Top Japanese Beers

18 Best Japanese Beer 2024 | Top Japanese Beer You Need To Try Today!

May 06, 2024Shopify API

Japanese beer is one of the most loved beverages in Japan. Here's a list of the best Japanese beers you should definitely try!

Embark on a flavorful journey through Japan's dynamic beer landscape with our guide to the best Japanese beers. From crisp lagers to bold ales, these brews exemplify Japan's dedication to quality and craftsmanship. Explore our curated list of the finest offerings that capture the spirit and innovation of Japan's esteemed breweries.

What is the best Japanese beer?

Japanese love their beer! At any nomikai or a drinking party, they start with beer first and then move on to hard liquor. The go-to brand for many Japanese locals is the Asahi super dry beer.

Japanese Beer Asahi Super Dry is the best Japanese beer. Brewed by the famous Asahi Breweries of Japan, it has an ABV of 5 percent. You can taste the refreshing taste of citrus and dry grass; it is this different taste that makes this beer stand out from the rest.

Sapporo Yebisu Premium Black - Best Japanese Beer

japanese beer brand

The first one in this list of best Japanese beer is Yebisu beer.

The premium Yebisu beer is one of the high-priced beers in Japan. This beer is produced by the famous Sapporo breweries of Japan. What sets this beer apart from the rest of the beers available is its rich taste and high quality.

Another of the best things about this beer is that it is made from 100 percent malt and a selection of high-quality hop. It is a premium lager-style beer with an ABV of 5 percent. Ah, this beer is my go-to for a quality time when I'm relaxing. The bitness of the beer is what I like the most in it that makes for a rich taste of the beer.

This premium beer is bubbly and is golden in color with a thick, white head. You can get this beer in both bottles and cans. The best way to serve this beer is in a larger glass. Sapporo beer's ABV is 5% but it's way stronger. It's definitely one of the best Japanese beers.

Key Features: 

  • Rice taste
  • 5% ABV
  • Golden colour 
  • Made with high-quality hops


  • Taste: 9/10
  • Quality of ingredients: 10/10
  • Appearance: 10/10

Check it out on Amazon Japan


Suntory The Premium Malt’s

sapporo beer abv

The next one this list of best Japanese beer is brewed by Suntory!

Produced by a well-known brewery called Suntory, this is another of the best Japanese beer. It is a premium lager-style beer that has a very pleasant floral aroma and a rich taste; these features make it very popular among people. It's the best Japanese beer for it's quality.

Suntory The Premium Malt's beer is brewed using traditional and high-quality brewing methods. I love Suntory beer and it's definitely my favourite because of it's amazing taste and aroma. This beer really gets me drunk because of it's high alcohol content so I drink moderately when I'm having Suntory.

This beer is available in bottles and the best way to serve it is in a lager glass. The beer is amber in color and has a hazy head. The beer is primarily sweet in taste with a slight hint of bitterness. It has a rich aroma of malts and has an ABV of 5.5 percent. This is one of the best beers to enjoy during Japanese drinking parties.

Key Features: 

  • Floral aroma
  • Tinge of sweetness with slight bitterness
  • Rich taste
  • 5.5% ABV
  • Premium lager-style beer


  • Taste: 9.5/10
  • Quality of ingredients: 9.5/10
  • Appearance: 9/10

Check it out on Amazon Japan

Asahi Super Dry

best japanese beer with sushi

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is the very popular Asahi super dry!

Asahi Super Dry has a rich history associated with it and is brewed by the famous Asahi Breweries of Japan. It is considered to be one of the most well-researched beers of Japan. It is one of the first forms of dry beer that was first sold in the year 1987.

The reason why this is considered to be the best beer in Japan is the fact that people can enjoy drinking this pleasant beer with less malt in it.

The beer is clear with a crisp taste that is loved by all; it has an ABV of 5 percent. I love this beer for it's color and how lovely it tastes when it's paired with sushi. I also really like the smell of Asahi Super Dry.

