Asahi paused production of its awesome removable-top beer cans, so let’s try making our own! – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Asahi paused production of its awesome removable-top beer cans, so let’s try making our own!

Written by on April 21, 2021


Can we achieve the same results with a can opener? We find out!

Beer lovers in Japan may know that Asahi Super Dry recently released a special kind of beer can that offers the experience of drinking a draft beer freshly poured from the tap. It’s called the Nama Jockey Can, which loosely translates to “Glass of Draft Beer in a Can”, and when we tried it, we were delighted with how tasty and smooth it was.

The can works in a such a way that, rather than having the standard pop tab that all beer cans have, it actually has a pull-open lid, which basically turns the can into a cup so that you can appreciate the full sensations of drinking the beer: the way it smells, the sounds it makes, and the visual appeal. We liked it so much, in fact, that after we tried it we couldn’t envision ourselves ever going back to regular beer cans

At least until Asahi announced that they’ve suspended shipping of the new cans just two days after releasing them, apparently because they don’t have enough materials to make them. Even so, our local convenience store was still selling some shortly after, so we thought we’d still be able to find some for a little while…But soon the shelves were completely wiped out, and all hope was lost.

But then we had a thought…if the idea was to have a more open top of the can, then why can’t we just use a can opener to remove the top of a regular can of beer and drink it that way?

Feeling like we were on the brink of an ingenious discovery, we immediately popped into a convenience store to pick up a regular-style can of Asahi Super Dry.

And because we simply could not wait to confirm our ingenuity, we also bought a can opener.

Now, one of the benefits of the Nama Jockey Can is that it’s specially designed to make the foaming head of the beer really expand when you open the can, thanks to a special textured coating on the inside. The difference in air pressure between the can and the air outside of it really makes that foam pop!

But experience has told us that normal beer cans can also produce a fair amount of head, so it stands to reason that even when we remove the top of the can with a can opener, we should be able to produce at least a little bit of head, right?

Yeah….no.

It’s true that the can did produce some head as we opened it, but it took us so long to open it that it fizzled out by the time we were done. As it turns out, opening an aluminum drinking can with a can opener is really difficult. Because the aluminum is so thin, the can opener had a hard time holding on to it. No matter how many times we tried, it just kept slipping off. In the end, we had to resort to opening the can old-school style–with an army knife.

In the end, it took five minutes to get the top off, and because we were spending all that time handling the can, the beer had warmed considerably. Plus, the head was basically all gone by the time we were ready to drink it. Maybe neither of these things would be a problem if we’d had a faster method to open the can, but without a pull-up lid, it’s hard to imagine a way to get it open faster.

What’s even worse is that the can got pretty warped as we were trying to open it. Luckily the rim wasn’t terribly sharp and didn’t cut our lips or tongue, but it did have holes scattered in random places around it, so the beer would spill when we tried to drink it.

▼ Just for reference’s sake we opened a Nama Jockey Can, and we gained a new appreciation for its efficiency and design.

In this end, this was a truly terrible substitute for the Nama Jockey Can. They aren’t even comparable, which is a real shame because we love the Nama Jockey Can so much that we wish all beer cans were designed like it. We can only hope that the supply issues are resolved soon, because we can’t wait to get our hands on more.

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