As a new specialty product from Kobe," starting October 6th, it will be available at Daimaru Kobe and Kobe bars! To commemorate the launch, the "Kobe Bar Hopping Guide" has been released.
Ethical Spirits Co., a distillation venture aiming to achieve a circular economy through the production of craft gin using underutilized materials and operating regenerative distilleries, has newly distilled the craft gin '365' under the supervision of Kobe bartenders, including Keisuke Sugiyama of Bar PuzzLe, Masafumi Goto of Bar Main Malt, Kazuya Morisaki of SAVOY hommage, and Yasunobu Kinoshita of SAVOY East Gate.
Craft gin '365' is made using sake lees from 'Shiratoro,' a Japanese sake produced in the renowned sake region of Nada Gokou, along with underutilized materials and specialty products from Kobe, such as Arima Sansho, as botanicals. This "ethical gin" will be available for sale and service at various locations, including Daimaru Kobe and Kobe bars, starting from October 6th (Friday).
Furthermore, in collaboration with the Kobe Tourism Bureau, '365' has created and released the "Kobe Bar Hopping Guide" to promote the activation of Kobe's nightlife and tourism.
Official '365' brand site: https://kobe365.ethicalspirits.jp
・Craft gin '365' Distillation Background
In an effort to revitalize the regional economy and enhance the competitiveness of local industries in Hyogo Prefecture, a collaboration was formed between the Hyogo Prefecture government, private enterprises, and others to establish the "Hyogo Kobe Startup Fund," which primarily focuses on investments in startups. As a result of an investment from this fund into Ethical Spirits, a venture dedicated to realizing a circular economy and running regenerative distilleries, the idea of finding new ways to utilize the underutilized byproduct "sake lees," which are obtained when producing Japanese sake in the renowned sake region of Nada Gokou, emerged. Ethical Spirits had previously been utilizing sake lees to distill craft gin, and this collaboration led to the distillation of the craft gin '365.'
As a historic port city that still embodies elements of foreign culture, Kobe is known for its vibrant bar scene, particularly centered around Sannomiya. Here, bars are plentiful, and the culture of "bar hopping" or what could be called "bar crawl" is deeply ingrained, allowing patrons to visit several bars in one outing.
It's worth noting that in the process of distilling craft gin '365,' the aim goes beyond just crafting gin. The goal is to comprehensively plan, from distillation to promotion, an initiative that leverages the local drinking culture of Kobe, known as "bar hopping," to enhance it as a tourism attraction.
・Authentic Gin '365,' Tailored to Kobe's 365 Days.
Craft Gin '365' was born through the Kobe spirit of 'Wakon Yosai,' blending Japanese traditions with Western ingenuity, by reclaiming local Kobe ingredients such as sake lees from 'Shiratoro,' produced in Nada Gokou, and 'Arima Sansho,' and transforming them into a 'Gin,' an iconic element of foreign culture, all in the heart of Japan's premier sake region, Nada Gokou.
Under the supervision of Kobe bartenders, including Keisuke Sugiyama of Bar PuzzLe, Masafumi Goto of Bar Main Malt, Kazuya Morisaki of SAVOY hommage, and Yasunobu Kinoshita of SAVOY East Gate, '365' was distilled by Ayumu Yamaguchi, the head distiller at Ethical Spirits. The production of '365' involved the highest number of prototypes in Ethical Spirits' history, resulting in a truly crafted gin.
The distinctive flavor, accentuated by the use of 'Arima Sansho,' a slow food product cultivated in the vicinity of Arima, creates a crispness that resembles the nostalgic authenticity of classic dry gin, a beloved staple in Kobe for many years.
Named '365' (Sanroku-go), it draws its inspiration from the daily life of Kobe, where sea breezes from the port and mountain winds from Mount Rokko embrace the historic cityscape. The name is derived from the numbers 3 (Sannomiya), 6 (Mount Rokko), and 5 (Nada Gokou). Furthermore, the label design motif features 'hydrangea,' which thrives abundantly on Kobe's Mount Rokko and is also the city's official flower, symbolizing its vibrant beauty.
Crafted from the materials and culture that have endured in Kobe beyond the era of foreign influences, '365' is a craft gin that captures the essence of the city. Please enjoy a drink that harmonizes with Kobe's every day, 365 days a year.
'365' will be available for bottle sales starting October 6th (Friday) at stores such as Daimaru Kobe and Kobe Kosome Shoten, and will also be served at select bars in Kobe.