The color is bright golden and is very bubbly. You can taste the refreshing taste of citrus and dry grass; it is this different taste that makes this beer stand out from the rest. Asahi Super Dry is available in bottles and the best way to serve it is in dimpled mugs or shakers. Japanese beer Asahi is also one of the best Japanese beers to have with Sushi

Key Features: 

  • Citrus and dry grass
  • Dry beer
  • low malt content
  • 5% ABV


  • Taste: 9.5/10
  • Quality of ingredients: 9/10
  • Appearance: 10/10

Check it out on Amazon Japan

Kirin Ichiban Shibori

Best Japanese Beer With Sushi

Best japanese beer with sushi

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is Kirin!

This Japanese beer, Kirin, is one of the best-selling beers. It is not only loved in Japan but is enjoyed by people in different parts of the world. It is legally brewed in countries like Germany, the USA, the UK, and more.

It is a filtered pale lager-style beer with high-quality ingredients such as hops, barley malt, and spring water. It is loved by people for its bittersweet taste and its smooth finish.

It is clear golden in color with a thin white head. This is the perfect beer for parties and social gatherings with an ABV of 4.9 percent.

Key Features: 

  • Bittersweet taste profile 
  • Smooth finish
  • 4.9% ABV
  • Clear golden colour 


  • Taste: 9.5/10
  • Quality of ingredients: 9.5/10
  • Appearance: 9.5/10

Kirin Lager

Japanese beer Kirin

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is another variant of Kirin beer!

Tired after a long day at work? Are you left with extremely low energy levels? What you need on such days is this amazing Japanese beer Kirin Tanrei Green Label Beer. This is a pale-lager style beer that is extremely popular in Japan.

It is produced by Kirin brewery and claims to have a taste that helps bring back your lost energy after a tiring day.The beer is clear golden in color and forms a medium-thick head. You can make out the wonderful aroma of malts.

The best thing about the beer is the fruity taste with clear hints of malts, hops, and citrus. It is an ultra-light Japanese beer with an ABV of 4.5 percent. The best way to serve it is in a dimpled mug or a lager glass.

Check it out on Amazon Japan


Mugi to Hoppu Kuro

Sapporo yebisu beer

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is favorite amongst the locals in Japan - Mugi to Hoppu Kuro

This one is again one of the most popular beers of Japan, loved by people for its rich taste. It is produced by Sapporo breweries and is very interesting, just like its name.

The beer is brewed through a long-brewing process and it takes a long time to mature the beer. This process gives the beer a very rich taste. The beer is dark in color and it is believed that the color of the beer is almost black. It has a thin off-white head.

The main ingredients of the beer include hops and barley. The rich taste of the beer has hints of coffee and chocolate. The beer also has a bitter finish that appeals to the taste buds. The beer has an ABV of 5 percent and is one of the best Japanese beer to enjoy on a Japanese evening.

Hitachino Nest

Japanese beer sapporo

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is the Hitachino Nest

Brewed by Kiuchi Brewery in Japan and is brewed using traditional Belgian style brewing methods. The beer has ingredients such as nutmeg, orange juice, coriander, orange peel, larger malts, and wheat hops, along with others. With all the blend of these ingredients, you get a distinct aroma that tantalizes your taste buds.

The color of the beer is cloudy orange with a white head. The spicy taste of the beer has hints of orange, banana, and coriander.

The best way to serve this beer is in a tumbler or a Weizen. The beer has an ABV of 5.5 percent and gives a very refreshing taste.

Hideji Kuri Kuro

Japanese craft beer

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer id definitely not recommended for beginners!

Looking for a beer with high alcohol content? Hideji Kuri Kuro is for you. This beer is also known as Dark Chestnut Ale and is produced by Hideji Beer Brewery in Japan.

Hideji Kuri Kuro is dark red and brown in color with a thick tan head that dissipates after a while. Hideji Kuri Kuro is syrupy and nutty giving the beer a distinct flavor.

