Japan. Beer, quasi-beer sales rise 5.3% in October

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Beer and quasi-beer shipments in the nation in October increased 5.3 percent from a year before to 36,109,000 cases, the first rise in four years for the month, data from four major brewers showed Monday.

The growth was led by higher temperatures in the early part of the month and the brewers’ stepped-up sales promotion for beer. The popularity of seasonal items also pushed up the total shipments.

Beer shipments grew 7.6 percent to 17,833,000 cases, thanks to brisk demand for dark beer and autumn-only products including Kirin Holdings Co.’s “Ichibanshibori Toretate Hop.”

Shipments of happoshu low-malt quasi-beer were down 2.5 percent at 5,265,000 cases. By contrast, shipments increased 5.6 percent to 13,011,000 cases for so-called third-sector beverages, which have little or no malt content and are thus cheaper than beer and happoshu.

Each case contains the equivalent of 20 633-milliliter bottles.