A Guide to the Real Japanese Beers in A Sister’s All You Need


Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

I’m a beer drinker. Okay, no, that’s a lie. I’m a beer snob. And the fastest way to get my attention is to parade a bunch of beer in front me. Especially rare beer. Microbrewery beer. Ridiculously expensive 2000 yen a bottle beer. And if there’s one thing A Sister’s All You Need has, it’s a hell of a lot of beer. Who needs a sister when you have delicious beer? Not me. BiiruSae.

This is your nearly exhaustive list of all the good beers, bad beers, not-beers, and joke beers throughout the entire series. Here’s a bottle opener, flip over that glass now, son, because we’ve got a lot of drinks to beer, er, beers to drink in a very short period of time. We aren’t anime fans with a drinking problem ’round these parts, we’re drinking fans with an anime problem. Please anime responsibly, y’all. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #01: Sankt Gallen Kokuto Sweet Stout

Oh, yes, we’re starting out strong with the Kokuto Sweet Stout. While this beer is known for having a weird smell, the taste of the beer is great. It delivers on its promises of being sweet, with tones of chocolate and brandy playing over the more standard hops one associates with beer.

妹妹妹妹 out of 5妹 (younger sister kanji), because there’s no savoring the aroma. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #02: Sankt Gallen Golden Ale

Another fine offering from the Sankt Gallen Brewery. The Golden Ale is a Japanese take on a northern North American ale, and both smells like the great alpine outdoors and has just the right amount of pine resin notes over a light, crisp taste that makes you think of Colorado or central Canadian streams melting from winter snows. 

妹妹妹妹妹 out of 5妹, this is a crisp golden ale at its best. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #03: Orion Beer Orion Draft

This is an Okinawan take on an average pilsner. It’s… tolerable. Better than what you’d find at a fraternity party, but not as good as anything you’d want to pay for yourself. It also lacks the hipster cred of something like a Pabst Blue Ribbon. If you’re a pilsner fan, sure.

妹妹.5 out of 5妹, if you’ll drink a Bud gladly, you’ll think this is good. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #04: Orion Beer Southern Star

Okay, let’s take a bit of a diversion here and talk about Japanese beer taxes. See, there’s a tax on hops (yes, I know, I consider it blasphemy too), and so there’s a cheaper alternative beer which is a sort of… “hops liqueur” called happoshu. If you’re paying less than 250 yen for a can of “beer,” this is what you’re probably drinking. Southern Star is a decent example of the type, but the most decent of crap is still crap. This isn’t beer. Hard pass from me, but it’s more useful for those fraternity parties I mentioned earlier than Natty or Keystone.

妹 out of 5妹, drink enough of this, and you’ll get drunk. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #05: Orion Beer Mugishokunin

This is another happoshu. It’s mildly better than Southern Star but that’s like saying George Clooney’s Batman is mildly better than Ben Affleck’s Batman. Sure, you can make a case for it, but dear lord, why would you try?

妹.5 out of 5妹

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #06: A&W Root Beer

Oh, well played, A Sister’s All You Need. Well played. Root beer indeed. Please take your entire pile of slow clap gifs and just get out. I don’t want to see you back here until you bring me a real beer.

姉姉姉姉姉 (big sister kanji) out of 5妹, because great soda, but not a beer. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #07: Sankt Gallen Imperial Chocolate Stout

…Okay. Apology for the root beer debacle accepted. Now this is more like it. While not the best chocolate stout out there, this is another fine offering from Sankt Gallen (STRATEGIC BRAND PLACEMENT). This is dark, rich, chocolatey, with a bit of a roast coffee touch. Like other Sankt Gallen stouts, the taste is better than the smell. Closest taste comparison? Chocolate chip pancakes.

妹妹妹妹.5 out of 5妹, not the best beer on this list, but close enough. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #08: Sankt Gallen Pale Ale

A great example of the pale ale genre. This is especially true if you enjoy crispy, citrusy, overtly fruity beers. Think cascade. I’d still choose the Golden Ale over this, and this is a beer best consumed in summer, but a solid choice.