There are hints of a fruity taste with a strong taste of hazelnuts, marshmallow, cola, vanilla, and cocoa. With all these flavors bursting in your mouth, you are surely going to enjoy it.

The ABV of the beer is 9 percent and is your best bet if you are looking to get drunk in Japan.

Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout

Best Japanese Stout Beer

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is another variant of Hitachino Nest.

This Japanese stout beer is one of my personal favorites! This beer has a coffee-like flavor because of the espresso beans added to the process.

It's black in color with brown head. And you will also notice aromas of chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted bitterness. It has an ABV of 7%. You should definitely try this Japanese beer when you're in Japan!

Sapporo beer premium

Check it out Amazon Japan

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale IPA Beer

This one of the best-selling beers in Japan. The brewing process Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale IPA beer takes inspiration from original India Pale Ale that was brought to Japan in the 19th Century.

The maturing process takes place in cedar casks, just like how traditional Japanese sake is brewed. The ABV of the beer is 7.5 percent and is one of the top-selling Japanese craft beers!

Birra asahi super dry cl 33 vap

Check it out on Amazon Japan

Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale

This is one of the of best Japanese beer and you must definitely try it!

You can taste the sourness of the locally grown green sour plum that's infused in Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale, and also a kick of saltiness due to the Japanese sea salt added to the mix.

The saltiness and sourness of the beer is in perfect balance and it's definitely a joy to have this Japanese beer. The ABV content of the beer is 7%.

Top japanese craft beers

Check it out on Amazon Japan

Minoh Brewery’s W-IPA

The next one on this list of best Japanese beer is Minoh Brewery’s W-IPA. I absolutely love this brewery. 

Minoh Brewery is owned by Masaji  Oshita and his daughter Kaori. This father and daughter duo have gone through several hurdles to establish Minoh Brewery. But all that hardship paid off when Minoh Brewery won the award for specializing in all-grain brewing process! 

Minoh Brewery W-IPA is an American style IPA with 9%ABV. 

 6 Tips to Choose a Japanese Beer

  • Don’t go for higher-priced beers. Moderately priced beers are good in taste, have great alcohol content, and also are well-brewed. 
  • Don’t chase brands. Popular brands don’t guarantee good beer. Try local beers and common beers to get the taste of it. 
  • If a beer’s shelf life is more than 6 months, don’t go for it as it might have preservatives or additives to make it last longer. 
  • Check the alcohol content in your beer. Anything between 3-14% is fine. 
  • The foam of the beer should last for 5 mins and make sure you can find remains on your beer glass walls. If there’s no foam and no residue on the walls, the beer isn’t authentic or well-brewed.
  • Beer has a tinge of bitterness but if it lasts longer, your beer isn’t good. 
  • Read the label carefully to find out the ingredients to check whether there are no extra additives or if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients or not. 

Types of Japanese Beer

Japanese beer has a rich history and offers a variety of styles and flavors. Here are some of the different types of Japanese beers:

