“Ryukyu White” happoshu on limited sale
January 26, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 26, Orion Breweries Limited will start selling its “Ryukyu White” happoshu, which uses Iejima-grown wheat. This is the first time for an Orion product to be brewed using mainly Okinawan ingredients. Ryukyu White is a craft beer variant, utilizing special materials and brewing techniques to achieve a fruity aroma and spicy flavor. The beer will be on sale in limited quantities.
In addition to Okinawa, the beer will be shipped to Washita shops around Japan as well as some parts of Hong Kong.
Ryukyu White is the second product in the Orion Craft Series. In addition to malt and hops, the beer uses “Eshima Jinriki,” a type of wheat native to Iejima. The wheat, which has a delicious aroma, is combined with orange peels and coriander seeds. The open price is expected to be somewhere between 220 and 230 yen. In total, 494,000 cans of Ryukyu White will be sold, with each can containing 350 milliliters.
Iejima wheat was grown for personal consumption until 2012. That year, sixteen farmers came together to establish the Wheat Production for Business Association. Their initiatives, which include collaborative product development with companies, are expected to bring a 3.5-fold year-on-year increase in production for this fiscal year. This is equivalent to a yield of 60 tons.
At the press conference, held on January 25 at the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG), Ie Village Mayor Hideyuki Shimabukuro commented, “I hope this product promotes a lifestyle to produce and eat locally and serves as a model for further product development with companies. If this proves a success, we would like to continue with this series of wheat products.” Vice President Masamitsu Arakaki said, “We developed this product in the hope of contributing to the community. I think we’ve managed to satisfy the taste buds of the locals too.”
(English Translation by T&CT, Kaya Doi)
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