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Yebisu (Premium) | Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

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90 Reviews
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Yebisu (Premium)Yebisu (Premium)

Brewed by:
Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Naerhu on 03-08-2001

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 165
Photo of doktorhops
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this classic Japanese all-malt beer in a quaint little Japanese shop called Genki Mart (in Alderley, Brisbane). This is probably the first Japanese all-malt beer that I’ve gotten my mitts on. Now ‘all-malt’ is a bit of a nebulous term - all beer contains (or should contain) malt right? In the US it is used to distinguish beers that aren’t brewed with any adjuncts (corn, rice, basically anything that isn’t malted barley) however in the Japanese context it simply means that you’re drinking ‘beer’ rather than ‘happoshu’ [also beer] - which contains a malt ratio of less than 67% to avoid the dreaded ‘beer tax’... confused and slightly parched now? I know I am - so let’s dive right in - KANPAI TEME!!!

Poured from a 334ml bottle (odd bottle sizes again from Japan) into a stein.

A: Clear golden body, with a fluffy 1 inch white head and plenty of carbonation action in the glass. Quite Lagery I must say [indeed] why thank you sir [no thanks necessary sir] indeed sir. 7/10.

S: It’s a malty cereal invasion - this beer couldn’t smell more like Lager if it tried: Dry and without a skerrick of hops... welcome to Japanese beer! Aside from the obvious lack of hops there isn’t much else to speak of here - malty cereal invasion - sounds like a potential cartoon idea. 7/10.

T: Taste is quite clean - cereal malts, malty cereals, grains with a hint of - you guessed it: Malt... it finishes quite dry with a touch of honeyed sweetness that is lacking from most other Japanese macro Lagers. A hint of bread dough notes linger on the palate too. No hops detected (of course). The aftertaste is pretty clean and neutral - quite well-balanced as far as Lagers go. 9/10.

M: Medium bodied with a dense but slightly flat - because I left it sitting on the kitchen bench before opening it - carbonation. 8/10.

D: I would hate to say it, why? Maybe because this beer is brewed by a macro brewer: Sapporo - I hate macros yo, but this is one of (if not) the best Japanese Lagers I’ve laid my tongue on. It’s dry, smooth, well-balanced, and without that vegetal aftertaste that I find with most Lagers - and it pairs excellently with Takoyaki or Karaage. Overall if you’re seeking a decent Japanese all-malt beer experience you can’t go wrong with Yebisu... In fact I’m going to get a few more of these for my next Takoyaki cook-off, kore wa totemo oishi desu [or something along those lines]! 8/10.

Food match: Japanese food, natch!

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Photo of thechaun
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Imo this is the best mainstream Japanese beer. Smooth, easy drinking and it actually has flavor (compared to other mainstream Japanese beers). Just wish I had an easier time finding it Canada.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Yebisu" was the all-malt version of the Sapporo line (no rice). On draft it was quite glorious for a simple and clean beer, but sadly its no longer available in NYC - or at least extremely difficult to find.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml can served in a hotel tumbler in Japan.2015.11 and 2015.03 are both on the bottom of the can; I presume the former is "best by" and the latter is "canned on". From what I remember, years and years ago, this was my favorite of the mass-produced Japanese lagers.

Pours clear golden with a big white head that fades moderately quickly. Not a lot of carbonation. Smell is lager with a slight honey tinge, maybe a little flower.

Taste is slightly tangy, moderately lagery, overall mild but pretty pleasant.

Mouthfeel is dry and clean. Overall, not bad at all. Vastly preferably over Asahi and Kirin.

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Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First, a word about my high rating- the rating is relative to all lagers, not to all beer ever made. Second, review is of a made in Japan Yebisu.

Color- clear gold. Medium head quickly settling.

Aroma- mild bread and hops.

Taste- Clean, smooth, and refreshing. Finishes with a mild lingering dryness with hint of mellow citrus. A Lexus of lagers. Coworker from Singapore drove to Malasia 4 hours to hand it off to another coworker who personally fly this can to Austin.

Tasted May 2, 2010.

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Photo of Norwegianbrewer
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a white head. This is an industrial lager that I used to drink a bit of while i lived in Japan, this one was a gift from the wife when she came back from Japan last summer. It might have stayed a bit long in the can as there is a metallic taste to it. Otherwise there is slight diacetyl. The beer is very light, some hop bitterness and just a little malt sweetness.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brilliant clear yellow with tons of white foam. Spotty lacing.

Light, milky, skunky, dry, piney.

Deep wooden flavor. Oaky, light, crisp, dry, buttery, nice even coating, bitterness is spot on, zero sweetness.

This is a damn fine foreign brew. Thanks Brian and Diana for the travel brew!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love having a local, in-person trader like tone77 who not only makes a far out trip to the Far East, but brings back some CANned beers for me in the process!

From the CAN: "Yebisu Traditional Brew"; "Yebisu Beer is a rich and mellow premium beer brewed from 100% fine malt and select hops with Sapporo's traditional art."

