Asahi Breweries ha sheld on to the top spot in the Japanese domestic beer market in the first half of this year, with a 39.2% market share compared to the 35.6% of nearest rival Kirin Brewery. Asahi reached the top spot in 2001 for the first time in 48 years through shipments of beer and happoshu, led in particular by its first happoshu brand Honnama.