They released an official Sanrio sanctioned Hello Kitty beer in China, and I drank it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome, internet. Rumor is that there are at least 4 flavors, possibly 6, but currently I could only find two of them at my local 7-11. The one on the left is lemon-lime and the one on the right is peach. Both contain 2.3% alcohol and 5% fruit juice.
First impression? I swear it looks like Hello Kitty is farting out the fruit. This does not give me a good feeling about the contents of the can.
Kotaku recently had one of their writers test the beers as well, and he actually gave them a glowing review. His takeaway from the experience was this:
They’re so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell they’re drinking beer. It’s almost like drinking fruit juice, even if the cans do say “beer” (啤酒 or pi jiu).
So, I figured that I was just being overly cynical when judging the can. Maybe Hello Kitty fruit beer wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it would be refreshing and enjoyable. Maybe it would make an excellent option for daytime drinking in public.
I decided to try the lemon-lime beer first because it made a bit more sense to me. You put a lime in Corona or orange in Blue Moon, so a citrus beer is not all that divergent from what I’m used to. I cracked it open and was greeted with the unmistakable aroma of freshly laid asphalt. Seriously, holding the can near my face was like inhaling tar steam. Adorable, cartoon tar steam.
The taste? Absolutely terrible. It was like someone combined watery beer and flat Sprite, poured it on the pavement, had me lick it, then gave me a lemon rind to bite. The aftertaste was distinctly chemical, very bitter, and it lingered on my tongue for an uncomfortably long time. Consulting my notes, it seems I wrote: “I am belching and regretting my decision to drink this.”
I am concerned that this beer may be the world’s cutest poison. I would definitely never consume this again on purpose.
After my harrowing brush with Hello Kitty death, I figured I was already halfway to hell so I may as well finish the journey. It was time to try the peach, and I decided that this time I better pour it into a glass just to make sure it wasn’t caustic. Luckily, this one didn’t smell nearly as toxic. The aroma was identical to that of a popular sweet bottled peach drink that they sell in China, and the flavor was basically a watered-down alcoholic version of it.
It is vaguely drinkable, and I could see non-beer drinkers being willing to drink it socially. If you pour it into a glass, you could blend in with other beer drinkers at a party. Then again, anyone who intentionally purchases Hello Kitty beer probably wants to be seen drinking it directly from the can. It could benefit from more carbonation.
I would also never consume this again on purpose, but at least I’m pretty sure it won’t kill me. I guess only time will tell.