"Hakkaisan" whiskey launching in Niseko

The Niseko Distillery branch of Hakkaisan Brewery started operating its massive distillery machinery

Hakkaisan Brewery (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture) is a brewing company known for its Japanese sake “Hakkaisan”, but on March 24, it also started producing whiskey in the “Niseko Distillery” facilities it constructed in the town of Niseko. This summer the company plans on adding a newly constructed sales shop area to the distillery and refining it as a hub for tourism.

The distillery building was constructed on a 9,990 square meter plot leased from the town, located near the Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area. The distillery itself, which Hakkaisan Brewery launched in Niseko, is operated by a subsidiary of Hakkaisan Brewery that shares the same name as the distillery. When the large Scottish-made distillery machinery started operating on March 24, clear, unblended whiskey started flowing from the tap.

This is the first production hub Hakkaisan Brewery has established outside of Niigata Prefecture. This is a full-scale entry into whiskey making in Niseko, a town known for its high numbers of foreign tourists, and the goal is to aim for an increase in name recognition in international markets.

For the near future, the distillery plans to produce 1,500 liters of unblended whiskey weekly with a staff of four. The unblended whiskey is to be poured into barrels and aged in a storage area that was built on the grounds. Selling of produced whiskey is expected to start in 2024 onward. The distillery will also start producing gin by this summer.


Niseko Distillery