May 2

Justin’s Japan: Hello Hoppy

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By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Shukan NY Seikatsu. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

Japan is legendary for its social drinking culture, and now fans of its most popular beverage—beer—have a new reason to toast.

Hoppy, a popular 110-year-old beverage that looks and tastes very much like beer, is making its debut in New York. While most beers contain about 5% alcohol content, Hoppy is practically non-alcoholic at 0.8%, and can be mixed with shochu and liqueurs.

Fuko Chubachi, creative director for 3 Day Monk, a local design and promotion business that organized a release party for Hoppy at East Village eatery Wasan on April 9, explains its arrival in America: “Hoppy’s CEO, Mina Ishiwatari, has a very modern approach to what otherwise is a very traditional family business. She wants to see Hoppy expand beyond the boundaries of Japan to break into the international market. And what better place than New York City, with its progressive food and beverage programs, to set the stage!”

Ishiwatari was present at the launch event, as were a throng of guests who enjoyed some custom Wasan cuisines that paired excellently with special Hoppy-based concoctions mixed at the bar.

Natalie Graham, architectural designer for 3 Day Monk, points out Hoppy’s low calorie content and zero purines, which can cause certain metabolic diseases such as gout: “Hoppy is ideal for young people, beer lovers, foodies, and those who care for their health!”

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