The Japanese brewer Sapporo Breweries said today that it was to launch another "happoshu" beer-like alcoholic beverage called "Brau Honsuguri" by mid-September.

The brand is expected to replace the company’s existing "Fine Lager" happoshu, which has had disappointing sales. It has also been the target of complaints from rival Kirin Brewery, which claims that the Fine Lager label resembles that of Kirin's flagship "Lager Beer."

Brau Honsuguri will sell for Y135 for a 350-milliliter can, and Y185 for a 500-milliliter can.

In related news, the Japanese press reported that beer consumers in the country can expect the prices of beer and "happoshu" beer-like low-molt beverage to rise about Y4 per 350-milliliter can at Japanese retail stores from September.

The prices will rise as Japan's four major breweries are set to abolish kickbacks they pay to retailers, including supermarkets, at the end of August, the reports said.