THE ASAHI KARAKUCHI STORY

Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

With great power comes great re­spon­si­bil­ity. In the mid 1980s, the Asahi de­vel­op­ment team blazed ahead of the in­dus­try by con­duct­ing an un­prece­dented survey – on beer. The voices of more than 5,000 beer drinkers in Tokyo and Osaka were heard loud and clear. They wanted a beer that was less heavy, less bit­ter. They wanted a crisper and more re­fresh­ing brew. And so, Asahi de­liv­ered it.

After ruth­less ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, Asahi yeast strain No. 318 was cho­sen for its ef­fi­ciency in fer­men­ta­tion. It eats up sugar con­tent bet­ter than any other yeast strain and pro­duces the clear, crisp taste and the so­phis­ti­cated aroma that is so iconic in the brew that came to be called Karakuchi, mean­ing ‘dry’.

Pack­ag­ing was another de­fi­ance of the in­dus­try norm. Where la­bel de­signs were made for bot­tles, the Asahi Su­per Dry la­bel was de­signed for cans (the pre­dicted new di­rec­tion for beer pack­ag­ing at the time) – we can still ad­mire this sharp de­sign of black on sil­ver. On March 17, 1987, Asahi Su­per Dry was of­fi­cially un­veiled. As it turned out, de­mand rapidly out­grew sup­ply, and Asahi had to place an apol­ogy in the news­pa­pers for not pro­duc­ing Asahi Su­per Dry fast enough to meet de­mand. And the rest, shall we say, is his­tory.

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