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Orion Premium Draft Beer | Orion Beer Co., Ltd.

105 Reviews
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Orion Premium Draft BeerOrion Premium Draft Beer

Brewed by:
Orion Beer Co., Ltd.
Japan | website

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 12-11-2002

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 254
Photo of Nin10dude64
2.21/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

12 oz poured into an pilsner glass

I know now why the pilsner glass is recommended for these lagers, it looks, smells and almost tastes like one. A 2 finger head forms and dissipates slowly, golden straw color. The taste was like a pilsner but grew stale about a third into the beer. Couldn't finish it

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Photo of jw4free
3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Picked up from a local spot in Leavenworth, KS. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Weizen glass. L: pours like a Pilsner. Head fades to a white ring. Limited lacing. S: clean, some hint of sweetness T: slight sweetness F: watery, only carbonation keeps any interest. O:easy drinking, refreshing. It's a rice lager. Make beer with the ingredients one has, it works.

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Photo of skasdan
3.72/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer beats a Bud or Coors any day of the week. You must take this beer for what it is and nothing more. This isn't an Alpine Nelson nor was it meant to be. This is a mass produced lager that has been brewed with Japanese attention to detail and craftsmanship. It has light hop notes and a honey-like finish. This is a great beer to end a long day working in the high heat and humidity of Okinawa. It is refreshing and is true to its intent. Don't drink this beer thinking you're getting a craft brew, you are getting a well balanced and very drinkable beer that is cheaper than any American domestic here in Okinawa. Next time you are at Bevmo, pick up a bottle in the Japnese section for $2.50 and compare it to any domestic tall boy. I promise you'll buy it again.

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

With a yellow-to-cream straw color, the overall flavor is a mix of mild fruit and some malt. Meanwhile, the finish is lightly crisp with an off grass acidity. Not a keeper, but is curiously refreshing!

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.24/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours, from the bottle, a clear golden with a small head. A steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom. A clean smell and taste - as described on the bottle! Perfect to drink when you are fresh out of the field on Okinawa!

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Photo of Sorcerer
3.05/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

It has been a hot and hard four day workweek here in California and the thirst cried out for lager after the work day.

Orion Beer reviewed here was poured from a 12oz can. It proclaims "clear mild taste" and that is true.

The first tin of beer today was poured into a Pilsner Urquell flute with careful respect creating a beautiful 3 inch thick foam white head bulging over the brim above the 0.3l line on the glass. Being overheated from a bike commute home, I immediately chugged the contents in two satisfymethirstgulpingdrafts.

The result was instantaneously salubrious.

Yes I would usually go for an IPA but I had none on hand.

Surprisingly, as I sip on the second tin of beer, the smell is good and definitely European. I get instant flashbacks to hot hiking huts in the Alps and Dolomites.

The look is ideal. I give 5 stars true. Typically I just drink this from the can. Carbonation is not at high levels. In the can it lasts a bit longer. In a glass, not so much. This is a beer for rapid consumption. Typically this is employed to wash food down the gullet. I am slaking thirst.

Halfway through the flute of beer it is going flat. I need to play catch up.

It's an adjunct brew, and no secret is made. The rice and malt sweetness melds with the 5% alcohol (as printed on the six-pack paper sleeve) creating a significant challenge to the hops. Happily all is well in Okinawa. While there are no hop bomb explosions, there is a definite conformity to the expectations of the style.

Orion passes the look smell feel and taste test with three stars. There are 3 stars on the logo. These are the celestial objects in Orion's belt. The P3 Orion airplane and it's exciting noise come to mind as well.

The only confusion, for me, lies in the proper pronunciation of Orion. Otherwise, it is a good lager from the island of Okinawa. I am grateful to be able to enjoy it in relative safety and freedom.

Wherever there is freedom there will be good beer like Orion.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
2/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There was a time when I thought that this beer was good.

After having received a free Orion t-shirt following a recent trip, I decided to revisit this beer.

I still think the t-shirt is great, but the beer, unfortunately, was a drain pour, something that resembles malty water with a corn syrup aftertaste.

