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Got Bilk?

Feb 1, 2007 - A Japanese brewery has produced a low-malt beer with milk, suggesting that this would help dairy farmers get rid of surplus milk.

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Bilk goes on sale today. Abashiri Beer, the brewer, has already tested it with consumers. "It's got a fruity taste, so it will probably go well with sweets as well," said Kaori Takahashi of Nakashibetsu.

The brewery had to take special care in production, because milk has a low boiling point. It describes the beverage-to-be as looking like tea with milk during fermentation, but more the color of beer afterwards.

When local dairies realized there was an oversupply of milk last March, the son of the manager of a liquor store in Nakashibetsu, whose main industry is dairy farming, suggested the idea of beer-milk to Abashiri.

The production manager first opposed the idea, saying that fermentation would be difficult because of the high starch content in milk. It took several tests to come up with the final product, which will be sold only in Nakashibetsu.


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