Jan 15 • 17M

Sake Industry News. Issue #56.

Know More. Appreciate More.

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

Welcome to Issue #56 of SIN.

We hope 2022 is treating you well, so far. It's a quiet time for news, but far from a quiet time for the breweries that are deep into "ginjō season". These colder months traditionally see the brewers getting over that mid-season hump with their ginjō and daiginjō brews before getting on the downhill slide into the end of the season.

As the world continues to spin in this COVID vortex it's as difficult as ever to try and predict how the next few months will play out, but here's hoping things keep moving in a positive direction.

And now for the news...

From Deep Space To Deep Sea To You

Kochi- As we recently reported in issue #52 of SIN, breweries in Kochi Prefecture have been brewing with a unique yeast strain that has experienced exposure to not only the "depths" of space, but also the depths of the ocean. Now, sake made with this well-traveled yeast is ready for tasting.

It all started in 2005 with Tosa Uchūshu (Tosa Space Sake), sake made using yeast that had spent 10 days in space aboard a Russian rocket. In 2018 the decision was made to expand the project by sending the yeast 6200 meters below the ocean surface off Japan.

The first tests in 2019 were unsuccessful when the yeast was unable to survive high pressure and low temperature of the sea, however in 2021 a renewed attempt saw 11 strains of yeast (including some non-space strains) survive four months in the ocean. Using those yeasts, Kochi breweries began brewing sake in October 2021.

Sake was produced using local Gin No Yume and Kaze Naruko - rice that had also previously taken a ride into orbit.

Six breweries brewed sake with yeast that had been exposed to space and the ocean to create Deep Sea Space Sake, while four breweries handled the yeast that had only been given deep-sea treatment to produce Deep Sea Sake.

A tasting event was held on December 22 to preview the sake, which will be available for wider release soon.

The Kochi Brewer's Association is planning on sending another batch of yeasts into the sea to broaden the varieties of Deep Sea Space Sake available in the ensuing season.

Source - Kochi news

JG: Sake made with yeast from outer space (sort of) and from the depths of the seas expands the notion of terroir to the outer reaches of the universe - sort of. While that may be a bit diffused for some, it certainly attracts attention to sake. I went to Kochi to taste the lineup in 2005, and found it quite interesting for sure.

宇宙深海酒 , 吟の夢(高知酒米) , 風鳴子(高知酒米), 深海酒

If The Train Is Rockin, Don't Bother Knockin

Gifu- As more and more breweries look at innovative ways to mature sake, Shiraki Kōsuke Shōten has begun experimenting with a maturation technique that is definitely outside the box.

Shiraki Kōsuke Shōten is no stranger to maturing sake, being well-known for its portfolio of Daruma Masamune, available in vintages dating back 50 years. The brewery has also experimented in the past with maturing sake at the bottom of the ocean, where vibrations from gentle waves are believed to encourage a mellow character in sake. But with ocean access limited due to Gifu being a land-locked prefecture, kuramoto Shigeri Shiraki hit upon another way to source gentle vibes.

This episode is for paid subscribers