I’ve seen (and drank) Sapporo Premium plenty of times. It’s easy to spot that big, silver tennis ball can at the grocery store beer section. The liquid inside is pale and bland, but it’s 22 ounces and you feel a little like Falstaff (Remember Falstaff?) for around $3.50, so you just try to get to the bottom of the can before it gets warm.
A friend recently hipped me to the existence of Sapporo Reserve. The can’s the same shape, but with gold creeping up from the bottom. It’s labeled “All Malt Beer,” which I’ve got to assume means no corn or rice like Premium.
Reserve pours a deeper, but still pale, yellow compared to Premium. By the way, both versions kick up a surprising amount of bubbles, but still leave a flat beer. Reserve has a stronger flavor than Premium, but that’s not saying much. I’d call it a milder version of Heineken and suggest it over the supermarket pilsners we all know, but if you want something unique, keep looking.
American Sapporo is imported, but not from Japan. It actually comes out of Ontario’s Sleeman Brewery.