If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant or ever purchased beer considering only the size and shape of the container, then you have most likely seen or heard of Sapporo Original Draft Beer. It’s the so-called premium lager in the 21.4 ounce silver can that is shaped like the perfect woman (small bottom-big top). If Coors Light is the silver bullet then this can could be called the silver H-bomb.
I should clearly state now that I like Sapporo but I don’t love it. It’s okay as far as lagers go but it ain’t great. It is probably the best beer offered in Japanese restaurants. However, it is still no competition for true premium lagers like Heineken. Although it is better and stronger tasting than most mass produced American lagers (i.e. Budweiser and all of its cousins). It reminds me of that other famous big can of lager from a island nation also tucked away in the South Pacific. I’m talking Foster’s. Perhaps Sapporo is the Foster’s of the 00’s. Like Foster’s, it’s a fairly unremarkable lager made special only by the size of its container- proving once again that size matters.
One thing that makes Sapporo different is that it claims to be a draft beer available in can. Okay, so that may not seem too different since Bud Draft, Miller Genuine Draft and my beloved Duff Draft have all claimed to capture the true taste of the keg- which is aluminum, I guess. If so, then Sapporo has captured that true aluminum taste but not to the extent that it becomes nasty. Despite this, I truly recommend it as your best choice in Japanese beers. It is the Lexus in a sea of Toyotas- which is not really saying much when your only other choice may be Kirin, which I believe is Japanese for “skunk.”
If you enjoy headaches caused by loud electronic guitar riffs and scream-out-loud tag lines, then check out the Sapporo website. It does not offer much info on beer, but it just so happened to feature a Steve Martin quote on the day I visited (“I believe that sex is the most natural and beautiful thing money can buy”). This earns a major thumbs up from a man who has convinced his wife to name his first son Steve Martin Carroll.