brewdog inugami shochu

Steven Kersely and Dzeti Tait

Brewdog's Inugami Shochu to push the low abv trend

06 March, 2020

Brewdog Distilling master distiller Steven Kersely says its new shochu brand will further develop the low abv market in the UK.

Brewdog launched its new Inugami Shochu earlier this week in London and Kersely joined Drinks International to discuss the new product.

“It works as a sessional spirit and sits in line with the low abv trend, which is why it’s perfect in a Highball,” said Kersely. “We would like to break into the Japanese market for sure just to see the reaction but for now our focus is on the UK.”

Inugami Shochu (23% abv) is made from malted wheat, barley and rice with added molasses and “laced” with rhubarb, galangal root and ginger.

The spirit carries an RRP of £27 for 700ml and will be available on the Brewdog website and in all its UK bars from 27 March 2020.

Kersely added: “We didn’t just want to launch a shochu which was reminiscent of a Japanese style. We wanted to add our own hallmark through the edition of the accessible flavours of rhubarb and ginger, which western palates are more accustom to.

“No longer is geography a marker of where spirits can be made. Whisky is now made in similar ways all over the world and to a high level. Now we want to do the same with shochu and lead the way for other distillers to follow.”

Dzeti Tait, lead distiller on the project, added: “Education is one of our biggest challenges because of course shochu isn’t one of the big categories in the UK, but through Brewdog we have the distribution power and brand presence to really push it.

“Also the language used to describe shochu is not too dissimilar to whisky in that there is single pot still shochu, blended and some even use different grains. So from that perspective it’s easy to explain the product.”

The first batch of Inugami Shochu makes up 650 9-litre cases and with a second batch set for March, Kersely believes 3-4,000 cases by the end of 2020 would be considered a success.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.