Japanese artisan gin KI NO BI builds carbon-neutral distillery as global demand grows

Pernod Ricard-owned ultra-premium Japanese gin KI NO BI marks the start of construction for a new carbon-neutral distillery in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture, with a traditional ground-breaking ceremony.

Image of the KI NO BI distillery in Japan

The new facility’s highly efficient boiler will be powered entirely by electricity using only renewable energy sources such as wind, water, solar and geothermal energy. The €25m distillery, which is set to open in the autumn of 2025, will also increase KI NO BI’s gin production capacity by at least five times. The carbon-neutral operation to be based in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture, comes with Japanese gin exports at record levels1 and craft spirits forecast to grow by 30 per cent within three years.2

To commemorate the start of construction, a traditional Japanese ground-breaking ceremony was held by a Shinto Shrine master blessing the ground to ensure smooth construction and the future prosperity of the distillery. The ceremony was attended by The Kyoto Distillery employees, local government officials, key business partners and Anna Schreil, VP Operations, The Absolut Group, the Pernod Ricard brand company that houses KI NO BI.

Speaking after the traditional ground-breaking ceremony, Antonio Sanchez Villareal, Managing Director, The Kyoto Distillery says: “This is a pivotal moment for all of us at The Kyoto Distillery and our beloved KI NO BI gin as the brand prepares for future growth amid the strong demand for Japanese gin and Japanese craft spirits. The construction of a new state-of-the-art carbon-neutral distillery shows our firm commitment to both safety and sustainability, and we are very happy that as part of Pernod Ricard, we can make this strategic investment in our brand.”

Hiroyuki Nagai, Head of Distillery Operations & Strategic Projects, The Kyoto Distillery, comments: “We are thrilled to see the start of construction for our new distillery. Our farm-to-consumer philosophy, using local botanicals and ingredients will remain. KI NO BI is a brand with a very Japanese heart and an artisanal spirit made with obsessive attention to detail. Our journey that began in 2016 evolves as we aim to capitalise on the opportunity to grow our global market share as an ultra-premium gin of choice.”

KI NO BI, which means ‘the beauty of the seasons’ in Japanese, is a carefully crafted artisan gin made from high-quality rice spirit and 11 botanicals, many of which are locally sourced. Launched in 2016 at Japan’s first gin-dedicated distillery in Kyoto3, this ultra-premium spirit is popular in its home market and exported to more than 50 international markets worldwide, with particularly strong growth forecasted in Europe and Asia. 

About The Kyoto Distillery

KI NO BI, which translates as ‘the beauty of the seasons’, is a recognisably dry gin that masters the age-old art of blending. Created in Japan with Japanese botanicals such as yellow yuzu, Akamatsu wood chips, bamboo, gyokuro tea and green sanshō berries, it uses a rice spirit base and pure groundwater sourced from the famous sake-brewing district of Fushimi. Each of its six botanical elements (base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice and fruity & floral) are distilled separately before being blended to create an aromatic with a refreshing taste and a gentle kick of warm, ginger spice. Launched in 2016, KI NO BI is enjoyed worldwide and has won awards from prestigious international spirits competitions, including IWSC International Gin Producer of the Year.

About The Absolut Group 

The Absolut Group holds global responsibility for the production, packaging development, innovation and strategic marketing of an extensive range of premium spirits brands. They include the iconic Absolut Vodka, Beefeater, Malibu, and Kahlua, along with a selection of agave spirits, including Altos tequila and craft gins such as Monkey 47. Its long-term commitment to sustainability and responsible drinking extends to consumers, society, the environment and our teams. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, The Absolut Group is part of Pernod Ricard, a worldwide leader in the spirits and wine industries.

About Pernod Ricard 

Pernod Ricard is a worldwide leader in the spirits and wine industry, blending traditional craftsmanship, state-of-the-art brand development, and global distribution technologies. Our prestigious portfolio of premium to luxury brands includes Absolut vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur and Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes. Our mission is to ensure the long-term growth of our brands with full respect for people and the environment while empowering our employees around the world to be ambassadors of our purposeful, inclusive and responsible culture of authentic conviviality. Pernod Ricard’s consolidated sales amounted to €12,137 million in fiscal year FY23. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN Code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 and Eurostoxx 50 indices.