Ki No Bi gin opens a brand centre in Kyoto

The House of Ki No Bi, the brand home of Japan’s first craft gin, has now opened in Kyoto, offering various interactive experiences for visitors.

Hoping to showcase the distillery’s brand philosophy and identity as a pioneer of Japanese gin, House of Ki No Bi is now open to public. Located in Kyoto city center, the centre is housed in a renovated traditional ‘machiya’ townhouse built over 100 years ago. Previously, the building was a timber mill. The original interiors, such as earthen walls and roof tiles, are preserved in the new building to retain traces of the authentic ambiance. The interiors are mostly locally crafted, including handmade furniture and traditional Nishijin fabric, complementing the tranquil elegance of the Kyoto city.

Interactive experience include exhibitions on the history, style and botanicals of Ki No Bi, a virtual reality tour of the distillery, and brand masterclasses.

The back bar is decorated with a woodblock pattern designed in collaboration by Kira Karacho, a subsidiary brand under the Karacho Karakami atelier founded in Kyoto in 1624. Apart from gin flights and classic cocktails, the bar also serves local beverages such as Kyoto Brewing Company beers and wines from Amanohashidate Winery in the north of Kyoto Prefecture. Light food is available with a strong focus on local ingredients and botanicals.

To celebrate the opening, the distillery has released a special limited edition of Ki No Bi House Gin, which is exclusive to the venue. Using a variation on the 11 botanicals, the special release is reduced to bottling strength using water from the well at the House of Ki No Bi. The final ABV is 43% abv, resulting in a slightly softer profile than the classic gin.

Built in 2014, the Kyoto Distillery was founded by David Croll, Noriko Kakuda Croll and Marcin Miller. The distillery released its first Ki No Bi gin in 2016 and started distributing overseas in 2017. The brand entered a partnership with Pernod Ricard this March.

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