World's first no-booze beer garden hits Tokyo

World's first no-booze beer garden hits Tokyo

Zero-alcohol suds the focus of Suntory's high-end All-Free Garden this summer
Suntory All-Free Garden
“Hey ladies, you come here often? Hello? Hello? Cut a guy some slack, will ya?”

Ah -- summer; that sweat-drenched time of year when 5 p.m. every weekday heralds the crack and hiss of a new amber dawn.

Or, to put it another way, the season when Japan’s many, many beer gardens fling open their doors to millions of thirsty office workers.

The ranked masses in downtown Tokyo are sure to be lured to Suntory’s new watering hole, which opens July 5 in the pastoral setting of Roppongi’s Midtown shopping “village.”

We just hope, though, no one’s too on-edge or in need of a fix, as the brewing giant’s All-Free Garden is the world’s first al-fresco beer joint to have a complete ban on alcohol.

More on CNNGo: Video -- Japan’s alcohol-free beers

All-Free beerIt may be All-Free, but it's ¥150 to you.

There is beer on tap, though -- Suntory All-Free, which has a very precise booze-content rating of 0.00 percent. There are also other soft drinks and a selection of, um, summer curries on the menu.

Food prices start at ¥300 (US$3.75), while the “beer” costs ¥150 a can or ¥250 if you’d like a slice of lime on top (other citrus fruits are available).

The All-Free brand, which has been on the market since 2010, is Japan’s biggest-selling no-alcohol beer. It shifted 2.7 million cases in the first half of this year.

A Suntory spokesperson explains why the tease of a beer garden is open in such a prime retail, business and entertainment district.

As well as being a highly visible marketing stunt for All-Free, she said, the garden also offers a safe option for thirsty workers and shoppers who “still have things to do.”

So, if they come back after shopping or work it’s open season on getting blasted and necking a tableful of ethanol-loaded alternatives?

Not exactly -- the All-Free Garden closes at 5 p.m., so we guess Tokyo will have to find another spot to quench its thirst after dark. Allow us to share a few ideas about that.

(Via Japan Real Time)

More on CNNGo: Tokyo’s best beer gardens

Getting there: All-Free Garden, Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka 9-7-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo; open 11 a.m.-5 p.m., July 5-16, closed Monday and in event of rain; www.suntory.co.jp

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