NIIGATA, Japan -- Niigata Beer stands out among the brewers and distillers of Niigata Prefecture in northern Japan. It chose to brew specialty beers, and later whisky, in a region famous for sake.
The area's affinity for the traditional Japanese drink meant that demand for the company's craft whisky was low. Ninety percent of the distillery's output is shipped abroad. Overseas, however, the spirits are a hit, and the company plans to start distilling whisky in Russia through a joint venture with a Russian partner.