Sunday, March 7, 2010

Your favorite "import"

A number of recent requests for Asian beers got me your favorite imported beer really imported? Is it really from where you think it's from? So I did some label research on the beers at the store.

  • Sapporo

    Brewed and bottled by Sapporo Brewing Company, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    (Sleeman Brewing & Malting is owned by Sapporo.)

  • Kirin Ichiban

    Brewed under the strict supervision of Kirin's brewmaster by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

    (Yes, Kirin's brewmaster undoubtedly spends every waking moment in Los Angeles rather than in Kirin's breweries in Japan.)

  • Kingfisher

    Brewed & bottled by Kingfisher Brewing Co., Saratoga Springs NY under the technical supervision of United Breweries Limited, Bangalore, India

    (Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. is owned by Mendocino Brewing Co. / Kingfisher Brewing Co.)

  • Smithwick's

    Brewed by Guinness & Co., Dublin, Ireland

    Guinness Draught

    Brewed in Ireland by Guinness & Co., St James's Gate, Dublin, Ireland

    (No surprises there, but compare them to the next two.)

  • Harp Lager

    Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada


  • Guinness Extra Stout

    Brewed and bottled by Guinness Brewing Company, Toronto, Canada

    (Labatt? Molson Coors?)

You get the idea. Is it right or wrong? I've never been a fan of breweries hiding behind fake names: Unibev, AC Golden, Plank Road, etc. If you're proud of your product, you'll put your own name on it. Then again, if a brewery has their beer brewed closer to where it will be consumed, the drinker gets fresher beer.

But in the USA, Sapporo and Kirin are as Japanese as I am.

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