image I suppose it's no worse than candy cigarettes, or Shirley Temples, but it just seems kind of weird. It's 'Kidsbeer', now being sold in Japan. It looks like beer, but it's not. It's really just a yellow-colored cola beverage that comes in a brown bottle. So kids can drink it and pretend to be beer-guzzling adults. It's marketed with the slogan: "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink."


Posted on Thu Aug 11, 2005


Hey, catchy slogan.

In my childhood (back in the late Pleistocine), there were one or two soft drinks on the U.S. market that were basically non-alcoholic imitation beer. I seem to recall that one of them was called Champale, and I don't remember what the other was called (if there was another one). They went off the market after a little while, but I think it was less because of parental outrage than because most people didn't think they tasted good. I rather liked Champale, though (if that was the name of it).

I guess root beer is also a beer-like beverage in many ways. I've even heard that in the old days (now I'm talking about the 19th century) it was mildly alcoholic.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Thu Aug 11, 2005  at  04:46 PM
Hmm, the article in the Japan Times says Kidsbeer doesn't contain alcohol but it does have guarana. Guarana (a South American herbal extract) is a reputed aphrodisiac.
Maybe there's something to those "Rainbow Party" stories after all ...
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Thu Aug 11, 2005  at  04:50 PM
hell, when I was a kid, "they" had chalk-like candy cigarettes in brand-lookalike boxes, bubble gum and chocolate cigars, and little forties of malted-milk liquor...and then there was Reefer Taffy, Vodka Babies, Ju-Ju-Junk, Lysergic Acid Cupcakes, and my favorite, Opium Joy bars...
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  08:24 AM
In the UK, it's fairly common to see cans of shandy on sale next to Coke, Pepsi and so forth; it has a very small amount of actual beer, and society doesn't seem to frown on children drinking it. No-one with access to real beer would drink the stuff, so kids must be the target market.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  02:57 PM
Curiously enough, in Ireland there is a version of lemonade that is brown in colour. It was supposedly created for the shipyard workers in East Belfast. The workers at Harland's (the shipyard)were not allowed to be drunk while at work, but they did not want to be seen drinking what was obviously a soft drink in the pub at lunchtime, hence brown lemonade.

Brown lemonade is one of those things that I always try to get hold of whenever I go back to Ireland to see my family. It always comes in handy (along with other foods from home) for bribing the Irish secretaries at work.
Posted by John Wilson  on  Sun Aug 14, 2005  at  05:34 AM
they did not want to be seen drinking what was obviously a soft drink in the pub at lunchtime, hence brown lemonade

The other possibility, and perhaps more likely, is that they could then drink real beer whilst on the job, and pretend that it was actually 'brown lemonade'; they'd had to make sure not to actually become drunk, although I suppose they could always blame it on paint fumes, or something.

A search on the electronic internet reveals that brown lemonade goes good with vodka, and that a company called Cantrell makes it. And of course there is always ginger beer, which is awesome.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sun Aug 14, 2005  at  08:54 AM
"hence brown lemonade."

eeewwwww. :sick:
Posted by Snowy  on  Wed Aug 17, 2005  at  09:50 AM
Big Gary C, I believe the other was "Near Beer" which was my favorite in Indiana. Never saw it anywhere else. It had the taste of beer but no alcohol, not even the quarter percent that the modern non-alcoholic beers have. AT least that's my memory of the stuff. I ran into Champale while in the service being served when you bought a drink for one of the women in various joints. Your beer or drink would cost 200% and the drink for the "lady" would cost about 600% normal. Had some interesting conversations though, some of those gals knew where the best places to visit were, not the highly publisized tourist traps, the places the locals went.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Aug 18, 2005  at  02:16 PM
In Germany there is so called "Maltz" beer - non alcoholic. In Russia there's a "Kvas" - non alcoholic cereal drink.
Posted by just testin' :)  on  Wed Aug 24, 2005  at  02:53 PM
Near Beer is still available. My father drinks it.

I don't see how the kidsbeer is too much different from the various softdrinks, mainly rootbeers, marketed in brown bottles just like beer, some of them produced by beer companies, and containing the words "brewed" and "draft" on them.

You can also check out for another beer look alike that's been in Utah for 40+ years.
Posted by Ray  on  Mon Sep 19, 2005  at  12:07 PM
Just to clear it up: Brown Lemonade is a product of NORTHERN Ireland, they drink Red Lemonade down the Dark Side.

Brown Lemonade is made by Cantrell and Cochrane (C&C for short) and is indeed very tasty with Vodka.

In the future dont confuse Northern Ireland with those beggars down south, thank you very much
Posted by Matthew Kenny  on  Mon Jan 08, 2007  at  11:26 AM
hhe i want some o that kidsbeer...

looks pretty tasty
Posted by neil  on  Sat Mar 17, 2007  at  05:00 PM
Wow, I can see how that slogan would appeal to (some) kids. That's hilarious.
As people have been saying, slightly alcoholic or non-alcoholic booze substitutes for kids have been around forever. When I was growing up, my parents would give me Manischewitz wine (a kosher wine with a very low alcohol content) on special occasions. Made me feel sorta grown-up, although I hated the taste of it.
Also, kvass is a mildly alcoholic drink that's considered ok for kids in Russia, though adults drink it too. It's a little rough on American palates, at least in my experience.
Posted by El Harlo  on  Sun Mar 02, 2008  at  12:16 PM
I have jus moved over 2 wales from northern ireland. When i drink beer i like 2 drink it as a shandy with brown lemonade, but now i ave run out & im devastated. Does anyone know where i can get this within the gwent, cardiff area
Posted by sile  on  Wed May 13, 2009  at  03:27 PM
Kids don't need to drink! A to smoke too! They are only kids and adults habits are very bad!
Posted by andrew  on  Wed Jun 16, 2010  at  05:05 AM
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