[Opened August 2022] ECHIGO YAKUSO

Echigo Yakuso, known for its YASO gin, is scheduled to open the “Echigo Yakuso Distillery” in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture around the end of August 2022.

Currently, there is no information on making whisky, but since we will exhibit at The Whisky Festival 2022 to be held in March 2022, we are guessing that there is a possibility that we may enter the whisky industry in the future.

1. Echigo Yakuso

Echigo Yakuso is a company headquartered in Niigata Prefecture, founded in August 1976, that manufactures and sells health foods, manufactures and sells kimchi, and manufactures and sells sake. Many customers are pleased with products created by utilizing the vitality of wild grass in nature and the power of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, yeast, koji mold, etc.

CreationAugust 1976
Head office address73 Kozaruya, Joetsu City, Niigata 942-0055
Kimchi Factory541 Shimokawara, Katsura, Itoigawa City, Niigata 949-1337
Business DescriptionManufacture and sale of health foods
Manufacture and sale of kimchi
Liquor manufacturing and sales

In Echigo Yakuso, “YASO GIN” is very popular among gin rubber.

Alcohol was born as a by-product in the process of producing health foods (enzyme products) made from 80 kinds of wild grasses.
The unique spirits made from this material and the uniqueness created by adding botanicals and re-distilling
“Memorable Gin”

From YASO official website

“YASO GIN” is exactly the herb to drink. The botanicals that you feel firmly and the gin that is regularly released exclusively are a wonderful word.

All of them are very complete gin.

Each edition is a perfect match between unique botanicals, traditional botanicals of gin, and abundant medicinal herbs. The limited edition is somewhat difficult to obtain, but standard products are available. Why don’t you pick up this wonderful gin once by all means?

2. Echigo Yakuso Distillery

In August 2022, Echigo Yakuso Distillery will be opened as a distillery like an art museum with the concept of “taste with the five senses” with the art of “YASO GIN” , which I introduced earlier.

In October 2020, we conducted crowdfunding to fund the expansion of the distillery and the purchase of distillers. Return products including pre-sale of limited gin bottle sets are available. We collected as much as 5,252,800 yen, well above the target amount of 1,000,000 yen.

Utilizing the crowdfunding described above, it will be niigata’s first distillery restaurant with distilled scenery, contemporary art, and a restaurant bar. It is a distillery with a space integrated space where you can enjoy the scenery of Joetsu City.

The first floor is a factory floor where you can actually observe the distillation, and the second floor is an open space “Open Art Gallery Floor” . Art works on the theme of plants and fermentation will be on display for a limited time.

Yaso and local produce can be enjoyed as a restaurant bar on the 3rd floor. It seems to be a panoramic restaurant with 360 degrees glass.

Image quote: YASO Official HP

2-1. Echigo Yakuso Distillery Project

Echigo Yakuso manufactures health foods (enzyme products) using 80 kinds of raw materials, mainly wild grass. Gin produced by adding botanicals to unique spirits made from alcohol produced as a by-product in the manufacturing process is expressed as “memorable gin” and expressed as art.

Echigo Yakuso Distillery aims to be a recycling-oriented distillery that does not emit any garbage. Usually, plants used as botanicals are treated as residues. At Echigo Yakuso Distillery, the residue generated in the process of manufacturing products is grown in the garden on the site, and the residue is used as fertilizer for YASO such as spices and juniper berries. Instead of recycling, we have built a cycle that takes into account the natural environment. 50 or 100 years from now, we will engage in a variety of projects closely related to nature and the region.

3. Consideration

“YASO GIN” is highly appreciated among gin rubber. The distillery brings excitement as if you were visiting a museum. Perhaps the early days of the open will be quite crowded?

In addition, it is not currently clear whether reservations for tours are required for this corona disaster. If you have a reservation system, you may be able to visit calmly with a small number of people.

Echigo Yakuso will also be exhibited at The Wildsky Festival 2022 to be held in March 2022. I would like to consider that there is a good way to enter the whisky industry in the future.

Just thinking about what kind of whiskey Echigo Yakuso, which has made very complete gin, will fill your heart with expectations!

Learn more about The Wehisky Festival 2022 in March 2022.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

(2). Japanese Whiskey as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled ” Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business. “
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whiskey, as well as his companion, Rita.

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whiskey boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whiskey, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whiskey can be found.

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