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Milk plus beer equals… bilk?

Posted Feb 16th 2007 10:29AM by Nicole Weston
Filed under: Beer, Dairy, Far East, Food Oddities, Islands, New Products

Milk consumption in Japan is steadily declining and there seems to be no drop in production, which means that there is a lot of extra milk that needs to be disposed of every year.

A liquor shop owner in Hokkaido, Chitoshi Nakahara, began to wonder what could be done about the oversupply of milk when he was struck the idea of combining milk and beer. He dubbed his new product “bilk.”

Bilk is 30% milk and took six months to develop with the help of a local brewer. The production process is much like that of regular beer and the resulting brew “apart from a slight milky scent looks and tastes like ordinary beer.” It is currently being produced in limited quantities and is available via mail order, but Nakahara says that he has gotten so much media attention that he is totally out of stock for the moment. Despite this, bilk’s success won’t be assured until the novelty wears off and Nakahara can find out whether people will continue to buy the product.