Japan’s best-selling lager beer since 1987, ASAHI SUPER DRY set a new standard in Japanese brewing. Discover the ASAHI SUPER DRY story here and what makes it a World Beer Cup Gold Winner and a favourite worldwide and here in New Zealand.


Our story begins with its 1987 Japan debut as the first “KARAKUCHI” (dry) beer, ASAHI SUPER DRY quickly became the new standard in brewing for Japan. Since that time ASAHI SUPER DRY has continued to develop its popularity while offering clean, crisp, refreshing flavours and drinking pleasure.

Behind its enduring popularity among people of all ages lies the story of the three secrets of ASAHI SUPER DRY:




To produce ASAHI SUPER DRY beer, we use the ASAHI yeast strain No. 318. This rare yeast not only yields outstanding fermentation but produces a complex aroma resulting in an elegant and sophisticated flavour that ensures the distinctive pure, crisp, and dry taste of ASAHI SUPER DRY.

To create the optimal environment for the yeast to perform at their peak during the beer-making process requires sophisticated beer brewing technology. At ASAHI, we are tirelessly developing new technologies in the pursuit of a more sophisticated, clean, clear and crisp “KARAKUCHI” taste.yeast

ASAHI Beer Ingredients

We have set more than a hundred compliance criteria for the selection of the malted barley we use for ASAHI SUPER DRY. The strict criteria includes specific requirements for grain species, namely its origins and methods of germination. To ensure we consistently meet our exacting standards we have an established network of grain suppliers across the world with whom we collaborate.

Typically only a minimal quantity of  hops are used in lager production to add aroma, however, at ASAHI we use a lavish quantity to realise our goal of clear, yet elegant, bitterness in ASAHI SUPER DRY and the pursuit of a more sophisticated, clear, KARAKUCHI taste.

To eliminate any unwanted by-products, we pay strict attention to all parts of the manufacturing process which ensures we achieve the clear taste of ASAHI SUPER DRY.



At ASAHI, we are constantly developing and updating our technology to ensure we use only the best when brewing ASAHI SUPER DRY. Techniques we have developed have included creating a special type of wort that is ideal for optimal fermentation efficiency as well as utilising special technologies to isolate unwanted flavours and tastes from the manufacturing process, including specialised conveyor systems to prevent damage to malt and milling machines that minimise the mashing of delicate grain.

To minimise flavour deterioration after production, we have developed a natural technology that retains the great taste of ASAHI SUPER DRY without using preservatives. Naturally, this technology has proven to contribute greatly to the retention of the ASAHI SUPER DRY crisp, fresh taste.

Since the 1987 debut of ASAHI SUPER DRY, our goal has remained consistent: bring sophisticated, clear, KARAKUCHI taste to consumers around the world.



Developing Japan’s no. 1 beer

ASAHI SUPER DRY was introduced on March 17, 1987, as Japan’s first KARAKUCHI draught beer – the result of a concerted effort to truly reflect Japanese consumer preferences in beer and brewing.

The intriguing beginnings of ASAHI SUPER DRY reveal a remarkable search for, and discovery of, Japanese consumer’s preferences and expectations in beer.

ASAHI SUPER DRY was born into the world as the result of defying convention and prevailing attitudes, in addition to encountering challenges throughout its development.



An unprecedented survey of 5,000 people

Just what would be the ideal beer to satisfy the consumer fully? From the outset of ASAHI SUPER DRY our development team continued to ask this question. During the mid-1980s, Japanese brewers were of the belief that beer must taste bitter and heavy. Why? Previous blind taste tests results and the industry’s prevailing position was that consumer typically were unable to differentiate between beer brands and, therefore, could not truly appreciate subtle variation in tastes of beer.

Despite the prevailing beliefs within the brewing industry, the ASAHI development team established two new bold suppositions: the consumer CAN appreciate subtle differences in beer and the standard of good tasting beer develops over time. The Japanese diet had been diversified, and consumption of wine with meals had risen steadily.

Additionally, a consumer preference was occurring for light, dry wine and sake. Japanese consumers were now choosing a wider variety of products based solely on flavour, so why not beer as well? Although these considerations seem to be obvious today, these concepts were far outside the prevailing thoughts of the Japanese brewing industry.


The creation of the first KARAKUCHI beer

The resulting outcome of the survey from 5,000 respondents confirmed the needs consumers were in contrast to the brewing industry expectations. A multitude of respondents offered comments such as, “I want to drink crisp, more refreshing beer,” or “I like beer refreshing enough so I can drink several glasses,” and “I want beer that goes well with any kind of dish.”

This contradictory consumer demand, from heavy and bitter tasting to crisp, refreshing beer confirmed there had been a significant change in consumer preference for beer. That is how ASAHI conceived a new Japanese beer type: KARAKUCHI, draught beer.

The taste of beer is determined by its basic ingredients of yeast, malt, as well as the how the beer is brewed – i.e. brewing and fermentation process. Developing the new KARAKUCHI beer recipe begun by exploring an almost infinite combination of yeasts and other ingredients and constantly tweaking the brewing process.


Searching for the best yeast

Yeast plays critical role in the beer making process. It “eats” the sugar content of wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer), converting it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The sugar content in beer must be minimised to ensure KARAKUCHI has a crisp taste. Especially selected from hundreds of strains in our yeast bank, ASAHI No. 318 boasts outstanding efficiency in fermentation.

This unique strain of yeast eats up sugar content with high efficiency to realize the clear, crisp taste in every beer we produce. ASAHI No. 318 also assists in the production of a sophisticated aroma, consistent with our original development concept.


