After experiencing a massive reduction of draft beer sales as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Asahi Group Holdings has now targeted the at home beer tapping market as a driving force for new growth. Asahi will launch on May 25 a home tapping device, dubbed The Drafters which serves “Draft beer” from a 2 liter container.
The containers are filled in Asahi’s Nagoya brewery and are shipped directly to the home of the customers. The 2 liter containers need to be cooled 12 hours before the beer can be poured at the desired temperature of about 4-6 degree Celsius. It is recommended to empty the container within 3 days.
The beer is sold online throughout Japan and can be ordered at a specially designed “The Drafters” website.
Asahi offers a monthly subscription model for the new device with consumers paying JPY 7,980 (USD 73) and receiving two containers per month. Additional containers cost JPY 1,980 (approx. USD 18).
The brewery aims to have 30,000 paying subscribers until the end of the year.
"There is a demand for drinking [beer] wherever you like, regardless of time or place (due to the corona desease),” says Kazuo Matsuyama, general manager of marketing at Asahi Group Holdings. “I want to stimulate new beer demand."
Asahi’s local rival Kirin already announced a similar service.Kirin’s home-delivery beer subscription service is named Home Tap but uses differently from Asahi one-liter plastic bottles. (inside.beer, 8.3.2021)
Other international brewers have already similar products in use for pub or home consumption. Heineken is using its 2l Sub, its 8l Blade and its 20l BrewLock systems and AB InBev has its very similar PureDraught system with 12 and 18 liters. Because of the similarity both companies have fought about patent rights (inside.beer, 5.5.2018) which has in the meantime been settled.
In December 2020 after a two-year testing phase, a professional mail order service for one-way stainless steel kegs started in Germany. The system, which was developed by a third party provider, is open to everybody and offers direct delivery from the brewery to the doorsteps of final consumers. (inside.beer, 17.12.2020)