I’ve noticed that one of the first beers that I drink in any country is the one whose advertisement I see first. The ads for Asahi Strong Off on the subway platforms around Tokyo depicts your average businessman with an expression on his face of either drunken jubilation or gaping in a rictus of groin-tearing pain. It’s more than a little bit off.
Strong Off is a beer that promises all of the boredom of a lager combined with all of the alcohol from a stout. According to the can, it has 60% less carbohydrates which accounts for the “off” portion, the “strong” from the 7% booze kick. It’s a beer that says you remain conscious about your waistline while attempting to drink yourself unconscious.
Asahi says (via the bewildering engine of Google Translate): “Alcohol 7%, 60% carbohydrate is achieved ※ off a new genre. Malt-based company ※ “liqueur (Sparkling) ①” ratio” (アルコール分7%、糖質60%オフ※を実現した新ジャンルです。※発泡酒をベースとした当社「リキュール(発泡性)①」比)
I say: My kanji skills only extend to about 5 characters but I would not be in any way surprised if one of them on the can said “malt liquor”. This is not really even close to beer, closer to a thin alcoholic soap.