This is not your father’s beer. It’s for your kids.
We were walking through the grocery store today when a stack of glass bottles caught my eye. It wasn’t because of the beer bottle shape and the frothy beer mugs on the label though. It was the text on the bottle: kodomo no nomimono or “children’s drink.”
With the growing popularity of non-alcholic beer in Japan during the last decade, a couple of beverage makers decided to get kids in on the action. The beer style marketing is no accident. Neither is the golden color of the beverage with it’s foamy white head—exactly like a freshly-draughted Asahi or Kirin that their parents might drink after a long day at work.
These kids will be in for a surprise when they try their first real beer in regards to flavor. The sparkling beverage tastes like a sweet apple juice, but the first two ingredients are sugar and guarana. The seeds from the guarana fruit contain twice as much caffeine as a coffee bean. All that caffeine and sugar should have them bouncing off the walls like a drunken college student.
When I was a kid, I remember getting candy cigarettes from the grocery store. Some were like eating sweet chalk. Others were packed with bubble gum and when you blew on one end, a cloud of sugar smoke would come out the other end.
If only we had fake beer too!