Japan’s Sapporo Breweries halts beer release over ‘embarrassing’ misprint

Julian Ryall
·3-min read

One of Japan’s largest breweries has apologised after it was forced to cancel the launch of a limited-edition beer due to a spelling mistake.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd halted the release – scheduled for January 12 – of its new Kaitakushi Beer Tailored after it was discovered that the word “lager” incorporated into a scroll on the front of the can had been misspelled “lagar”.

Produced in a collaboration with the Family Mart chain of 24-hour convenience stores, the beer was manufactured using traditional methods that were employed at Japan’s first beer factory, the Kaitakushi Brewery, which was established in 1897.

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In statements, both the brewery and convenience store said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to customers”.

Junko Fukuchi, a spokeswoman for Sapporo, admitted that the error, though very small and easily overlooked, was “embarrassing”.

“There are no legal issues with the error or the design, but it is certainly embarrassing,” she told the Post. “We decided to cancel the launch of the beer, but we have had so many messages from members of the public saying it does not matter to them.”

We have been inundated with offers from our customers to help out by drinking them

Junko Fukuchi, Sapporo spokeswoman

The company is declining to say how many cans of the 6 per cent beer were produced but confirmed it is presently considering its options, which include correcting the error on the original can and re-releasing it.

“We cannot sell it as it is, but we have not yet decided what we are going to do,” Fukuchi said. “We do not want to simply dump the cans that we have produced – and we have been inundated with offers from our customers to help out by drinking them.”

Other suggestions are that cans that have already been filled and are ready to be served should be donated to health workers and others helping to combat the coronavirus.

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Sapporo Breweries is not the only organisation that has been left red-faced over awkward misprints.

In 2015, Swedish clothing retailer H&M pulled a range of T-shirts that bore the quote: “‘Genious is one percent inspiration & ninety nine percent perspiration.”

In 2018, British online fashion retailer ASOS acknowledged it had printed some 17,000 bags with a phrase that read, “discover fashion onilne”. The brand owned up in a tweet, but said: “We’re calling it a limited edition.”

Last year, it was discovered that millions of Australian banknotes contained a typographical error that had been overlooked by the country’s central bank before they were printed and circulated.

The A$50 note, which is the most widely circulated in Australia, misspelled “responsibility” as “responsibilty” three times.

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