$50,000 mug for a truly golden beer

A staff member from Japanese jewellery brand Ginza Tanaka pours beer into a solid gold tankard during a demonstration at its unveiling ceremony in Tokyo June 17, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Would a pint of beer taste any better in a $50,000 mug, especially in a recession? Its Japanese gold manufacturer would like customers to think so.

The mug, made of 850 grams (30 ounces) of gold, was showcased at Ginza Tanaka’s latest collection entitled “Summer Cool”, which includes items that many Japanese believe help relieve the heat of summer’s muggy days.

Ginza Tanaka says drinking beer in a goblet that costs as much as a luxury car is the ultimate cool experience.

“It’s, of course, tasty drinking beer from a normal glass, but it was a new experience to drink from a golden mug,” said staff member Aya Yanagi.

Other objects on display included golden sake and wine glasses -- at $30 a gram -- as well as a golden fan that provides a very pricey breeze.

Naoto Mizuki, general manager of Ginza Tanaka’s marketing department, said the price of the items changes on a daily basis, along with the price of gold.

But whether any one will buy them is another story, with Japan mired in a deep economic recession and jobless rates climbing.