Repeated tasting sessions

After committing ASAHI yeast strain No. 318 to the brewing process, we began selecting appropriate ingredients and determining the manufacturing processes best suited to the bioactivities of No. 318. Our development team identified the right ingredients, their ratios, the correct malting and brewing processes, and finally begun experimenting to achieve the ideal taste.

Beer sample tasting continued in the quest for a suitable KARAKUCHI taste. Trial beer products were taste tested with sashimi and a range of other Japanese and international food. To identify success, key phrases to describe KARAKUCHI included “a beer so clear and sophisticated we may help ourselves to more,” “a beer suitable for sashimi,” and “a beer that doesn’t interfere with the taste of food.”

From repeated tastings, we eventually came upon the right KARAKUCHI beer. From this process, the original recipe for ASAHI SUPER DRY was born and remains unchanged today. The sophisticated, clear taste of ASAHI SUPER DRY was devised to ensure it compliments a wide range of foods, and from the first sip, the great tasting flavour remains, glass after glass.


Unprecedented branding and packaging

With a new and unique KARAKUCHI beer, a bold new name and face (packaging) was required to match its taste. We believed that the new name should clearly express distinctive new taste we had achieved; a taste that truly reflected consumer needs.

The English word Dry (meaning karakuchi), and the adjective Super was added to emphasise its crispness. The beer was named ASAHI SUPER DRY.

The design creative of ASAHI SUPER DRY’s packaging was another example of defying the existing expectations prevalent in the beer brewing industry. From the outset, ASAHI SUPER DRY label designs were developed for cans with the expectation of high future growth of canned beer consumption.

This thinking was in direct contradiction to the existing creative approach of basic label design for bottles. The ASAHI SUPER DRY label design uses a metallic silver background representing the metal surface of a can with a distinctive black font. This simple & elegant design embodies our ASAHI SUPER DRY’s crisp and clear taste.

This distinctive design proposal caused controversy throughout the development team members and company decision makers – challenging many with what was an unconventional approach to a beer label. After initial disagreement and discussions, a consensus was achieved to retain the theme of originality for this new beer. Internally, staff were enthusiastic with the positioning of ASAHI SUPER DRY as a product leader and for the bold goal to change the existing expectations of Japanese beer.



ASAHI SUPER DRY was launched into the Japanese marketplace on March 17, 1987. On release, the product became an instant bestseller. Sales rose swiftly from the initial largest cosmopolitan areas to the smallest of rural communities. Although we had achieved our initial goal of offering a distinct product with a taste that the consumer wanted, the product volume of ASAHI SUPER DRY fell short of the growing demand.

We needed to take unprecedented action once again. A public apology was placed in national newspapers, acknowledging our underproduction ASAHI SUPER DRY that did not meet the public demand.

Soaring sales and the popularity of ASAHI SUPER DRY greatly surprised the Japanese beer industry. In the year following the release of ASAHI, competitor breweries begun introducing dry beer, and a so-called ‘Dry Beer War’ broke out.

Nevertheless, ASAHI SUPER DRY has continued with successful sales and is consistently chosen for its unique taste. Responding to continued demand for ASAHI SUPER DRY, we begun large-scale capital investment to bolster our production volumes.

By 1990, all of our production facilities were updated with the most innovative technology and equipment available to support the demand for ASAHI SUPER DRY, with sales passing the milestone of 100 million cases* just three years after its market introduction. *One case is equivalent to 20 large beer bottles, approximately 12.66 litres.

Following the launch of ASAHI SUPER DRY, we have continued to improve and innovate on production technology and quality management, and we are committed to taking the clean, clear and crisp taste of ASAHI SUPER DRY to consumers across the world.


Through innovative Japanese brewing techniques, Asahi Super Dry has achieved a delicate, yet rich, full-flavoured body with a refreshing dry aftertaste. The lager is brewed using the finest quality yeast, malt, hops, maize & rice. Firmly focused on consumer taste preferences, Asahi is brewed to perfectly compliment any meal while retaining its refreshing quality. It’s no wonder it’s the preferred premium Japanese beer for consumers across New Zealand.

ASAHI SUPER DRY 330ml Bottle

5% ABV | Available in 6-packs and 12-packs


5% ABV | Available in 19 Litre Keg


5.5% ABV | Available in 19 Litre Keg


There is always something exciting going on at ASAHI SUPER DRY.
Check here regularly to see our offers, events or new and exciting products.

Japan Day 2017 in Auckland

ASAHI SUPER DRY acknowledges its Japanese roots in being the official beer of Japan Day 2017 held at The Cloud in Auckland.

This is the Japan Society of NZ’s official event bringing a raft of Japanese food, culture and entertainment along with a refreshingly crisp ASAHI SUPER DRY at the ASAHI Beer Garden.

BMW ISPS Handa NZ Golf Open

ASAHI SUPER DRY is the official beer at the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Golf Open, NZs premier golfing event held across two prestigious and picturesque NZ golf courses – The Hills and Millbrook.

The event runs from March 9 – 12, 2017 and a refreshingly crisp ASAHI SUPER DRY is available at all event bars.

Horse of the Year 2017


ASAHI SUPER DRY featured at NZ’s premier equestrian event and the largest equestrian event in the Australasia in Horse of the Year 2017.

Bringing together over 1800 riders and 2500 horses over 6-days of competition, this premier equestrian event hosted in the Hawkes Bay will have refreshingly crisp ASAHI SUPER DRY available at all event bars.


Asahi Beer New Zealand

Imported and Distributed by Boundary Road Brewery Ltd
116 Boundary Road, Papakura, Auckland 2110, New Zealand