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Tokyo startup launches cricket-flavoured beer

Tokyo startup Join Earth, which produces a ‘soy sauce’ made with crickets, has now used the insects to make a beer in collaboration with Tono Brewing.

Image: Join Earth (Hiroki Yamaguchi)

According to a press release, the critter craft beer will be on pour during a four-day pop-up event at the Shibuya Parco department store in Tokyo, beginning on 15 March.

100ml glasses of the Cricket Dark Ale will be served for around 500 yen (US$4.50), according to the Asian Review.

To make the beer, farmed crickets were carefully roasted, and along with the malt, were added to the wort during brewing.

The dark beer is said to have a lingering umami taste and “stout-like bitterness”, with aromas of coffee, cacao, burnt caramel and chamomile.

The team has also experimented with feeding crickets beer waste products, which they claim give the insects a “good bite and excellent taste”.

Join Earth was established in November 2019 by chef and forager Yuta Shinohara. It plans to open an insect-focused restaurant called Antcicada in April this year, serving up dishes including “cricket ramen” made with two types of cricket.

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