For those of you not familiar with happoshu, it's an ungodly concoction made to taste like beer, but without containing enough malt for it to actually be classified as beer. It's a sneaky tactic to get around the extortionately high tax that only applies to beer itself, so it sells for approximately two thirds the price. The very obvious downside is that the malt content is less than one third that of beer, which considering what an important ingredient it is, means it's packed full of chemical flavourings. It tastes revolting, and gives you a surreal hangover like you can't imagine. It goes without saying that a beer lover like myself will not allow this un-beer past my lips, nor indeed the threshold of my house. There's nothing worse when having a house party, when somebody obliviously or maliciously purchases a six pack of happoshu, sticks it in the fridge, and then proceeds to drink the expensive real beer that somebody else has paid for. You don't get away with that kind of cheapskatery in MY fridge, which is why my house now has a NO HAPPOSHU directive (see photo). Those of you that are already familiar with happoshu can skip this paragraph.
As if happoshu wasn't already bad enough, along came the next generation of evil called "sonota no zasshu (2)" ("Other miscellaneous (2)") boasting less malt than ever before! Malt content is entirely replaced with some kind of pea or soy protein. Yummy! It tastes as bad as it sounds, only worse. But the worse is yet to come, or more specifically, has just arrived in the form of a rather appropriately named beverage called "Style Free." This not only contains less than 25% fermentable malt content, but additionally contains no sugar. Although it's been a few years since I attended science classes, I was always led to believe that yeast required sugar in order to both produce the alcohol and carbonate the beer. If this indeed contains no sugar, then one can only assume that it's made from an artificial beer flavoured syrup laced with paraffin, and then gotten busy with the fizzy via a Soda-Stream syphon (unless of course they mean that only the amount of sugar the yeast required to turn the chemical laden beer flavoured syrup into a cocktail was added, but I'm not convinced that sounds any better). I honestly can't think of anything I'd want to drink less. Actually, I just did think of something, and I'm off to the toilet now to throw up.
So we have something that is already evil beyond words, but then they take that extra step to make it just that tiny bit worse. A variety of images come to mind that could be quite effective as advertisements. We could have Adolf Hitler out in his ranch sniping at cute baby kittens with a shotgun, while enjoying a can of Style Free. Or possibly Osama Bin Laden relaxing over a can of Style Free with his new associates, the Clu Clux Clan. Or how about Jim Jones enjoying a refreshing can of Style Free while pissing into a vat of Flavor Aid™. The possibilities are absolutely limitless.
A wise man once said that anybody who's willing to sacrifice freedom for a little security deserves neither. I think that's true here too - anybody willing to sacrifice the great flavour and purity of beer for a little saved money deserves to spend their head down the toilet, for the rest of their lives.