You’ll probably first notice the bright mint-blue awning when passing by. At a glance, it looks like a pleasant cafe, typical of something you’d come across in Tokyo, but looking carefully, you’ll notice the name TOKYO RIVERSIDE DISTILLERY on the upper right corner of the wall in pink. That’s right; contrary to its decor, this building is in fact a distillery.
Established in 2021 by The Ethical Spirits & Co. Tokyo Riverside Distillery, located just three minutes from Kuramae station in Taito City, Tokyo, is a new-age distilling venture that produces craft gin using discarded materials, following the motto “A distilling platform that embraces a circular economy.” Here, they utilize a regenerative and cyclical manufacturing process using materials that would have otherwise been thrown out.
The Ethical Gin Project
The distillery creates gin through the process of redistilling Sake kasu, which refers to the leftover material produced at the end of sake production that is typically discarded.
After the gin is produced and sold, the profits generated are then utilized to supply brewer’s rice to the sake brewer, who, in turn, uses it to once again produce sake.
Through this revolutionary system, the distillery is one critical component of the world’s first “Ethical Gin Project,” a cyclical production cycle creating an endless and sustainable flow of sake and gin while reducing waste.
One of the flagship products from The Ethical Spirits & Co. is the LAST series, which has garnered significant attention not just for the innovative production method but also for its outstanding reputation within the gin community within Japan and abroad.
The LAST series won a number of notable awards, including at the World Gin Awards 2021 of the World Whiskies Awards (WWA) and at The Gin Masters competition.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when dining restrictions were taking a toll on the beverage industry, The Ethical Spirits & Co. repurposed upwards of 60 thousand liters of unsold beer at risk of being thrown out into over 15 thousand bottles of craft gin. This series called REVIVE continues to garner attention with its unique origin story and flavor.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when dining restrictions were taking a toll on the beverage industry, The Ethical Spirits & Co. repurposed upwards of 60 thousand liters of unsold beer at risk of being thrown out into over 15 thousand bottles of craft gin. This series called REVIVE continues to garner attention with its unique origin story and flavor.
The world’s first sustainable distillery
Tokyo Riverside Distillery, a sustainable distillery dedicated to ethical production and consumption, offers more than just distillation. The facility also provides visitors with a comprehensive experience, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the vision of Ethical Spirits & Co.
Ethical Spirits Official Store (1st Floor)
At the store situated on the ground level of the distillery, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase Ethical Spirits’ artisanal gins.
Here, you can delve into the world of botanicals, learn about the distillation process, and savor the delightful aromas that emanate from the gins produced on site. After gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the gin, you are bound to find a bottle to take home that suits your preferences.
(Hours: 13:00-19:00 Closed on Mondays)
In the Ethical Spirits Official Store (1st Floor), you can enjoy the rich aroma of gin as if it were a perfume.
The alluring gleam of the copper distilling machine is a sight to behold.
Bar Stage (2nd Floor)
The bistro, Stage, offers a remarkable assortment of original cocktails, expertly mixed using Ethical Spirits & Co. craft gin from the distillery downstairs. At this in-house bar and dining establishment, you can also enjoy a wide variety of small dishes made to perfectly complement the unique flavors of each gin, providing a delightful pairing experience.
If you are interested in mixology, you may be inspired to try concocting some new recipes at home after a visit!
(Hours: 18:00-23:00 (subject to change) / Open year-round (see instagram for details) / Phone: 050-3160-2428)
Botanical Garden (Rooftop)
On the rooftop of the establishment, the distillery cultivates an impressive variety of botanicals and herbs dedicated to crafting their creative cocktails and used in dishes served at Stage on the 2nd floor.
Must-try Limited Edition Gin
The limited edition gin produced at Tokyo Riverside Distillery can also be purchased online in the “TOKYO RIVERSIDE SERIES“
A subscription service called “Spirits Mates” is also available, where ENIGMA, a limited edition distilled spirit produced in very small batches, is delivered for ¥4,950 per month.
Ethical Spirits & Co. has pushed the boundaries of experimentation since its start by incorporating unlikely ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms and mirin in their craft gin and absinthe, with fruitful results.
Visitors are invited to delve into the fascinating world of ethical spirits, where they can explore the endless possibilities of gin alongside the talented distillers pioneering this vision of sustainability.
Ethical Spirits & Co. has emerged as one of the most exciting distilling ventures in recent times, not only in their gin but also in collaborations with local sake, beer, and food producers, further enriching the community.
Stop by Tokyo Riverside Distillery in Kuramae and explore the innovative and oftentimes surprising world of craft gin up and coming in Tokyo.
Tokyo Riverside Distillery Address: 〒111-0051 3-9-3 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo Ethical Spirits & Co. Website: https://ethicalspirits.jp