Domestic beer and beer-like drink shipments in Japan registered a slight rise last month, according to recent statistics.

The Brewers Association of Japan said yesterday (12 September) that shipments in August were up by 1.2% on the same month a year earlier, thanks in part to a heatwave in the country. Total shipments hit 49.77m cases, with one case containing 20 633ml bottles. While regular beer slipped by 0.2%, happoshu also suffered, down by 1.2%. Propping up the sector, however, was the so-called third-beer category, which registered a lift in shipments of 9.3%.

Asahi retained the top spot among the country's brewers in August, the association said, with shipments rising by 2.1% thanks to Super Dry regular beer and happoshu sales. Kirin and Sapporo, however, saw total shipments slip, despite increases in their third-category sales.

Last month, Kirin added to its third-category stable, with the launch of Sparkling Hop in the country. The drink, which bypasses Japan's liquor tax system, is made of a mix of happoshu and spirits.