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This year should have been Japan’s year to shine on the world stage. All eyes would have been on Tokyo as the city would have played host to the 2020 summer Olympic Games, an event that attracts thousands of athletes and tourists.

Then the pandemic hit and everything was brought to a complete halt.

Kiuchi Brewery sat with a lot of unsold beer and no income, so they decided to turn the beer into gin. Beer has a shelf life of six months while gin generally doesn’t expire.

CNN reports that most gins are made with a base of grains like barley, rye or wheat, which are fermented into a mash, then distilled into a high-proof "neutral" spirit. The spirit is then distilled a second time with juniper berries and other botanicals, which add flavour.

In this case, the neutral spirit would be beer, so a few steps are skipped that allows the brewery to start with the distillation process immediately.

As part of an effort to help micro-breweries and bars generate an income, Kiuchi offered to turn their unsold beer into gin.

24 News Order reports that the breweries and bars were asked to send in at least 20 litres of unused beer, which was made into gin and sent back to them to sell.

Kiuchi can produce eight litres of gin from every 100 litres of beer.

Image credit: Nikkei Asia

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