I will be skipping this beer from here on out.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.18/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a refreshing beer to drink, perfect for when it's hot outside. Has a light golden color, clean and slightly sweet taste, no bitter aftertaste. Good for when you're eating light food like sushi.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.35/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at tokyo village in san mateo, ca. jul 24 2015

a: clear pale yellow

s: noticeably hoppy (grassy aromas) with the typical rice sweetness in the background

t: just like your everyday sweet rice lager but kept a bit more in check with the grassy hop presence

m: not quite watery. moderate carbonation

o: i enjoyed this brew. i like the sweet rice flavours of japanese lagers, but having them kept on a leash with more hops is cool too

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Photo of HipCzech
3.14/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

633 mL bottle at Zakkushi on Denman (Vancouver). Clear light yellow gold with foamy white head. Very mild, clean flavor and mild aroma: malty grain, very slight sweetness and light herbal hop bitterness. Light body and crisp carbonation. Good with skewers of yakitori.

 268 characters

Photo of jeranbrews
2.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

A - golden, gasoline color with oddly weak faint head. Super high clarity. Minor continues carbonation. 3

S - adjunct smells and pail malt and weak hops. Unimpressed 2.75

T - simple pale malts. faint Sugary alcohol aftertaste. 2.75

M - effervescent and slightly caustic. Unimpressed. 2.75

D - boring beer for boring masses. 2

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 21.4 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste is light, malts, a bit of sweetness, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good example of this style.

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Photo of mikeg67
1.79/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

833 ml bottle in NOLA. Pours golden with white head. Aroma is of grassy hops and bready malt. Body is light and slightly crisp. Some sweet malt and hint of hops on the palate. Finish is non-existent. Good water replacement.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- this beer has hints of yeast, hops and malt that can be detected. Appearance- beer pours a pale yellow that is clear and has a one inch white head. Taste- A great hoppy flavor that has great dry finish. Palate- a nice light body with a dry finish that is accented by the lively carbonation. Overall- I may be biased since I loved this beer for years while stationed in Okinawa but I think this maybe the most flavorful Japanese rice lager. If it was available more often I would definitely drink it more in the States

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cap reads "For Your Happy Time" - let's go.

A: Poured from a 633 ml brown bottle a clear pale yellow with one-finger thick white head which fades quickly to the rim and a thin cap leaving splotchy lace.

N: Grainy and husky earthyness with some grass/hay and yeasty notes.

T: Crisp and clean, mildly sweet malts, yeasty, floral, slightly metallic aftertaste.

M: Light body and semi-medium carbonation. Semi-dry, smooth, frosty, yeasty finish.

O: Basic and easy to drink and enjoyable with food.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.41/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold champagne colour, steady bead. Head is white and foamy, pretty decent density. Nice lace.

Grain, rice and pearl barley on the nose. Hint of grassy, European hops, but mostly grain, and pretty bland.

Taste is based on cereal grain, notes of puffed rice and pearl barley, but finishes early, some grassy, slightly soapy hop notes. Very clean, finishes dry, crisp; lagery you might say. Actually tastes alright. Not very interesting but pleasant

Decent if a little thin body, bit of fizz, finishes dry enough.

Decent crisp lager. Overall pretty uninspiring, but plenty drinkable.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.24/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a light yellow amber with a thin white cap that has decent retention with slight lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light sweet apple juice and a hint of grassy hops. Flavor is light sweet malt with a minerally bitterness that eventually resolves as light grassy hops. An unusual light bland sweetness that may be the rice components. Light bodied. A pleasant light lager that is milder and slightly sweeter than a domestic adjunct lager. Bland and harmless, tasted pretty good on a hot summer day. My one hundredth style on BA.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 1 pint 5.4 fluid ounce bottle into a tall tasting glass

Pours a beautiful brilliant clear light yellow body and a beautiful thick white head

