Inspired by Aesop's fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper, Japanese startup Antcicada aims to dispel preconceptions about insect food. Since 2015, their “cricket ramen,” jointly developed with famous ramen shop Nagi, has consistently sold out at events all over Japan, and was even popular in Finland and Estonia. They also developed a craft gin featuring giant water bug and "cricket soy sauce," and are planning on opening a restaurant in Tokyo.

Cricket Dark Ale

Now, they've teamed up with Iwate Prefecture-based Tōno Brewing to develop Japan's first craft cricket beer: "Cricket Dark Ale."

Cricket Dark Ale is manufactured using special domestic crickets, which are carefully roasted. These roasted crickets and roasted malt are added to the wort to bring out the flavor and umami of the crickets.

The crickets are raised by Taiyo Green Energy Co., Ltd. under an optimal environment carefully regulated for temperature and humidity. The crickets are fed on vegetables and other food produced by corporate food loss. After harvesting, the crickets are carefully washed and heat-treated for safety and quality.

Moreover, Antcicada is currently developing a way of using crickets fed on spent grain leftover from the brewing process, thereby enhancing the sustainability of the operations and further reducing waste. (English translations are ours)

This beer has coffee, cacao, and chamomile aroma, with hints of bitterness, richness, and caramel on the palate. The lingering umami persists for a long time.

Cricket Dark Ale pop-up stand

If you'd like to try Cricket Dark Ale, there will be a pop-up shop in the newly reopened Shibuya Parco's COMING SOON food court.

  • Pop-Up Stand by Antcicada
  • When: March 15th to 18th, 10:00 to 23:00
  • Where: COMINGSOON, Shibuya Parco 1F, 15-1 Udagawa-cho Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
  • Website

After March 15th, Cricket Dark Ale will be available at Tono Brewing's Tap Room.


By - Ben K.