The results are in – 秋味 is still king


Like pretty much everything in life, the original is always the best. Going left to right. Kirin Akiaji (秋味) has the best flavor of the autumnal beers. Sapporo second. Not much difference to an Ebisu. Suntory added a hint of fruit into their standard pale ale and Asahi’s effort is as shocking as SuperDry. There is a place reserved in Hell for the person that signed off on that. So there you have it.

Sinto Beer


On a business trip to Mie Predecture. This is the local lager. Japanese rarely do bad beer. This is a fruity type lager. Well worth a try. The other thing well worth a try is Amanemu Resort.

Magical Christmas Unicorn vanilla ice cream beer – what were they smoking?


All jokes aside this “Magical Christmas Unicorn” vanilla ice cream beer from a local brewer in Beechworth, Victoria is much better than it sounds. 7.3% alcohol. I’m wondering whether they tip a punnet of ice cream inside a brewing vat? If you get a chance try it – it is nothing like you imagine. Perhaps they named it after a night with magical mushrooms on Christmas Eve.

Inflation masked as deflation in Japan


In Tokyo it is hard not feeling the sting of a 710-yen flag fall when hailing a cab. On the upside your fare lasts 2km assuming you don’t get buried in a traffic jam. Now the flag fall is dropping to 410-yen which looks like a bargain until you notice you only get 1.052km included in the fare before the meter kicks in.

After the first 1.052 km, passengers will be charged ¥80 for every 237 meters, a harsher per-meter rate than the previous ¥90 per 280 meters. The Transport Ministry assures us passengers traveling up to about 2 km will pay less under the new system, while those making trips over 6.5 km will see higher costs.

I recall such sneaky economics at the A971 bar in Midtown which advertises a 420ml beer for Y600 or a 570ml beer for Y900. As Leo from the FT once wrote in response to the pic I sent him below, “The pricing of the small glass has been set to represent the best deal…because the bar assumes its cash-strapped customers will not order the more expensive one anyway, so at least let the unhappy drinkers feel they have a bargain.”


$30bn bids for $5.3bn reveals the extent of the yield starved

Molson Coors managed to take advantage of yield starved investors by offering four tranches of debt totalling $5.3bn between three and thirty years. The deal was oversubscribed 6x. Well the arranger for the bonds will be laughing all the way to the bank by collecting around $45mn in fees.

As interest rate products around the world continue to fall as central banks desperately try in vain to get velocity going again, investors continue to be pushed further out the curve. There is a lot of money looking for homes but in a world dominated by TINA (there is no alternative) is it any wonder we’ll see corporate bond financing continue to take advantage. The question going forward is the rationale for debt raising – is it to pay down cheaper debt or is it for growth? In MolsonCoors case it was to pay down the $12bn acquisition of MillerCoors (the partnership with SAB Miller).