妹妹妹妹 out of 5妹, slice of orange in this one would not be out of place.

Beer #09: Sankt Gallen Sweet Vanilla Stout

Well, while this stout solves Sankt Gallen’s issue with weird or odd smells (the vanilla smell is superb), this one just doesn’t measure up to the other stout offerings on this list. Try it to be comprehensive, but it’s not going to end up in your regular rotation. 

妹妹妹 out of 5妹.

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #10: Sankt Gallen Shonan Gold Sweet Orange Ale

Not a bad ale, but there are so many good ales already on this list from Sankt Gallen that I hesitate to recommend this one if you’ve got access to the others. This is another overtly sweet, citrusy, fruity ale, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the Pale Ale, and isn’t much compared to the Golden Ale. If your choice is between this and something from Orion, Asahi, Kirin, etc, definitely do it. If you have access to other Sankt Gallen offerings, give this one a pass.

妹妹妹.5 out of 5妹, good but just not good enough.

Beer #11: Chiyogiku Daikinjou Kourin Red And White Plum Wine

Uhm. Not beer. This is a kind of plum wine, or umeshu, and not beer. I rarely drink umeshu. It’s usually way too sweet and syrupy. But point is this is not beer.

Unknown number of 梅 (plum kanji) out of 5妹.

Beer #12: Sankt Gallen Kansha (Appreciation) Beer (Black)

Kansha Beer Black is what Vanilla Sweet Stout wishes it could be. Not only is it an excellent stout with a frothy, creamy head and pitch black body, but it tastes as good as it looks. There are the usual coffee and chocolate flavors, and very malty. Here the vanilla is balanced in quite well. Take this one over the Vanilla Sweet Stout. 

妹妹妹妹.5 out of 5妹, better vanilla flavor than the vanilla labeled stout. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #13: Sankt Gallen Brown Porter 

Honestly, Sankt Gallen does a pretty good job with its porter. It’s no Newcastle, and it definitely won’t stand up to a lot of porters you’d find in the British isles, but from a Japanese brewery (Sankt Gallen is in Kanagawa, near Yokohama), it stands up well. It has a nice darkish brown opaque color, good tan head, and is easy to drink. If you’re a fan of coffee flavors in your beer, this one is for you. 

妹妹妹妹 out of 5妹.

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #14: Abashiri Beer Cherry/Peach Drop

This the kind of beer that many a beer dude would scoff loudly towards and turn up their noses. Okay, so sure, it’s not the best thing if you’re a BEER DRINKER MANLY MAN GRUNT, but it’s actually not anything new. Humans love them some alcohol and this means that we’ve been taking anything we can and turning it into wine, liquor, and, yes, beer. This idea that only ales and lagers, and especially light colored, crisp tasting American takes on the pilsner, with the occasional stout, are the only acceptable type of beer is nonsense. If you don’t like fruit in your beer, don’t drink a fruity beer. I, for one, will be sampling quite a few fruity beers over the holiday season.

妹妹妹.5 out of 5妹, because happy holidays to you, buddy. 

Image source: 『妹さえいればいい。』アニメ公式‏ ‏ on Twitter

Beer #15: Venture Whisky Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries 

Not a beer. It’s a whisky. I am completely unable to judge whiskey, but I think I’m supposed to say things like “SMOOTH!” and “PEATY” and “SMOKY” and “LOOK AT THAT BARREL LEACHED AMBER HUE.” Look, I am a beer snob, I’m not here to tell you about whisky. Go ask my friend Robert Romig about whisky. It’s sort of his thing. 

Imaginary number of 姉s out of 5妹, because not beer. 

Truly A Sister’s All You Need knows that it’s right to but some beer in your anime. Just don’t put any beer in your little sister, unless she agrees, and she’s over the age of majority in your jurisdiction. That’s 20 years old in Japan, people. 

A Sister’s All You Need is simulcast on Crunchyroll and dubbed on FUNimation.


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