Nov 15, 2021 • 19M

Sake Industry News. Issue #52.

Know More. Appreciate More.

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Sake Industry News is a twice-monthly newsletter covering news from within the sake industry in Japan.
Episode details

Welcome to Issue #52 of SIN.

The new sake (shinshu) is slowly starting to appear in store fridges and bars, and we couldn't be happier. Tasting events are also slowly beginning to return, albeit on a smaller scale than the pre-COVID era, but that's to be expected. Fingers crossed nothing spirals out of control and we don't see another state of emergency or any further restrictions on restaurant service imposed.

As the weather continues to cool down, we head into that peak season for nicely warmed kanzake. If there is anything out there better than a cup of warm sake and some piping-hot oden (or maybe a nabe hot pot?) we're yet to hear of it. So rug up, heat that sake however you choose and settle in for some of the rumblings going on in the sake world.

Here's the news...

Sawada Shuzō Back On Track Following Fire

Aichi- Sawada Shuzō (Hakurō) is all set for a welcome comeback following the tragic fire that engulfed the brewery's kōji room in November last year. In the months after the fire, breweries in the surrounding area generously offered up their own facilities to allow the Sawada Shuzō to produce kōji for sake production. In July 2021, construction began on a new kōjimuro. The room was completed on August 27 - exactly nine months to the day after the fire.

Now Sawada Shuzō is poised to release a series of three new sake under the banner, Shinsei Hakurō (Hakurō Reborn), produced with kōji made in the new facilities. Following what is fast becoming almost an industry standard for some of the "younger" breweries, the first releases will be made available to supporters through crowdfunding site, Makuake. Today is the last day for reserving your sake!

  • Umikaoru - junmai usunigori nama genshu, Rice: Wakamizu

  • Yumekaoru - junmai ginjō fune-pressed jikagumi nama genshu, Rice: Yume Ginga

  • Aikaoru - junmai daiginjō fune-pressed jikagumi nama genshu, Rice: Yamada Nishiki

Source - Jiji

JG: Congratulations to Sawada Shuzō. And the coolest thing about this story is how other breweries stepped up to the plate to offer their support. Gotta love that spirit.

澤田酒造 , 新生白老(HAKUROU REBORN) , 海薫 , 夢薫 , 愛薫 , 若水 , 夢吟香

Sake Made With The World's Most Well-Traveled Yeast

Kochi- Arimitsu Shuzō (Akitora) is among the breweries that have begun brewing Uchū Shinkai Shu (Space and Deep Sea sake) using proprietary yeast developed in Kochi Prefecture. The yeast strain has traveled into space and the deepest depths of the ocean, fulfilling an ambitious project planned by the Prefectural Industrial Technology Center.

The yeast was first launched into space aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz in 2005 as part of research (but also conveniently as promotion for Kochi sake) where it spent ten days in orbit. Since returning to earth (or Kochi more specifically) the yeast has been used by a number of Kochi breweries to produce space-themed sake.

Some years later the Kochi Industrial Technology Center learned about research involving deep-sea resource survey technology being conducted by the Japanese Agent for Marine Earth Science Technology, and hit upon the idea of "deep-sea yeast".

In 2019 the organizations collaborated to send six different strains of “space yeast” to two locations nearly 2000 kilometers from the Japanese mainland at a depth of 6000 meters in an underwater probe.

The yeast was subjected to temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius, and 600 atmospheres of barometric pressure (or 1800psi). However, when the yeast was brought back to the surface and "revived" the cells didn't survive the ordeal.

This year a second attempt was made with 108 packs of yeast sent to the bottom of the ocean for four months. This time, after an extra careful incubation period following recovery of the yeast, the project was successful.

Now the fun part begins as six breweries in Kochi Prefecture begin the process of brewing sake using the unique yeast. More news to come!

Source - Kochi News

JG: Soon after that yeast came back from space in 2005 I was in Kochi tasting the whole lineup. While not drastically different from other sake, the marketing angle was great. I expect the same thing from the deep ocean sake. Great marketing and great fun, with equally high expectations for the sake.

宇宙深海酒 , 有光酒造

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