<Participating Outlets (Selected)>
Daimaru Kobe Store - Japanese and Western Liquor Section
Address: 40 Akashimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650-0037, Japan
Offering and Sales Format: Bottle sales (Tasting available from October 6th to October 10th)
Korosue Shoten Liquor Store
Address: 1F Marufuku Building, 3-1-2 Kitanagasadori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0012, Japan
Business Hours: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Closed on Sundays and holidays)
Offering and Sales Format: Bottle sales
<Bartenders Who Supervised Craft Gin '365' and Their Comments>
Keisuke Sugiyama - Bar 'PuzzLe'
Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. After gaining experience in renowned patisseries and Italian restaurants in Kobe, Keisuke embarked on a career as a bartender. In 2011, he opened Bar 'PuzzLe' in Sannomiya East Gate Street. In 2012, he discovered the fascinating world of gin and began promoting gin in Sannomiya, Kobe. In 2018, he worked as a bartender instructor in Cape Town, South Africa. Presently, he manages a selection of over 400 different gins and continues to explore the world of gin further.
I am deeply honored to have been involved in the development of Kobe's gin, '365,' as a true Kobe native born and raised here. Gin has a history of being cherished by sailors, making it a fitting choice for a port city like Kobe. With '365,' we aimed to capture the essence of Kobe, where the sea breeze and the mountain winds of Mount Rokko blow through. We've incorporated the scents of Arima Sansho and citrus, like a refreshing gust of wind. To ensure it retains the true essence of gin, we've used a bit more juniper berry than what's commonly used. I invite you to savor the winds that blow through the port city of Kobe.
Address: 3F Bay Area Building, 1-5-9 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0011
Bar 'PuzzLe' Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bar_puzzle_kobe/
Kazuya Morisaki - Bar 'SAVOY hommage'
Kazuya Morisaki began working as a bartender at the renowned Kobe establishment 'SAVOY' in March 2000. In October 2005, he ventured out on his own and currently serves as the owner and bartender at 'SAVOY hommage' in Hanakuma, Kobe. In recognition of his skills, he received the 'Kobe City Excellent Skilled Worker Award.' Additionally, he achieved the title of Overall Champion in the 'National Bartender Skills Competition' held for bartenders across Japan in 2021. In 2022, he secured victory in the Long Drink category at the 'World Cocktail Championship,' a global bartender competition.
Creating a gin inspired by our beloved port city, Kobe, was a journey filled with countless trials and errors. Today, our heartfelt vision has taken shape. It goes beyond just using local ingredients; it gently reflects the essence of the people and the atmosphere of the city. The encounter between the history of a port town that has embraced diverse cultures and the unique botanicals softly whispers something to us. May the natural aromas carried by the gentle sea breeze, the refined taste, and the beautiful and vibrant scenes of Kobe reach all of you.
Address: 1F Yamate Dia Heights, 5-8-14 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0011
Bar 'SAVOY hommage' Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/savoy.hommage/
Yasunobu Kinoshita - Bar 'SAVOY East Gate'
Hailing from an island in the Seto Inland Sea, Yasunobu Kinoshita joined Bar 'SAVOY KITANOZAKA' in Kobe after furthering his education. After 14 years at the establishment, he inherited the family name and the premises from his mentor, Yoshihisa Kimura, and became independent in March 2023. He has been part of the Japanese qualifiers for the world's largest bartending competition, 'World Class Japan,' where approximately 25,000 bartenders from 60 countries and regions participate. Furthermore, he was selected as one of the top 10 finalists in 'World Class Japan 2022.'
I want to express my gratitude to everyone for allowing me to be a part of this project. This Kobe Ethical Gin '365' is a creation that I particularly wish to deliver to those who are looking to take a new step. It combines the evolving cityscape of Kobe, the ever-diversifying Sannomiya, the blessings brought by Mount Rokko, the sake culture of Nada Gokou, and infuses them into a gentle and vibrant flavor with a delightful drinking experience.
Address: 1-7-20 Nakayamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0004
Bar 'SAVOY East Gate' Instagram: https://instagram.com/savoyeastgate
・Product Overview of Craft Gin '365'
Product Name: '365' Product Type: Spirits (Gin) Alcohol Content: 47% Container: 375ml Botanicals: Juniper Berry, Arima Sansho, Coriander Seed, Lemon Peel, Valencia Orange Peel, Kinkan Flower, Bucchinochi, Orris Root, Angelica Root, Lemon Myrtle, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Bergamot, Kawachi Bankan
While experiencing the sharp flavor of the key botanical 'Arima Sansho,' reminiscent of Kobe, '365' begins with a top note that evokes a floral aroma. It finishes with a refreshing citrus flavor, leaving behind a splendid aftertaste that conjures up the everyday life in Kobe.
・About Kobe Bar Hopping:
The historic port city of Kobe, where the legacy of foreign influences still thrives, boasts a vibrant bar scene, primarily centered around Sannomiya. 'Bar hopping' or visiting multiple bars in one outing has long been a beloved activity in this city.
Kobe's cosmopolitan atmosphere, unique to a port town, continues to flourish. It has been a gathering place that weaves together past and present, attracting locals and tourists from both Japan and abroad. With the desire to welcome even more visitors, we created the 'Kobe Bar Hopping Guide' in conjunction with the distillation of Craft Gin '365.'
You can pick up the 'Kobe Bar Hopping Guide' at Kobe's tourist information centers and various bars, starting from October 6th. Additionally, you can also download it from the official brand website of '365.'
