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Food For Thought Kid's Beer
(Entered Jan. 22, 2008)
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It makes sense that beer for kids was invented in Japan. Japanese kids, boys especially need all the help they can get to prepare them for the hardcore drinking sessions they're expected to partake in as soon as they enter the workforce. Just like the best musicians and athletes, it's better to start them as early as possible. Can't decide between violin lessons or soccer school for your youngster? You might want to put beer guzzling on the list as well. Beer and business have a very close relationship here. After a hard day of looking at numbers, making phonecalls, etc, which may last until 10pm, the salaryman is thinking he'd better get home to sleep in order to be able to wake up at 5 the next morning. Think again! The night has just started and it's time to enter the beery world of public drunkeness, peeing on street plants and throwing up on trains. Don't want to go drinking until 2am with your boss? Forget about ever getting that promotion! Well that was you, but if you don't want your kids to head down the same dull road, best get a couple cases of kid's beer and start training 'em!
Course I'm not a kid, but let's find out what they might be getting mixed up in. Hmm, good colour, bubbly, it even has a decent head on it. Is this stuff really legal?

Kid's Beer

Called 'kodomo no nomimono' (meaning 'kid's drink', pretty original), maybe you've seen it before. Maybe you think it's been blogged into oblivion and already had it's day. Maybe, but when's the last time you've seen it on the shelves eh? Fads are a funny thing here in Japan, but kid's beer is in the same dimension as Krispy Kreme. Sales have been through the roof. I scoured Tokyo for 6 months looking for the smallest sign of it and only found it when I went up to Fukushima for New Year's where I managed to score the last bottle in a supermarket.
Part of the draw may be the old fashioned artwork on the bottle, kind of a Norman Rockwell equivalent. That's one strange looking kid though...

Kid's Beer

I was expecting something like juice with bubbles, but get this, it actually tastes like beer! Ok there is some fruitiness but it has some beer flavour in there as well. Not half bad actually. Kids are in good hands. By the time they reach twenty the transition to real beer will be that much smoother!

Mike Drinking Kid's Beer

The company came out with a Winter version, but the public wasn't having any of it. There were bottles stacked to the roof while the original version was down to one.

Kid's Beer

Then there's a champagne version. Well thought out right? Your kid needs to know that beer isn't the only kind of alcohol out there waiting for him. However it's nothing special. Tastes like grapejuice with bubbles. Pretty much bombed like the Winter version.

Kid's Champagne

Getting beer introduced to kids is obviously a big business as there are other cheap rip-off versions around. This one here had to tide me through those long months where original kid's beer was nowhere to be found.

Kid's Beer

Just take off that fake beer head, open one of those packages and sprinkle the contents into the (pre-cooled) plastic stein. Then add cold water and watch the head bubble up!

Kid's Beer

Pretty pathetic actually. Tastes like too-sweet lemonade so in essence you're trying to deceive your kids into thinking that beer tastes like some soft drink. They won't thank you later on in life when they take their first sip of real beer at the company welcome party and spit it out all over their boss.

Kid's Beer

So what's the next step? Well given the popularity of smoking in Japan I expect to see kid's cigaretts pretty soon. Those chocolate ones are a start, but maybe they should have some tobacco flavour in them to make them more educational?



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