All About Japan

English Spelling Error Found on New Beer

| Beer , Convenience Stores

Jointly developed by Sapporo, one of the nation’s largest breweries, and Family Mart, one of the country’s largest convenience store chains, the new beer was set to use the same traditional manufacturing methods as Japan’s first beer factory, Kaitakushi Brewery, which was founded in 1897. However, beer was canceled before making it to shelves.

Named Kaitakushi Bakushu Shitate, or "Kaitakushi Beer Tailored," the cancelation wasn’t due to any fault with the beer itself–the issue was with the packaging. According to individual statements released by both Family Mart and Sapporo Breweries the day before the scheduled January 12 release, the beer was suspended due to the misspelling of the word “lager” on the label. Instead of “Lager” the cans had “Lagar” printed on them.

The misspelling was evident in the original press release announcing the beer on January 5, which came with large, high-resolution images. While some might have initially assumed "lagar" was an intentional design choice, this doesn’t appear to be the case, as Sapporo Breweries issued an apology a few days later, saying: "Due to incorrect spelling found in a section of the Kaitakushi Beer Tailored product design, we have decided to discontinue sales. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to customers."

Customers who’d been eagerly awaiting the new release had this to say about the cancellation:

“I don’t care about the spelling error, I just want you to release the beer! I need to know what it tastes like!”
“I don’t mind that you misspelled ‘lager”. It’s not like you wrote ‘bear’ inside of ‘beer’!”
“If you release it with the error, sales would probably go through the roof!”
“It just goes to show how important it is to check for errors in ads and labels during the production process.”
“I wish I could taste it, but I hope what they’ve made doesn’t go to waste. They should gift the cans to frontline workers or something.”

While the fate of the brew is yet to be disclosed, the beer was only being made in limited numbers so there is a slim chance that the error was caught before the cans were filled. However, the notice of suspension of sales failed to make any mention of a re-release, so we’ll just have to wait and see if the taste of Japan’s first brewery will be making it to our lips any time soon.