Mineral sweet very very faint hop presence

Sweet front somewhat stale hop middle and finish

Very light and well carbonated

A little too sweet not as crisp as an Asian lager should be just okay

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Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear pale yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring of lacing. It's not the best looking beer, but it's very true to the style. Scents of lager yeast, some moderate hop character, and grainy malt. Flavor begins with a moderate level of floral hop bitterness and some grainy malt in the background. This moves into more nice dry grainy malt flavors with a balance of floral hop bitterness. Finish is dry with a nice grainy dryness and floral hop bitterness. Aftertaste is dry with floral hop flavors. A nice flavor profile, quite dry, grainy and with a good level of hop bitterness. Quite pleasant to drink as a result. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a drying feel. Very refreshing, easy to drink and wonderful on a warm day. Overall this is a good Japanese Rice Lager that has a nice dry flavor character, a classic aroma profile for the style and a wonderfully refreshing mouthfeel. It's not the best beer around, but for it's style it is a fantastic drink.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.21/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice golden with a nice white head. Not much aroma. This is a typical Japanese beer that is light and easy to drink, especially with Japanese food like yakitori. You could drink a lot of this easily. Overall a decent beer when bar hopping. Not a lot of flavor or substance.

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Photo of SimpleBeerLover
3.39/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Standard pale golden with decent head.

Smell: Very faint aroma. Nothing outstanding

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light, clean refreshing.

Drinkability: I could put these away all night.

This is a beer that I normally wouldn't rate very highly. It's a great example of a style that I think has a lot of problems. But you have to be ON Okinawa to understand. This beer was tailor made for Okinawan summer evenings. Any other place, any other time, and it become mediocre at best. But on a hot, humid, summer night overlooking the beach, or sitting in an izakaya, this beer's qualities shine through.

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Photo of Paincane
3.06/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden body with a short-lived white head. Minimal lacing and retention.
S: Fresh fruity, cereal and grassy aromas.
T: Flavors include citrus, sweet fruit, grain & cereal.
M: Light bodied, refreshing and clean.
O: Decent Japanese Rice Lager. Not my favorite style.

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Photo of doktorhops
2.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So this one was recommended to me by Dan Dan the bottleshop-man (not actually his real name). He told me it wasn't a shit Japanese Lager (I embellished the "shit", I believe he said "crap") like the others; aka Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory etc... He also mentioned that I should let it warm up, a dangerous game to play with Lager. Whilst I remain dubious there is only one way to find out.

Poured from a 633ml bottle into a Pokal.

A: Most Asian beers I've tried have a same colour 'going in' as 'coming out' and Orion, sadly, is no different. Aside from a clear urine yellow there is a reasonable white fluffy head on display that bubbles away to a light lacing.

S: Aromas of cut grass, barley and a hint of malted rice ticks all the boxes. Less skunk than most Japanese Lagers I've tried I'll give it that.

T: Grass, barley and malted rice are all there, along with a long inevitably dry Japanese finish (look up "Dry Wars" or "Dry Senso" if you want a brief history about the Japanese obsession with dry beer). Letting it warm up brings out the sweetness a little but there's no hiding that Adjunct Lager chemical taste that pervades the style, as we all know too well.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light but excitable, and gassy, carbonation.

D: At $15 for 3 633ml bottles this was a cheap(ish) jaunt into Lager territory, at a price that even cheap Dutch brews like Bavaria or Hollandia have trouble beating, but ultimately it is price-bested by the cheapest of imported Lagers: Oettinger Pils. Question is: would I prefer this to Oettinger? The answer: no, Oettinger beats it with its German Lager goodness, sorry Dan and sorry Japan.

Food match: Sushi is an all too obvious choice so how about pizza as well... or sushi pizza.

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Photo of don1481
3.46/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

633 ml bottle at Zushi while away for business in Virginia Beach.

A: Pours a crisp amber color. Better than Miller lite's watery amber for sure.

S: faint traces of tropical fruit and apples. Not bad at all.

T: MUCH better than I feared given the price at a nice restaurant for the bottle. Pretty crisp, light but not thin. I like it.

M: For what I was expecting, its not watery at all. Pleasant surprise.

O: I would definitely have it again with sushi.

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Photo of mta00007272
3.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is my favorite Japanese Beer.

A - nice golden color typical of a lager

S - nothing special, but not offensive

T - great taste

M - crisp and refreshing

O - if a sushi restaurant has it, I am ordering it; great to cleanse the palate after some spicy tuna (I don't like the pickled ginger)

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Orion Premium Draft Beer from Orion Beer Co., Ltd.
70 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.