Hokkaido NP brings word that HR-tech firm EQIQ is looking to build a whisky distillery on the remote island of Ririshi. When distillation begins in 2021, it will become Japan's northernmost distillery.
Rewind a sec -- you read that right, an HR-tech company is looking to create a Japanese whisky distillery. I'm not sure how the two line up either. Whisky-making is deliberately low-tech and cashflows need to be projected in terms of decades, not quarters. But if a stamp maker and paper company can do whisky. Why not HR-tech?
Let's give them a chance. The man behind EQIQ is Casey Wahl, founder of Wahl + Case. He's quite involved in Japan's startup scene, being something of an angel investor, and it appears he has now set his sights on the island of Rishiri in Hokkaido for the location of the yet unnamed distillery.
The Kamui Whisky website--which is only in English--looks to be just a placeholder at the moment. But we do know that the company plans to begin construction in 2020 and kick off distillation by 2021. The 1800 sqm site will feature a small 130 sqm(!) distillery, as well as a tasting area that will overlook the Sea of Japan. Aging facilities will be somewhere else. The eventual plan is to use local barley and peat, as Mr. Wahl says the climate is similar to that of Islay.
Thanks to @dstorey for the tip!
I’m Whiskey Richard, and I am the founder of nomunication.jp. I’ve lived in Tokyo for over a decade, and I am a certified Shochu Kikisake-shi/Shochu Sommelier (焼酎唎酒師), Cocktail Professor (カクテル検定１級), and I hold Whisky Kentei Level 3 (ウイスキー検定３級). Click here for more details about me and this site. Kampai!