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Hermit Gin makes inroads in Japan

Amsterdam-based Hermit Dutch Coastal Gin has landed its first retail listing in Japan at department store Isetan’s Tokyo outposts.

Hermit Gin
Hermit Gin can be purchased at Isetan locations around Tokyo

Hermit Gin is imported and distributed in Japan by fishmonger Gotobar 5108, which also stocks the brand on its website.

The gin previously entered the country’s on-trade through the Okura hotel in Tokyo, which has two bars.

Its owners, Noah Duijst and Siward de Groot, who purchased the brand in 2022, said: “Gaining a listing at Isetan is huge for both brands, since it is one of the most respected and high-end department stores in Japan.

“We’re very glad Gotobar has arranged this and we are looking forward to expanding even further in the Japanese market.”

At Isetan, the gin is available for JPY¥6,600 (US$42).

Duijst and de Groot, who are brothers, intend to turn Hermit Gin into a global brand.

They said the partnership with Gotobar traces back to 2018 when its founder, Max Kawamoto, tried the gin during his European travels. They added that the gin “perfectly fits Max’s ambition to introduce shellfish-eating into Japanese culture”.

“Just mussels or shellfish weren’t enough,” explained Kawamoto. “We needed more to introduce it as an experience instead of just food. Hermit Gin and its mission for global expansion fit perfectly into my plans.”

Hermit Gin is purified with Dutch sea water and crafted with 10 natural botanicals.

The brothers said the partnership with Gotobar wasn’t just about featuring in the Japanese market, but a “chance to establish the gin within Asian culture”.

Along with Japan, the aim is to expand further in Asia.

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