After decorating the sides of airplanes and beer bottles, it was only a matter of time before we saw the iconic Sanrio creation, Hello Kitty, make its way onto a beer can. And it has with Taiwan brewer Longchuan’s new Hello Kitty Brew, licensed by Shanghai KT trading company. The taste is everything you’d expect of a Hello Kitty-inspired beverage: suffocatingly sweet as if someone accidentally slopped beer into your Fanta.
Hello Kitty Beer comes in over six different flavors, including passion fruit and banana, but I only encountered lemon-lime and peach at Shanghai convenience stores. And if you don’t read Chinese you’d never guess from the cutesy label, featuring a prancing Hello Kitty with brightly-colored fruit trailing behind, that the can contained beer. Fruit punch and Pikachu tears, maybe.
I actually didn’t mind the lemon-lime flavor, which was spritzy, slightly tart but still too sweet, and tangy like a lime ricki mixed with lemonade. The peach flavor reminded me of that annoying friend that’s pleasant and sweet in the beginning but eventually smothers you and doesn’t go away. In both beers, the fruit overshadows the beer. You could draw comparisons between Hello Kitty beer and Belgian fruit lambic beers (maybe if you siphoned most of the beer out), but they’re more closely-related to certain Taiwanese and Japanese brews that feature strong fruit flavors. And I expect Hello Kitty beer to make a splash in Shanghai where saccharine versions of traditionally non-sweet items like beer, baguettes, hot dogs etc., have been huge hits.
And if you think it risqué to feature such an adorable, seemingly kid-friendly logo on a beer, you clearly don’t know Hello Kitty. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hello Kitty Scud Missiles or suppositories in the near future (if they don’t have them already).
Hello Kitty Beer can be found at most 711 outlets, and runs you 9.20RMB per can.
[Image credit: Eric Jou of Kotaku]
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].