The previous beer made me a little nervous with its propensity to foam up and overflow, so I went with a more gentle pour on this one. It was still slightly foamy, perhaps due to heat and humidity, but it was under CANtrol all the same. Two fingers of rocky, bone-white head were the result and I watched it as it slowly bubbled and popped its way out of existence. Color was a gorgeous golden-yellow and I could only laugh as Croesus, Mammon and King Midas fought for a drop. Nose was very honey-like, very much like a clean, unadulterated lager. From a CAN?!? I am already a fan. I CANnot tell you how many AALs in a CAN that I have been subhected to and it is never pleasant. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and I caught a grassy hoppiness that made me think of a GER Pils, but I will buy Dortmunder. Finish was pretty dry, a real gem on this hot, humid day. I really liked the grassy finish and might CANsider it for a lawnmower beer CANdidate.

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Photo of tone77
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Still in Tokyo and back at the hostel enjoying some beer. Poured from a 11.2 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, a touch of malts. Taste is also mild, some malts, dry at the finish, lacking in flavor or punch. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a sub par beer.

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Photo of TokyoCO
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can bought in Japan, poured into a goblet. Served fairly cold.

A: Light golden in color. Very clear, bubbles rising from bottom.

S: Grain, slight hint of hops, light citrus notes as well.

T: Grain, barley, again a light hint of hops. Quite bitter, but maltyness is dominant. Not complex but very refreshing.

M: Light, high carbonation.

O: One of the better macro Japanese beers. Malt forward beer that has great grain notes. It really is refreshing.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Head went out of control on the pour, giving me more then two fingers. It did stick around for a while but lacing was absent. The body has steady carbonation and it's a darker gold colour.

Smell: Roasted grain with a slight floral hop note. It's just not strong enough to make a big play though.

Taste: A little bumpy roasted grain to start that turns sweeter quickly and ends with some floral hops. Not a lot of complexity here, but well done in it's simplicity. Needs a bit more of a kick.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation helps out the entire beer although starts out a little odd and excessive. The transitioning is easy going. A slight floral hop aftertaste also does a good job.

Drinkability: Fairly light, although not quite as light as I'd like it to be. The carbonation keeps on going after it's down, but it's not out of control. Refreshing and there isn't a lot to complain about.

Final Thoughts: I'm finding that the simpler styles of Japanese beer are done well, but not quite well enough to justify their import costs. I mean they solidly thump the macros and a lot of the European import Lagers, but aren't quite as good as local craft offerings. I'd really like to see Sapporo bring some of their other brews over to brew locally. Not sure how they could market it, but I've been a fan.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazed bright yellow with a thin head of moderate retention. Some spotty lacing to it. Aroma was of clove and citrus. Taste was surprising; crisp with a bready note that shifts intio a tangy citrus flavor: lemony-grapefruit. It reminded me of a spiced wheatbeer. This was served very cold at a local Japanese restaurant; the taste definately improved as it warmed.

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Photo of xylophonica
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Please note I had submitted a previous review in error for this beer - that review was actually for the white label Yebisu and has been moved accordingly.

Poured from a 350ml can into a Jupiler signature glass.

A - Clear, pale straw coloured liquid. Mild head on top with some degree of retention.

S - Quite dusty with plenty of dry wheat. Variety of dry-roasted spices coming through as well such as pepper and sage with a hint of some lemon and/or orange.

T - At first smooth but slightly sour. Strong sensation of honey malt lurking there but it doesn't quite mask the sourness. Malty tang isn't quite as prominent as I'd expected - much more subtle. As it's consumed the malt starts to form a coating and the sourness becomes more obviously citric in nature. Definitely some sweeter lemon & lime flavours emerging later.

M - Plenty of sourness and malt to keep the tastebuds alive. Overall it's nothing that intriguing - sourness lingers probably a touch too long.

O - This is the fourth Yebisu brew I've tried and I'm finding that my first drop (the black) is likely to remain my favourite. Similar in some ways to the white label beer but with little to distinguish it as "Premium". It's a basic export lager with some ok flavour combinations.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow with light amounts of visible carbonation. The head is just a thin layer of white bubbles and dissipates immediately. Very minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Aromas are of sweet adjunct malts (primarily corn and grain). Very mild aroma overall.

T: The flavor matches the smell, adjunct malts (corn and grain), some sweetness, and a slight bitterness on the finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Nothing special but not bad... probably would describe it as average for the style. Easy to drink and could be a session beer but personally I don't want to have a lot of this beer (I would save my time/money for something I enjoyed more).

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Photo of metter98
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear yellow in color. It poured with a moderate sized head consisting of big bubbles that never completely faded away and left some lacing along with a thick ring on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of adjunct malts in the nose—corn seems to stand out in particular along with some notes of grain.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of corn along with notes of grainy malts. There is a bit of initial sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish leaves a good amount of dryness in your mouth.
O: This beer is easy to drink but the taste isn’t overly special. It’s not that bad compared to some of the other beers in the style.

