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Double-hopped: Cricket-based beer to be sold at new Tokyo insect restaurant

A glass of beer brewed with crickets is seen. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant "Antcicada")

TOKYO -- Craft beer brewed with roasted crickets will be sold at a new insect restaurant set to open in the capital's Chuo Ward in April.

According to the restaurant "Antcicada," the beer is a dark ale with a burnt caramel aroma plus the "good smell and umami of crickets".

The restaurant is scheduled to set up a beer stand at the Shibuya Parco department store in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward from March 15 to 18, in advance of its opening. They will also offer insect-based snacks to go with the unique suds, including "chocolate brownies with giant water bugs" and "crickets stewed in sweetened soy sauce."

The beer was co-developed with Tono Brewing Co. in the Iwate Prefecture city of Tono, in northeastern Japan. They roasted crickets raised in Japan and added them into roasted malt and wort. The beer features a long-lasting froth thanks to the insect protein.

The man behind the restaurant in Tokyo's Nihonbashi-bakurocho area is Yuta Shinohara, 25, who has been promoting eating insects since he was a student. Eating insects is gaining increasing attention worldwide, as they are both rich in nutrition and producing them puts a relatively light burden on the environment. Shinohara said, "I hope those who have never eaten a cricket will have no hesitancy in trying the beer."

The beer is 500 yen for a 100-milliliter glass, 950 yen for 200 milliliters, and 1,400 yen for 300 milliliters.

(Japanese original by Shuji Ozaki, Regional News Department)

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