A team of researchers from Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute has developed a method for producing alcohol from wood.
The method — which entails grinding wood into a cream paste that is then mixed with yeast and an enzyme to encourage fermentation — results in a cocktail with similar characteristics to alcohol aged in wood barrels.
Thanks to the absence of heat in the process, the alcohol derived from the different types of wood will maintain their respective wood flavors. Among those wood flavors produced so far include cedar, birch and cherry.
"Japan has plenty of trees across the nation and we hope people can enjoy wood alcohols that are specialized from each region," said researcher Kengo Magara.
The team expects to have their wood-infused alcohol available to consumers within three years.