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Photo of shigg85
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yebisu is one of my favorite canned beers to drink simply because the malty flavor carries through even packaged in such a medium. Often, canned beers lose so much of their magic that is normally found in bottles or especially via tap (take Guinness as a perfect example). However, as far as canned beer goes, Yebisu is amazing. Full of malt, wheat-flavored with a bit of citrus in the aftertaste, this beer goes particularly well with things like Korean BBQ or curry with some spice. I often pour it into a glass, and any pilsner or tulip style glass will do, depending on how much head you want on it. The only negative side to this canned version that does not bother me when it comes from the tap is the excess gas in the beer that translates to some nasty burps. I've had Yebisu in all forms (even from the brewery in Ebisu, Tokyo), and this only seems to happen when I drink it from the can. However, since that does affect my overall image of the beer, I do have to stick with this ranking for now. If you have a chance to have it from the tap, I would recommend it, as it easily would rank a 4+.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

350ml can poured into a pils glass by freshness date.

Slight hazy golden yellow in color with one finger white velvety head with moderate retention, it leaves some stickiness lacing, high visible carbonation.

The smell consists of aromatic floral hop, slight herbal and earthy yet a bit spice, light biscuit malt, dry grain and lemony zest.

Subtle sweetness from biscuity malt with moderate bitterness from hop to unite, fruity and citrus zest reveal to make cascade layer of flavors. Aftertaste is mingled by hop bitterness along with zesty citrus and slight sweetness.

The body is light with good crispness from lively carbonation lending a refreshing yet smooth mouth feel. Finish is clean and dry.

Clean and go down well easy either drinking it alone or pairing with some foods, high drinkability.

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Photo of pettis
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty much like any fizzy, golden-yellow beer. The head lacks density, though, and thins out quickly before disappearing

Grass, grain, and a little bit of citrusy hop zest in the nose. Dry, grassy, malty, with just enough Saaz-like hop spice and a nice, lingering hop bitterness on the tongue.

Dry, crisp, and refreshing, with a strong-enough malt body to keep it interesting for an easy-drinking pilsner. Hands-down my favorite mass-produced Japanese beer.

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Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear goldenc olour with a smooth, foamy white head. Fair head retention.

Crisp, grainy aroma with a herbal, grassy hop note.

Light, crisp malt with some carbonic bite. Quite bitter.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A crisp, clean, bitter lager. While it's nothing special it is nice and refreshing.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a translucent golden yellow in color with a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: very grainy aroma upfront alongside sweetness from the malts hints of citrus and spice as well.

T: the malty sweetness dominated the taste with some mild citrus, spice accents and a variety of grainy bready flavors.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild citrusy, grainy, and crisp finish.

D: was a decent dortmunder that was drinking really good and went really well paired with some yakitori and sushi.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mom brought this back from Japan for me.
Hoping for the best (that it tastes better than Sapporo Premium for one)

A- Crystal clear slighlty caramely gold. Decent amount of dirty white head.

S- I can already tell it's not as dirty as Sapporo Premium. Still, a lot of the same aromas in here. Sweet grain, burnt cream of wheat. I'm very thirsty so the ''beer'' smell is pulling me in but there's nothing really appealling in here. Some cream soda which is kind of nice.

T- Seems like I'm getting some nice lime and a bit of grapefruit from the hops which is nice. Nothing too dirty. Slight grapefruit rind bitterness. Taste is much better than smell.

M- Strange how it's kind of a two parter: thin in the front, full towards the back. High carbonation.

D- Quite good. Refreshing. Some nice hoppy flavors but a little dirtiness too.

About as good as I expected which is just a bit better than Sapporo Premium. I would buy it again if I found it for the same price or cheaper as other similar tasting german or Czech imports we get in dépanneurs here (Bitburger, Konig, Wernesgruner.

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Photo of chefelf
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I ordered this one at a sushi restaurant because it was the only "beer" on the list that I had never tried. Granted, it was a very short list. I'm not sure if this is even beer as I am very leery when they refer to the drink as "malt beverage."

That being said it was fine. There was something strange in the taste just as the beer hit my lips. Almost like a wet dog smell.

Overall it was fine. Totally average and went well with dinner.

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Photo of soju6
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at the Yebisu Beer Museum in Tokyo.

A: Dark golden color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: has a sweet roasted malt aroma with a hint of spice.

T: Roaste malt flavor with a nice touch of bitterness. has a clean finish.

F: Light body, quite smooth.

Drinkable brew. Nice change from the standard Japanese beers. Worth a try.

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Photo of gfreed
1.29/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I had this while waiting for a plane at Narita airport outside of Tokyo. The only thing good about this beer is that it helped me twiddle away an hour while sitting at the bar. I guess the glass was nice, too: it was clean and had no scratches. And the coaster on the bar was round and white and pleasant to look at. And... uh... well... hmmm... the bartender was courteous.

Everything else about this lager was terrible: wet-rope aroma, burned veggie taste, sour aftertaste, flat body. Sadly for me, this was the last thing I consumed before leaving Japan. Blech. To be avoided at all costs.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

Good Lager. Better than the previous Sapporo Premium that I've had.

A: Clear golden-yellow color with a huge white head which dissipates quickly leaving no lacings at all
S: Nice smell of malts
T: Good taste of malts with a balanced bitterness
M: Very light body and medium carbonation
D: Good

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Yebisu (Premium) from Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
3.41 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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