Kirin Non-alcoholic beer
Japanese culture

Risk of drinking “Non-Alcoholic” Beer or Cocktails, what are they?

Non-Alcoholic Beverage in Japan.

With a very strict driving rule and to meet the demand, Japanese beverage manufacturers have been putting effort into making non-alcoholic beer or cocktails. The quality is getting better day by day, and now almost all the restaurants in Japan have prepared non-alcoholic beverages. These beverages have “zero” alcohol inside, so that it can be consumed even by children.

Now our Muslim readers who would like to avoid drinking alcoholic beverage may be excited to hear this. However, there is still a risk of drinking Non-alcoholic beverages. Let’s see what they are today.

Kirin is a famous beer brand.

History of Non-alcoholic beverage in Japan.

Japanese manufactures started producing Non-alcoholic beverage from 2003, because the driving rule became really strict in that year.

Back then, however, the “Non-alcoholic” meant the alcohol percentage below 1% according to Japanese law, so the products still contained some amount of alcohol. The beverage with a small amount of alcohol could not be consumed by pregnant ladies or anyone who drives a car, so the beverages did not get so much popularity.

Learning from this fact, Japanese beverage manufactures have made so many types of “0%” alcohol beverages recently. There is non-alcoholic beer, cocktails, Sake, Shochu or even wine.

Most of them are expected to be consumed as a substitute of Alcoholic beverage, so the taste still remains bitterness and fresh taste, which can be enjoyed along with the meals.

What are the differences between Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic cocktails?

Now some of you may wonder, what are the differences between Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic cocktails? Cocktails are usually made from sweet mixer, such as orange juice or fizzy drinks. If there is no alcohol used, then isn’t it just a glass of sweet drink?

Yes, there is a difference. As written in the above article, Non-Alcoholic beverages are expected to be consumed along with the meal. To match the taste of the meal, Non-Alcoholic cocktails are made less sweet and with more fruity and fresh flavors.

Is there a risk of drinking Non-Alcoholic beverage?

Now you may think that drinking Non-Alcoholic beverage may be the best solution for Muslims. But unfortunately, there are some risks of drinking Non-Alcoholic beverage.

The first risk is that drinking Non-Alcoholic beverage may trigger the interest in drinking Alcoholic beverages.

According to the Japanese law, the 0% Alcoholic beverage can be consumed by anyone, even kids, but manufactures are saying that they are expecting only people over 20 years to drink their products. This is to avoid kids to be interested in drinking alcohol, so the same thing could happen to adults, too.

The second risk is that some of the Muslims will not like the way how Non-Alcoholic beverages are made. We are not going to talk about how it is made in detail, however, some of the beverages are made as Alcoholic beverages and then alcohol is removed afterwards.

The third risk is that there is a placebo effect for Non-Alcoholic beverage. This means that the Non-Alcoholic beverage has a phycological effect rather than physical effect: In this case, the person may act as if they are tipsy or drunk, after having a Non-Alcoholic beverage. This may be a rare case, but it could be a problem among Muslims.

What are the precautions in drinking Non-Alcoholic beverage?

Although we have such risks, enjoying a great meal with a glass of Non-alcoholic beverage can be a great experience in Japan!

Let us remind you that when you are choosing Non-Alcoholic beverage, you have to make sure that the beverage has “0%” alcohol. As mentioned, the beverage with alcohol percentage of 1% or below is considered as “Non-Alcoholic” according to Japanese law, so there is a small possibility the restaurant is serving you a beverage with a small amount of alcohol.

Staffs in the restaurant are usually told not to serve the Non-Alcoholic beverage in a glass, but as a whole bottle with a label stating that there is no alcohol, to avoid making mistakes. If it is prepared in a glass, you can confirm with them again with the below sentence.

この飲み物はアルコールは入っていますか?(Does this beverage have alcohol?)
アルコール度数は0%ですか?(Is the alcohol percentage 0%?)

Whether you have a glass of Non-Alcoholic beverage or not, we hope you can enjoy your dining experience in Japan!

Make sure it says “ALC 0.00%”!