“Zero sugar beer confrontation” is in the second phase!
As health consciousness increases year by year, the presence of sugar-free beer is also increasing. Speaking of topics for 2022, the original zero-sugar beer Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar has undergone a major renewal from production in July. In addition, Suntory’s rival product, Suntory’s sugar-free beer “Perfect Suntory Beer,” has undergone a major redesign at the beginning of the year, and the taste has also evolved.
The big point is that there was a change in the composition of the refreshing Kirin Beer vs. the heavy Suntory. This is because the renewal of “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar” has improved the drinkability and made it more solid.
In this article, while touching on the transition of zero-sugar beer, I will once again compare the two companies’ zero-sugar beers in 2022 and report on the differences.
Progress and evolution of sugar-free beer
Kirin Beer is the pioneer of zero sugar beer. In October 2020, we launched Japan’s first sugar-free beer, Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar. About half a year after that, in April 2021, Suntory launched “Perfect Suntory Beer”, and the market showed further excitement.
It seems that both of them took five years to complete, but it was Suntory that evolved first. It has been renewed from the January 2022 sale, but what has had a greater impact than the taste is the renewal of the package. The logo also adopted a completely new design, and it appeared as if it were a new product.
As for the taste, we increased the amount of diamond malt, which is characterized by high quality and deep richness, by 1.3 times to further enhance the drinking response. Also, we can’t miss the release of “Perfect Suntory Beer Tatuzume” exclusively at restaurants from March of the same year.
On the other hand, “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar” has not changed much in the package, but the contents have been renewed to the extent that it can be said to be a full model change. First, the alcohol content increased 1.25 times from 4% to 5%.
In addition, we have refined the “sugar cut manufacturing method” and increased the amount of malt. In addition, by reviewing the hop composition, the beer’s response to the first sip has been improved, and the aftertaste is refreshing and clear.
Comparison between old and new [Suntory edition] Slightly richer barley aroma and umami
So how did the taste of each product actually evolve? First of all, from the basic information of “Perfect Suntory Beer”.
This uses the brewing technology and know-how cultivated in the “The Premium Malt’s” brand. While maximizing the malt flavor and drinkability, the starch that is the source of carbohydrates is decomposed with time and effort to achieve zero sugar and a strong alcohol content of 5.5%.
And as mentioned above, the renewal at the beginning of the year increased the amount of malt by 1.3 times. In addition, when checking the specifications on the side of the can, there was no change in the numerical value.
When I pour each into a glass and compare the color and foam, I think that both are almost the same. What about the taste? Yes, it’s true that the renewed version has a richer barley scent and umami.
Comparison of old and new [Kirin Beer Edition] Increased richness, aroma, and thickness
Next is “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Sugar Zero”.
This is characterized by combining the original “Ichiban Shibori method” with the new technology “sugar cut method”. While eliminating the unpleasant taste of “first squeezed wort” and confining the taste of clear malt, we cut sugar with newly developed fermentation technology.
As mentioned above, the content has been greatly revamped to improve the drinking response, but when comparing the specifications, the numbers have changed.
And when I poured it into a glass, I found that the color was darker and the bubbles were longer. And as for the taste that I’m curious about… Oh, this is quite different from the previous work! The old version has a sharp, refreshing feeling and a clean, light taste. The renewed version adds umami, richness and fragrance, and the alcohol content has been increased by 1%, giving it a thick and voluminous feel. On the other hand, I felt that the bitter feeling derived from hops was not much different from the old and new.
Refreshing and bitter is Kirin beer! The barley incense and the body are Suntory!
From here, check the difference between the main match “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Sugar Zero” and “Perfect Suntory Beer”. Comparing the specifications of both again, although the number of “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar” is increasing, “Perfect Suntory Beer” is still slightly higher.
Then what about the taste? When comparing and comparing each other and checking the difference, there is an impression that the taste of “ Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar ” has approached “ Perfect Suntory Beer ”. In terms of beer-likeness, Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Carb has a refreshing feel and a bitter hop taste. “Perfect Suntory Beer” has an excellent barley scent.
The umami and sharpness of the wort are almost equal. And the body is stronger than Suntory, which is 0.5% higher. Therefore, “Perfect Suntory Beer” may be more satisfying to drink. However, “Kirin Ichiban Shibori Zero Sugar” is also thick enough and has a refreshing aftertaste, so it may be easier to drink. It’s a really good match.
[Summary] Each has its own charm! Which one to choose depends on “preference”
When it comes to the taste of beer, there are people who like Kirin Ichiban Shibori, which is the pinnacle of beer, and people who like The Premium Malt’s, which has excellent aroma and foam. The same is true for zero-sugar beer, and there are differences in the direction of taste, so you will probably have different tastes.