Non-alcohol inryo, or alcohol-free beers, cocktails, and other drinks, have been making quite a splash on the recent beverage market. In 2009, “Kirin Free” alcohol-free beer debuted and became a hot seller, kicking off a nationwide trend. Kirin was followed by others who came up with alcohol-free cocktails and chuhai (drink made with distilled spirits and carbonated water), among other selections, which also became noted for their popularity.
Some see the trend as being rooted in the fact that many young people are avoiding hard liquors, while others ascribe it to a tougher police crackdown on drunk driving. Whatever the reason, beverage manufacturers have been working to make alcohol-free creations that taste just like their “genuine” alcoholic counterparts, allowing drinkers to have a good time and relax without help from alcohol.
At the Keio Plaza Hotel, all the restaurants and bars started serving alcohol-free drinks in 2004, evidencing an awareness that many guests cannot consume alcoholic beverages, or choose not to.
Updated: February 5, 2020