Official Brand Website for '365': https://kobe365.ethicalspirits.jp/
・Cooperation: Kobe Tourism Bureau
The Kobe Tourism Bureau, aiming for the development of the regional economy, the enhancement of civic culture, and the growth of Kobe Port, maximizes the appeal of diverse tourism resources within the 'Kobe Tourism Zone.' We work in strong collaboration with various stakeholders in the Kobe area to build a platform and comprehensively promote tourism promotion and MICE attraction.
Official Kobe Tourism Website 'FeelKOBE': https://www.feel-kobe.jp/
<From the Kobe Tourism Bureau>
The craft gin '365,' born from the collaboration between Ethical Spirits and Kobe's bartenders, truly embodies the spirit of 'Kobe,' using Nada Gokou sake lees and Arima Sansho, among others.
This 'Kobe Craft Gin' is a culmination of Kobe's mountains, seas, and the everyday life that blends seamlessly into all 365 days, together with Kobe's bar culture. Gin, which can be enjoyed in various ways, is a fitting masterpiece for the diverse city of 'Kobe.' We invite you to explore the various bars in the charming streets of Kobe, steeped in an exotic atmosphere, and savor the versatility of '365' to the fullest.
・Ethical Spirits Co., Ltd.
In March 2020, Ethical Spirits Co., Ltd. began producing and selling 'LAST,' a craft gin, by re-distilling 'sake lees,' a material that would typically be discarded, generated at the end of the sake production process.
The attention garnered by 'LAST' extended not only to its production method but also to its accolades in prestigious competitions. It won the national award in the 'World Gin Awards 2021,' a category within the highly esteemed WWA, and received the highest recognition, 'GOLD OUTSTANDING,' at the UK's 'IWSC2021.' It was one of the top nine selections worldwide, representing Japan as the sole Japanese entry, receiving high acclaim in the world of gin.
In May 2021, Ethical Spirits Co., Ltd. opened the world's first※1 regenerative distillery, 'Tokyo Riverside Distillery,' specializing in ethical production and consumption, in Kuramae, Tokyo. Within the distillery, there is an official store, along with a craft gin-focused bar dining operation run by the company.
In June of the same year, they announced their challenge to produce and sell 'WoodSpirits,' the first product as a private enterprise based on research findings pioneered by the National Institute of Forest Science. Simultaneously, they successfully raised ¥140 million in funding.
In August 2022, they announced a fundraising of approximately ¥200 million from Suntory Holdings and others. They are making strides towards the construction of a new regenerative distillery and further expansion of international sales.
With the motto 'Starring the hidden gem,' they aim to become a leading sustainable spirits brand worldwide.
※1 Based on their research (as of September 2020, as a regenerative distillery)
Ethical Gin 'LAST,' Repurposing Discarded Sake Lees
The word 'LAST' carries two seemingly contradictory meanings, 'the final' and 'continuation.' With its name, 'LAST' tells a story of giving 'new life that continues' to sake lees obtained 'at the end' of the sake-making process. By repurposing sake lees that were mostly discarded after refinement, 'LAST' embodies a distillation platform where its value circulates seamlessly. Truly, it is an exemplary ethical gin that materializes the ethos of Ethical Spirits.
The base spirit, an essential element in gin distillation, is crafted from sake lees that were destined for disposal. While this elevates the complexity of the production, it has led to the successful development of a unique recipe that defies conventional gin standards. The recipe, utilizing botanicals in quantities several times that of typical gin, creates flavors that are fittingly described as 'drinkable perfume,' adding a touch of elegance to various moments in daily life.
Official 'LAST' Page: https://lastgin.com/
The World's First Regenerative Distillery 'Tokyo Riverside Distillery'
The 'Tokyo Riverside Distillery by The Ethical Spirits & Co.' is the third distillery in Tokyo and the world's first regenerative distillery specializing in ethical production and consumption. It collaborates with sake breweries and beer production facilities to produce distilled spirits using a variety of underutilized raw materials.
<1F Ethical Spirits Official Store>
You can purchase Ethical Spirits' craft gin here. You'll also have the opportunity to learn about the botanicals used and enjoy the "fragrance" of the gins they've distilled in the past.
< 2F Bar&Dining「Stage by The Ethical Spirits & Co.」>
Ethical Spirits has opened a Bar & Dining establishment that offers original cocktails using their gin as well as food menus designed to complement the unique flavors of each gin they produce.
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stage_ethicalspirits/
CEO and Representative Director: Yusuke Yamamoto
Co-founders: Rie Uozumi, Chikara Ono, Saki Kato, Ayumu Yamaguchi
Location: 3-9-3-4F Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0051, Japan
Business: Planning, manufacturing, and sales of alcoholic beverages (spirits)
License: Spirits manufacturing
Corporate Website: https://ethicalspirits.jp/
Official Online Store: https://shop.ethicalspirits.jp/