temperature range, between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius (39-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for best results. Anything over 12 degrees isn’t recommended, because at that temperature you’ll have enough foam that it’s likely to spill out of the can.

After just a few sips. Our taste tester Masami was totally won over by this new design, and closing her eyes, she felt like she’d been magically whisked away from her living room to a chill local neighborhood bar.

The Asahi Super Dry Nama Jockey Can is on sale now at convenience stores, priced at 217 yen (US$2.10), and will be available in supermarkets from April 20.

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