May 1 • 20M

Sake Industry News. Issue #63.

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 #63 of SIN.

Here in Japan we’re just sliding into what's known as Golden Week; a highly anticipated time of year when a number of public holidays land in succession, giving many folks a well-earned break.

It might be too early to call, but with tasting events slowly starting to return and people venturing out to bars and restaurants, it's looking good for the sake market this year. The next step will be the easing of entry into Japan for tourists. It's coming...slowly, but surely.

And now for the news...

Shiga Joins The GI Club

Shiga- Following our report in issue #60 of Shiga Prefecture applying for GI status for its sake, the National Tax Agency has now officially approved the region as Japan's 23rd alcoholic beverage related Geographical Indicator.

The recognition comes after Shiga was also awarded GI status for Ōmi beef and Ibuki soba noodles. This is also the first prefecture-wide designation in the Kansai region.

Shiga Prefecture is now the 13th sake designation following:

Hakusan (Ishikawa Prefecture), Yamanashi Prefecture, Yamagata Prefecture, Nada Gogo (Hyogo Prefecture), Harima (Hyogo Prefecture), Mie Prefecture, Numata (Gunma Prefecture), Hagi (Yamaguchi Prefecture), Saga Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, Japanese Sake

Source - NTA

JG: Thirteen out of 47 prefectures now have GI. It is indeed great marketing, and with more prefectures securing it, it is closing in on critical mass. While not everyone agrees, I am sure it will benefit the sake world a lot.

Newcomer On The Scene

Shimane- A beer brewery has become the sixth recipient of a new export-purpose-only brewing license.

Readers will recall that in 2020 the government began accepting applications for the “sake for export purposes only” license, which is designed to take some of the burden of producing sake for export away from local brewers without creating competition in the local market.

Daikonshima Kenkyūjo has been brewing craft beer and doburoku for the local market in its brewing facility for a number of years, but with the new license the brewery is now planning on producing sake for export to Taiwan, Singapore and other regions in Asia. Brewing will commence next winter with plans to produce 1430 720ml bottles of junmai sake.

JG: Just between us, I still question how successful these will be since there is no reputation in Japan for such breweries to fall back on. But I do hope they prove me wrong!

大根島醸造所 , 大根島研究所

Niizawa Jōzōten Making Something Out Of (Almost) Nothing

Miyagi- At the extreme end of sake brewing, Niizawa Jōzōten has released this year's Reikyō, a sake boasting a 0% seimaibuai milling ratio.

Technically the milling ratio is actually 0.85%, and took a painstaking 5297 hours (221 days) to mill away 99.15% of the Kurano Hana rice grains.

A total of 999 bottles were produced, which will be evenly divided among the local, Asian and American markets. Reikyō will be available for the princely sum of JPY385,000 (USD3k) per 500ml in Japan through Sakura Saketen.

Source - PR Times

JG: For that special person who has everything, consider one of 999 bottles of zero-percent-milling sake. One thing is for sure, you will not be outdone! 

零響 , 新澤酒造店(伯楽星)

Drink Sake While You Play Mario Kart

Gunma- No demographic is being left untapped as sake reaches wider audiences. Now, a new sake is hitting the market targeting consumers who like to drink while playing video games.

Sake Bottlers, a young sake startup enterprise that also produces a range of sake in 180ml aluminum bottles under the label, HITOMAKU, developed GAMING RAINBOW through crowdfunding earlier this year.

This episode is for paid subscribers