Kiuchi Shuzo to launch Yasato Distillery

Kiuchi Shuzo has been dabbling in whisky for the past several years at their Nukada Brewery, also responsible for making to their famous beer brand, Hitachino Nest.

Japan business daily Nikkei reports that they are through dabbling and looking to make a more significant commitment to Japanese whisky. Kiuchi Shuzo has earmarked some 400mio yen to build a standalone whisky distillery in Ishioka, Ibaraki. They’re calling it the “Yasato Distillery” for now, and it will be located right next to Ibaraki Flower Park. They are aiming to have it operational by June 2019, and it will eventually be open to the public for tours and tastings.

Slated to be some 4300 square meters, the new distillery will produce an estimated 600L of whisky per day. That’s 12 times their current whisky production capacity at the Nukada Brewery. Not that any Kiuchi Shuzo whisky is out in the wild yet — they only started making it in February 2016, and the first products won’t be available until around 2020.

Interestingly, they are aiming to use Ibaraki-farmed ingredients from the get-go. And not just barley — they also want to use wheat, rice, and even soba from Ibaraki as grains. Their water will be pulled from natural hot spring sources, yielding about 10 tons worth of 70°C water per day. The extra heat will be piped to nearby greenhouses and other facilities.


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