Tourism association turns to booze created with Fukushima buckwheat. Now on sale.


Buckwheat-based imitation beer hits shelves in nuclear disaster-affected village

KAWAUCHI, Fukushima Prefecture–A tourism association here has turned to booze created with buckwheat, a local specialty, to breathe life back into a village depleted by the nearby Fukushima nuclear disaster.
At the request of the Kawauchi tourism association, beer brewers in Fukushima Prefecture have developed two types of low-malt imitation beer using buckwheat, which is typically used to make soba noodles.
“I want to encourage residents of the village by developing new local specialty products,” said Shigeru Ide, who heads the tourism body.
The 330-milliliter beverages are each priced at 620 yen ($4.99), including tax, and became available at shops throughout Kawauchi earlier this month.
The Soba Garden imitation beer tastes strong, while Kyo has a light flavor.
Before the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Kawauchi was one of the largest producing centers of buckwheat in the prefecture.
Although evacuation orders have been lifted for most parts of Kawauchi, half of its 2,700 residents still live outside the village as evacuees.
Source: Asahi Shimbun

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