Some 4,600 grocery items are becoming more expensive this month in Japan as the country’s food and beverage makers continue to pass on costs amid a once-in-a-generation inflation surge. Beer, however, is the notable exception.

A 350-milliliter can of brew costs drinkers about ¥7 (5 cents) less from October, thanks to changes in the country’s tax system. But cheaper suds aren’t a ploy for political support. Instead, it’s a long-overdue overhaul to Japan’s convoluted liquor tax, which for decades has incentivized brewers to prioritize low-quality products.

It might seem odd to reduce taxes on alcohol while many countries are imposing minimum prices or lifting levies, something the World Health Organization says could save thousands of lives a year. But for Japan, this is actually a beneficial change, meant to improve government coffers and the quality of the country’s brews. At the same time as the tax on "real” beer is being lowered, the rate is rising for cheaper, lower-quality substitutes that have come to dominate the market over the past three decades.