Cana Story, a pink happoshu brew developed by female college students and an Ishikari microbrewer and named after the place where Jesus Christ turned water into wine, goes on sale Sunday.

Nihon Ji Biiru Kobo, the Ishikari microbrewer, developed the pink happoshu in conjunction with students from Fuji Women’s University.

“We cut down the bitterness in the hope that female university students would like the taste, too,” Yasuharu Osugi, Cana Story’s brewer, said.

The microbrewer wanted to develop a product that young women would enjoy drinking, so sought help from Fuji’s Prof. Takayuki Ikeda, a researcher into the wine fermentation process. The brewer and university signed a cooperation agreement in March and about 30 female students have since helped to produce the pink happoshu. Happoshu is a beer-like beverage with less than 67 percent malt content.

The brewing team experimented with ingredients like Ishikari’s local rice blend, hoshinoyume, and the pink-colored juice from a herb called shiso that is produced in the region. They had their first tasting session in May. Following a series of tasting sessions and meetings, they finally developed a drop they felt was worth marketing.

The brewers refer to the happoshu as the “pink liquor born in the lover’s haven” as the Atsuta Park Observatory in Ishikari has been officially recognized by the NPO Regional Revitalization Support Center as a “lover’s haven.” The brew’s name comes from the story of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus Christ supposedly turned water into wine. The label on the brew features a picture of a pink four-leafed clover.

“We’ve had inquiries from Sapporo department stores about it, so it’ll be fun to see how sales go,” Ryo Nakajima, the brewer’s managing director, said.

Sun Tzu has spent about 7 years in Asia traveling through Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Korea. A true fan of everything that is weird and strange, he decides in the end what is displayed and published on this site. Sun has previous experience writing for numerous print mags such as XLR8R, URB, and Movement Magazine.