Combined shipments of beer and low-malt “happoshu” in September rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier for the first year-on-year gain in five months, according to data released Friday by Japan’s five top brewers.

Beer and happoshu shipments by Kirin Brewery Co., Asahi Breweries Ltd., Sapporo Holdings Ltd., Suntory Ltd. and Orion Breweries Ltd. totaled 538,465 kiloliters in September.

The shipments recovered as the weather turned hotter in the first half of September after an unusually cool summer, stimulating demand for beer and happoshu, industry officials said.

September beer shipments fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier to 316,059 kiloliters, down for the 42nd month in a row, but the margin of decline narrowed from the 10.6 percent drop in August. Demand was particularly strong from restaurants and bars, the officials said.

Happoshu shipments in September rose 7.3 percent to 222,406 kiloliters, up for the first time in five months. Shipment had previously been sluggish since the May 1 tax hike on happoshu.

By maker, beer shipments by Asahi Breweries rose 1.5 percent, up for the first time in 33 months, with combined shipments of beer and happoshu gaining 11.3 percent.

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