Beer: You Know, for Kids

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Is it wrong that I take a certain perverse glee in imagining the level of insane hand-wringing that would ensue if Japan were to begin exporting the new fad beverage Kidsbeer? Slogan: "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink." (Hat tip: Boing Boing)

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  1. Awesome. Now all I need is a package of Chocolate cigarettes.

  2. Wow, I thought that Julian made that slogan up as a joke. I can’t believe that they’re really using that slogan. That’s hilarious.

  3. I was really amused a couple weeks ago when I came up to the register at a Greek-owned specialty foods store in my old neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, and saw a display of… candy cigarettes! Needless to say, these were imported.

  4. Oh, and hooray for randomly capitalized words in my post.

  5. Has anyone here seen the Japanese series “FLCL”? It’s pretty strange, but it looks at a child becoming an adult, and one of the signs of being “adult” is his ability to drink bitter soda (or maybe coffee in a can, they have that in Japan and it’s damn good). The transition from childhood to adulthood in Japan is still highly ritualized (big ceremony on the 20th birthday, etc.), so is this going to be some huge, culture-shaking product? I wait with baited breath…

  6. Awesome. Now all I need is a package of Chocolate cigarettes.

    who needs chocolate cigarettes when you get the classic candy cigarettes? personally, manhattans were my preferred brand (much to the dismay of my mother).

    candy cigarettes

  7. I was never allowed candy cigarettes. And if I protested, I was placed in a burlap sack and beaten with reeds.

  8. Candy cigs were best in the winter, when you could produce simulated smoke.

  9. I had them sometimes when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s – they tasted kind of like chalk. I much preferred Lemonheads and Now & Laters.

  10. So, does it actually taste like beer? Or is it some type of soda that is just beer-colored?

    I don’t know if they are the same as the ones from wolcott’s link, but when I was a kid, the “Minute Market” down the street sold gum cigarettes. They were wrapped in paper with powdered sugar in them. You could blow on them and it would look like you were smoking and everyone would think you were cool.

  11. Yeah, taste wasn’t really their selling point. Now, speaking of simulated tobacco products: Big League Chew, that was good. Surprizingly, they haven’t changed the name or packaging yet.

  12. I preferred the bubblegum cigars. They even had the paper ring on them.

  13. God, I love the Japanese.

  14. I recall a cartoon long ago featuring a kid on a stool slumped over a lemonade stand nursing a cup. The kid behind the stand is in classic bartender pose wiping glass. The slumped kid is saying “My mother doesn’t understand me.”

    The inventive children will make beer bongs out of habitrail tubing and hotwheels tracks.

  15. Sounds like a clever marketing trick used to sell some crap tasting energy drink. Before I read the article I assumed they just repackaged non-alcoholic beer (which is hardly a new concept). On the subject of kids simulating adult vices, a former colleage of mine, who happened to be Mormon, told me about how he and his friends in high school would buy apple juice, soak the bottles in water to get the labels off, and drive around in their cars pretending to drink beer. Lame, yet humorous at the same time…

  16. God, I love the Japanese.

    agreed… having lived in japan, one of my favorite aspects of the culture was the strong reliance on vending machines. just around the corner from my apartment was a series of vending machines from which i could purchase any/all of the following: soda, cigarettes, hot/cold coffee, beer, and pornography.

    here’s a pic of the beer machines… of course, i always seemed to purchase the jugs in the lower right.

    vending machine beer

  17. But wolcott, how on earth do they prevent children from buying beer? Maybe some sort of fingerprint reading device cross-referenced with a national database of children is called for.

  18. Heh. My boyfriend’s little daughters from Germany were thrilled enough having their first rootbeer here in the U.S., thinking the bottle looked suspiciously like a regular beer bottle.

  19. of course, i always seemed to purchase the jugs in the lower right.

    wolcott, until I saw the picture I wasn’t sure if you were referring to your trips to the beer machine or the porn machine. 🙂 Either way, I bet the lounge here at work would be a more interesting and popular place with a series of vending machines like that along side the candy and Coke machines.

