An ironic commonality between two rival drinks.

In Japan, beer and sake have a bit of a contentious relationship. Since ancient times sake has been THE alcoholic drink in Japan. However, around the middle of the 20th century, other beverages from abroad gradually infiltrated the market and began unseating the reigning king of booze.

Among them, the biggest threat was beer, with its exotic appeal and appearances in western media that was also being increasingly consumed here at the time. Younger Japanese people found themselves attracted to this new alternative and began shunning the stodgy image of drinking sake from square wooden boxes.

▼ These boxes are known as “masu

To combat this, Hyogo-based brewery Ozeki developed a new way to drink sake in 1963 and called it One Cup. In addition to the English name, this sake was sold in glass jars to distance itself from the boxes of people’s parents, and to facilitate drinking outside of the typical stand-up bars where such boxes were served.

It took a while for One Cup to get off the ground, but it found success in the 70s, partly thanks to the addition of a plastic lid. Previously, the jars had a metal lid that was lined with a Styrofoam seal, but that wasn’t very effective and lead to leakage. The plastic caps were far superior and widely enjoyed by traveling business people who no longer had to worry about spilling on bumpy train rides.

Knowing all this, it’s a little surprising to learn that these lids that helped sake in the fight for survival against beer… can also be used to help your beer survive amazingly well.

It’s a trick that has been known for some time now but recently got widespread attention when writer Nao Suzuki tweeted about it. He said he learned the trick from the bassist in his band Chimidoro.

It would seem that by some strange coincidence, One Cup Ozeki lids fit perfectly over the top of beer cans too. In exactly the same way, they can prevent your beer from spilling while enjoyed on the go.

To verify this I picked up a One Cup and a beer. I chose a tall boy of Asahi Super Dry since these lids would seem more useful for the longer haul of a large-sized can.

I also choose a One Cup Ozeki Jumbo because it was exactly the same price as a regular One Cup, and I’m all about cost performance. The lid sizes were exactly the same anyway, so these results will undoubtedly work with a regular One Cup too.

▼ Is that even a choice?

This turned out to be one of the easier assignments I’ve gotten as it simply involved placing the One Cup lid over the rim of the beer can… and voila!

It wasn’t just a perfect fit, the lid fit even better on the beer can than it did on the One Cup! There’s no question that a knocked over beer would be perfectly safe, and it was so tight that I imagine it could even help preserve the carbonation fairly well.

It worked so well that I wondered if the same magic would apply to other cans as well. I also picked up a tall boy of Coca-Cola for 100 yen (US$0.90), or about a third of the price of an Olympic Coca-Cola.

▼ However, disaster struck…

Much to my surprise the lid didn’t even come close to fitting as the Coke rim was too wide for it. At a glance both cans seemed about the same, but it seems they were a little different after all.

▼ Huh. They actually still look the same to me, but the lid doesn’t lie.

Suzuki too ran into failure when trying the lid on a canned Highball, but said that it seemed to work on most beers. This was confirmed by the website J-Town Net who could fit the lid on cans of Ebisu, Kirin, and Suntory beer as well.

While it’s not universal, this little trick is useful enough to keep those little lids handy while traveling or camping. It’s also a good excuse to pick up a One Cup Ozeki, which is often overlooked as the good quality sake it is now that fans of it are going back to the charm of wooden boxes and traditional Japanese brand names.

Source: Twitter/@chimidoro, J-Town Net, J-Net 21
Images: ©SoraNews24
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