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Food & Beverage

Cricket-flavored brew makes beer lovers chirp

Glasses will be served during a four-day limited event in Tokyo

Join Earth's cricket-based dark ale is said to taste like roasted caramel. (Photo courtesy of Join Earth)

TOKYO -- Join Earth, the Tokyo startup known for its cricket-based soy sauce, has concocted what it claims to be the world's first craft beer made from the same insect.

The so-called "cricket dark ale" will be initially served during a four-day pop-up event starting March 15 at the Shibuya Parco department store in Tokyo. Glasses of roughly 100 ml will be priced at about 500 yen ($4.50).

Join Earth expects to sell up to two barrels of cricket beer a day with an eye on older adult connoisseurs. 

To make the beer, vegetable-fed crickets are roasted and brewed along with malt. Tono Brewing, based in northeast Japan's Iwate Prefecture, is collaborating in the production.

The product is a syrupy brown and is said to give off an aroma of roasted caramel. The protein-rich crickets reportedly promote a rich flavor with a lingering aftertaste and long-lasting foam.

After forming in November last year, Join Earth took orders for its cricket-derived soy sauce through a crowdfunding site. The startup plans to open in April a Tokyo restaurant, named Antcicada, that serves food made from insects.

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