  • Lager: Lager is the most popular beer style in Japan. It is a light, crisp, and refreshing beer that is often characterized by its smoothness and clean taste. Japanese lagers are typically well-balanced and easy to drink, with a moderate level of hops.
  • Pilsner: Pilsner is a subcategory of lager and is known for its golden color and hoppy flavor. Japanese pilsners are often brewed with high-quality ingredients and have a more pronounced hop bitterness compared to regular lagers.
  • Pale Ale: Pale ales are characterized by their pale golden to amber color and a moderate to high hop flavor. Japanese pale ales typically have a balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, with fruity and floral hop aromas.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA): IPAs are known for their strong hop bitterness, hop aromas, and higher alcohol content. Japanese IPAs often showcase a wide range of hop flavors, from citrusy and tropical to piney and resinous. They can vary from moderately hoppy to intensely bitter and are popular among craft beer enthusiasts.
  • Stout: Stouts are dark beers with a roasted malt character and a full-bodied, rich taste. Japanese stouts can range from dry and smooth to sweet and creamy, with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and sometimes even hints of soy sauce or sake.
  • Witbier: Witbier, also known as Belgian white beer, is a style that is often brewed with wheat, spices (such as coriander and orange peel), and yeast that imparts a unique fruity and spicy flavor profile. Some Japanese breweries produce their own versions of this refreshing and citrusy beer.
  • Weizen: Weizen is a German-style wheat beer known for its cloudy appearance and distinctive banana and clove flavors, which are created by the specific yeast used in fermentation. Some Japanese breweries make their own interpretations of this traditional Bavarian style.
  • Happoshu: Happoshu is a low-malt beer-like beverage that contains less than 67% malt content. It was developed as an alternative to higher-taxed beer. Happoshu can have a lighter flavor and lower alcohol content compared to regular beer.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beer: Non-alcoholic beer options have gained popularity in recent years in Japan. These beers undergo a process to remove most of the alcohol content while retaining the beer's flavor. They provide an option for those who prefer the taste of beer without the alcohol.

It's important to note that the Japanese craft beer scene has been growing rapidly, with numerous breweries experimenting and producing unique styles and flavors. This has led to an even wider range of options available to beer enthusiasts in Japan.

Rise of the Japanese craft beer

In Japan, only the big alcohol brands were allowed to brew beer. But recently, Japan gave up this law which allowed smaller breweries to flourish in Japan. 

Today, Osaka and Tokyo have become the biggest centres for craft beer. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Sapporo and Kirin launched their lines of craft beer! rewing’.

Japanese Beer Drinking Etiquette

Japan has laid down some cultural beer drinking rules and if you’re drinking beer with a group in Japan, you simply gotta follow the rules. Basically, there are two simple rules. 

First is, you don’t pour your own drink. You wait for someone else to pour beer in your glass and you do the same too, especially when you’re drinking beer from a shared bottle. In Japan, pouring your own drink is considered bad luck and more importantly, bad manners!

The second rule is to wait for everybody to start drinking. And before you take your sip, raise your beer glass and toast ‘kanpai’ (pronounced as gahn-pie)

We know it can be quite a task to find a beer that appeals to your soul and satisfies your beer soul, so here's a list of best Japanese beers. For all of you beer lovers, we have brought you eight of the most amazing Japanese beer. Read on and get your beer mugs ready.


Which is better Sapporo vs Asahi?

Japanese beer Asahi super dry has a clean, crisp taste and is a smooth drink. Sapporo, on the other, is slightly darker when compared to Asahi and has a sweeter taste in general with a strong after-taste. While both beers are one of the best-selling beers in Japan, it ultimately depends on what you like. My personal favorite between the two is the Asahi super dry!

Is Kirin or Sapporo better?

Kirin has a well-balanced clear taste and is brewed only once. It's the best beer to have with sushi! And Sapporo, on the other hand, has a sweeter taste in general, with a strong after-taste. Both these beers are loved in Japan. And which one is better depends on your taste buds! But amongst the two, my favorite is Kirin beer!

Is Asahi a good beer?

Japanese beer Asahi super dry is one of the best-selling and most popular beers in Japan. It has a beautiful blonde color with a crisp, clean, smooth taste and ABV of 4.9%

We are all always looking out to explore new beers from all around the world. Here I've introduced you to some of the best Japanese beer you have to try! This list of the best brewed and the most popular beers of Japan is definitely worth every penny.

These beers are perfect to satiate all different kinds of taste buds. No matter what your type is, Japan has it brewed to perfection for you.

If you are planning to taste the best beers of Japan anytime soon, do not miss out on the ones on this list. However, if you like sticking to one, then the best thing to do would be to find the flavor that matches your taste buds.

With these best Japanese beers, get ready to have a new favorite. We are sure you will soon be recommending them at your next party.

Also Read:

  1. Best Japanese drip coffee

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