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In an Octopus’s Garden: Hokkaido Business Will Age Your Alcohol Under the Sea

A Japanese business will age your alcohol in the world’s most spacious cellar (and bathroom!)—the ocean.

By Katie Compa · April 8, 2024

If you’ve ever been told that you drink like a fish, now you can get one step closer to making it a literal reality, courtesy of a Hokkaido beverage business that for one year will store your 12 best bottles of alcohol in the ocean. The company is newly expanding its service from breweries and restaurants to your average Joe the Wine Guy. 

According to our head sommelier, fine spirits are "better down where it's wetter, take it from me."  HarshLight/Flickr

You might think the process would be limited to sake, Japan’s national beverage—though it’s commonly called “rice wine,” the recipe is more like brewing beer. Plus, there’s a worldwide market: timed with their latest album release, the Foo Fighters released two special edition sakes with a Japanese brand, Tatenokawa—one for their pop side, one for their rock side.

Your move, Post Malone rosé, which is real.

But indeed, the underwater aging process is for more than just sake: shochu, whisky, gin, rum, tequila, wine, sparkling wine/champagne, and liqueur are all eligible to take a nap with the fishes.

“Shiver me tumblers,” you might say, “this sounds like a scam created to separate rich people with low self-esteem from their money”—but, at least according to the alcohol industry’s most passionate and trustworthy marketers, it’s all aboveboard.

First of all, it’s a worldwide trend—and from peppers to popping champagne, the mavens of the food world love to be on the cutting edge of what’s hot right now.

If we see one more truffle...  Maureen Lunn/Wikimedia Commons

But underwater aging is actually about what’s cool right now: aging spirits in the ultimate dive bar, with its low temperatures and high water pressure, theoretically imparts a saltiness and minerality to the alcohol you (allegedly) can’t find anywhere else. Plus, during its stay under the briny, the bottle itself will grow barnacles, which makes it a great gift for ages 9-99 when it’s empty.

The company also provides you with a link to a live feed of your bottles so you can monitor your flasks via your smartphone to make sure no flotsam, jetsam or sea witch messes with your precious hooch.

If you’d like to purchase an underwater crate, which holds twelve bottles (must be bottle-shaped—keep your odd-shaped on your gun rack), you only have until Friday, April 19 Japan time (don’t forget about the international dateline!) to reserve one using this Google form in Japanese. The price of about US $700 includes sealing with wax, immersion costs, maintenance, insurance, and security—which, of course, is you (via your smartphone). Cheers!