Friday, February 02, 2007

From the Innovations Desk

Milk beer to go on sale in Japan: A brewery here has succeeded in producing a low-malt beer with milk, after the drink was suggested as a product that would help use up surplus milk.

The drink, called 'Bilk' will go on sale on Feb. 1. It reportedly has a fruity flavor that its brewers hope will be popular among women.

The idea for the drink was conceived after dairy firms threw out a huge amount of surplus milk in March last year. The son of the manager of a liquor store in Nakashibetsu, whose main industry is dairy farming, suggested the idea of producing the milk beer to local brewery Abashiri Beer.

The 31-year-old factory head of the brewery was against the idea, saying that fermentation would be difficult because of the high starch content in milk, but went through a trial and error process to produce the drink anyway.

Since milk has a low boiling point, the brewery took care to control the temperature during the boiling process so the milk wouldn't boil over. After they put beer yeast and hops into the drink and began the fermentation process, the beverage looked and smelled like tea with milk. However, when fermentation was complete and the drink cooled down, it had the same color as beer.

Show of hands: How many people here realized that surplus milk was a problem?

Another show of hands: Would anybody here actually be brave enough to try this stuff?

I'm sorry, there are just some things that God meant to be separate. Beer and milk, for example.


Forrest Proper said...

Actually, yes, surplus milk is a problem we deal with in New England, where small-farmer dairy farms tend to preserve open space, which towns like, but cannot maintain themselves financially without help, because of the low price of milk.

But there are all sorts of better things to do with the surplus than make it into bilk, or whatever they are calling it- throwing it into the ocean for instance.

Or maybe it's time to re-whitewash the White House.

Phoebe Fay said...

Hmmmm. I like milk in the morning and beer in the evening. Maybe this would be perfect for lunch?

Anonymous said...

I'd try it. My main objection is to the name itself - Bilk. Sounds like a ripoff to me.