Because a beer is a terrible thing to waste.

With the unexpected and unprecedented drop in social activity for most of 2020, not only restaurants but their suppliers have also been hit hard financially. For example, beer sales in Japan plummeted by 52 percent in April compared to the same time the year before.

As a result, leading brand Budweiser had a glut of about 80,000 beers on their hands. With no end to this lull in social drinking in sight, it would all likely go to waste.

Luckily, this is the type of situation that Tokyo-based Ethical Spirits are consummate pros at handling. They are the producers of Last, which is a flavored gin made from the leftover sediment (lees) of sake production.

This time, Ethical Spirits are attempting the same magic with beer as a source ingredient. However, there are a lot of differences between sake lees and beer: one’s made from rice and the other barely, one’s solid and the other’s a carbonated liquid, and so on.

So Ethical Spirits joined forces with one of Japan’s largest and longest-running sake producers Gekkeikan and made use of their vast resources and expertise in the production of Revive: quite possibly the world’s first gin made from leftover Budweiser.

Juniper berries are used to give that distinct gin flavor, along with lemon peels and cinnamon. Hops and beechwood chips are also added to bring out the inherent flavors of the Budweiser brewing process.

Also, because it’s made from beer rather than grain alcohol, the result has a much thicker and complex taste that complements bolder foods with spicy and salty flavors.

But more importantly, a sip of Revive also contains a hint of doing the right thing by supporting Ethical Spirits’ business model of sustainably cutting costs while reducing waste products, as impossible as that sounds from conventional business wisdom.

For example, while making Last sake, breweries can cheaply offload their lees to Ethical Spirits who then make it into gin. Then a part of the proceeds of Last’s sales goes into buying rice that Ethical Spirits gives back to the breweries so they can continue to make sake and thus make more lees which will again make more Last.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, however, is a far cry from a rural Japanese sake brewery and likely doesn’t need donations of barley. So instead, Ethical Spirits will point their circle-of-life model toward the Japanese live music scene. A portion of the sales of Revive will be donated to Music Cross, which is an aid fund for those in the live music industry, to ensure there will be plentiful places that sell Budweiser in the future.

This also means that Revive is a relatively short-term project and supplies are limited. So if you’re curious about what a gin made from recycled beer tastes like, or are interested in helping out the Japanese live music scene while getting a buzz on at the same time, this Bud’s for you!

Just pick up a bottle for 5,500 yen ($52) from Ethical Spirits online store linked below.

Source: Ethical Spirits, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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