  20. how on earth do they prevent children from buying beer

    i was waiting for that question. obviously, they don’t. however, if i recall correctly, there was a push while i was there to place the machines in more conspicuous places (and get them out of alleys, etc.) so it would be more difficult for children to buy the “bad” vending machine products.

    for a true (and quite amazing) display of the japanese reliance on vending machines, see here.

    check out the entry titled “truly bizarre.” i had always heard about these existing in tokyo but never actually saw one since i lived in the “west virginia” of japan.

  21. My boyfriend’s little daughters from Germany were thrilled enough having their first rootbeer here in the U.S., thinking the bottle looked suspiciously like a regular beer bottle.

    IBC root beer, by chance?

  22. Brings back the days of being ten and freaking out random strangers parents by “smoking” those fake cigarettes in our suburban mall. The funny thing is that now, no one would even notice.

  23. Dude, those vending machines rule!

    I’ve got to go to Japan for sure now!

  24. IBC root beer, by chance?

    I once got pulled over in high school for drinking an IBC while driving. I guess I shouldn’t have tipped the bottle toward the cop as I drove by. He was pretty cool about it when he found out it was root beer, thankfully.

    Also, I seem to remember a bubble gum cigarette that we used to buy that had a paper wrapper. You could blow on it a couple of times and some of the powdered sugar substance stuff would come out the other end – it looked kind of like smoke. The gum tasted like vinyl, however.

  25. Beer for kids: oh, yes, wonderful. And perhaps later we can light up a “doobie” and watch porn.

  26. IBC, indeed. Though they liked it better in a frosted mug with ice cream than they did slugging it from the bottles. I hadn’t realized root beer was so American.

  27. Beer for kids: oh, yes, wonderful. And perhaps later we can light up a “doobie” and watch porn.

    An O’Dweeds doobie and training porn?

  28. training porn?

    For me, that was the lingerie ads in the daily paper.

  29. When I was a kid in the 80’s we used to buy things like “Near Beer” and “Apple Beer” all the time. It basically tasted like really crappy beer but with no alcohol. Haven’t seen it sold in years. The bubblegum cigarettes were fun too, you could blow the layer of sugar off and get a little puff of smoke.

    I didn’t end up becoming a smoker but I do enjoy the occasional daily beer.

  30. Does anybody know what kids drank in the bad old days of unreliable water? We know the adults of the Middle Ages drank beer and wine because it was often cleaner than the water. Did the kids drink beer and wine too? Did they start drinking alcohol right after being weaned?

  31. I, too, am old enough to remember candy cigaretts. They even sold them from GOOD HUMOR TRUCKS, for christ’s sake.

    Because of that, I turned out to be a crackhead on welfare.

  32. Vending machines for beer, tobacco, and porn? Imagine trying to introduce those in today’s US. The ground would shake from mother hen activist groups’ collective jaw-dropping. Then, immediately following, the unmistakable stench of righteous indignation. And at about the same time, a flood caused by salivating litigation attorneys.

  33. Soda, cigarettes, hot/cold coffee, beer, and pornography? All they’d have to do is add condoms and you’d have yourself a one-stop party center!

    BTW, I’ve been told there are also vending machines that dispense used panties in varying degrees of soilage. What a country!

  34. “If you get this drink ready on such occasions as events and celebrations attended by kids, it would make the occasions even more entertaining.”

    Especially after the kids have had a few and pretend to be drunk.

    Awww… look at Kiko stumbling down the stairs. She’s so adorable! (laughter all around)

  35. We know the adults of the Middle Ages drank beer and wine because it was often cleaner than the water. *

    *Also likely true of modern day US city water, depending on which city and which sewage plant it comes from.

    I’ll drink to that.

  36. Does anybody know what kids drank in the bad old days of unreliable water? We know the adults of the Middle Ages drank beer and wine because it was often cleaner than the water. Did the kids drink beer and wine too? Did they start drinking alcohol right after being weaned?

    I believe it was often water cut with wine or mead, or another alcoholic beverage. That would kill a lot of the germs.

    There was also milk from goats or cows, and “tea” made from differnt plants, like nettles.

    I think well water was generally pretty safe though.

  37. Everthing old is new again.

    1978: Chelsea

  38. In related news Hello Kitty is 30 years old today

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