In Japanese slang, the term “Yatta!” means “I did it!” or “We did it!” Like “Ta-da!” or “Viola!”
Well, what did we do? We’ve created the first domestic chu-hi! Yatta! But what is chu-hi? “Chu-hi” is short for “shochu-highball.” What is shochu? Shochu is a centuries-old distilled Japanese spirit. Currently, the category does over 300 million cases a year in Japan alone. In the convenience stores or “konbinis” the chu-hi category is as large as any other alcoholic beverage. Japan has had “hard seltzer” since 1983. And it’s never been made in America. Until now.
We’re talking no carbs. No sugar. No gluten. No artificial colors or flavors. No weird malt liquor after taste. Just an easy to drink canned hi-ball that is only 99 calories and 5% abv. Yatta Beverages’ first three releases will be available in California starting in July. Yuzu Lemon, Grape, and Pineapple will be available in single cans or flavor specific 4 packs of 12 oz. cans for a suggested retail of $2.49 a can or $9.95/4 pack. Our first points of distribution will be Asian restaurants along with independent grocers and convenience stores located in Los Angeles. Following our canned chu-hi, we will also be introducing our 24% abv. distilled shochu in 750ml and 1.75 ltr. bottles later this summer. Similar to Korean soju, distilled shochu is available in CA and NY for those with just a beer and wine license, provided it is under 24% abv. It is a delicious, neutral cocktail base that is uncharacteristically smooth. Great for mixologists or fruit infusions at home!
Yatta shochu is imported from our partner, a 200-year-old, family-owned producer located along the Kiso river in Nagoya, Japan. The Kiso River is known to have some of the best water on Earth and our shochu is among the smoothest there is. There are many kinds of shochu but the type we use is called “korui” (ko-dui). It is distilled from 100% sugarcane molasses. Think of korui shochu as an artisanal Japanese vodka. But rather than being filtered 3 times or even 5 times, it is continuously distilled until there is next to no alcohol bite. Combining shochu of many styles with sparkling water and fruit juice, matcha, natural flavors, etc. has been ubiquitous in Japan for decades. In fact, the first canned chu-hi was first released in 1983.
Yatta Beverage is a group of friends who were primarily brought together by a love of skateboarding, surfing, art, and travel. Most of us are from the Westside of Los Angeles, finding homes at the ledges and pools of Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Our Japanese American founder, Jason Rogers, is a former professional skateboarder, founder of Arcade Skateboards, Autobahn Wheel Company, and Hapa Magazine, a free paper from the mid-90s which was distributed in Southern California and Japan. He’s also one of the guys that helped open Hot Rod Skateshop in West LA (the shop the movie Mid-90s was based on).
Yatta Beverage is dedicated to constant improvement and unending respect for the culture from which we were, and continue to be, inspired by. Yatta! The Spirit of Japan, in a can!
Yatta is just getting started! We are working on many different flavors, skus, and types of chu-hi! Follow our journey! drinkyatta.com instagram.com/drinkyatta facebook.com/drinkyatta