Hokkaido joins the craft gin boom in Japan
From Europe to Japan, the popularity of artisanal gin distilleries in the island country has become a trendy topic and something that all Japanese investors from the alcohol industry wish to be part of.
It all begins with the Japanese craft gin pioneers: Suntory distillery with their cherry blossom Roku Gin, Ki No Bi with their Kyoto Dry Gin, Nikka with their Nikka Coffey Gin (now also in the Australian market). These are all produced with local ingredients such as yuzu, cherry blossom, and matcha tea.
The city of Sapporo did not want to be left behind and thanks to Hokkaido Liberty Whiskey Inc. (firstly intended only for whiskey production) along with Benizakura Distillery, the first gin distillery in the second largest island of Japan, Hokkaido is now a reality.
All raw material from the « 9148 » gin is locally extracted. Wait, does this sound familiar? The official name of the new gin brand is based on George Orwell’s novel, “1984”, with the 19 becoming 91 and the 84 becoming 48.
The novel describes a « foul tasting, medicine-like gin » society. A source of inspiration for the distillery Benizakura to switch the numbers around and demonstrate that its gin is completely the opposite. The Japanese « 9148 » will make you feel entirely free.
The 700 ml bottle is already on sale for an estimate of 44 US dollars (4860 Japanese yen) and according to production overseer, Akiyuki Koshikawa, it is mainly recommended to enjoy on the rocks.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly