Jul 1 • 23M

Sake Industry News. Issue #67

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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 #67 of SIN. 

As can be seen in some of the stories in this issue, there are some interesting times ahead. The sake industry has traditionally been notorious for its inability to move with the times, but things have been getting better in recent years. Breweries developing innovative marketing approaches, new alliances being formed, and shifts in the status quo, have set  the industry on an exciting new path that no one could have completely foreseen. A famous politician once said, "The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change". While he probably wasn't talking about the sake industry, it certainly applies. 

And now for the news...

Masumi Declares July 7 "Yeast No. 7 Day" 

Nagano- As is well known among sake history enthusiasts, brewing history was made in 1946 when a yeast strain was isolated at Miyasaka Jōzō, maker of Masumi. The strain became known as Association Yeast No.7 and quickly became the most widely used yeast strain across the industry. 

In honor of the legendary discovery, Miyasaka Jōzō has declared the seventh day of the seventh month as "No.7 Yeast Day". 

As part of the celebrations Miyasaka Jōzō is holding an hold an online summit celebrating the versatile yeast, featuring presentations of sake produced with No.7 yeast and recommended food pairings

Other guest breweries scheduled to feature in the summit include Kazenomori (Yuchō Shuzō) and Tsuchida/Homare Kokko (Tsuchida Shuzō). Marie Chiba, owner of GEM by moto will also be on hand to discuss food pairings. 

The summit will be held over three days on July 1, 8 and 15 from 12pm JST. The event is open to all and can be accessed via the official Masumi YouTube channel.  

JG: Actually, I am surprised that they did not do this sooner. Brilliant marketing, and it is validated by the significance of Yeast No. 7 to the sake industry. It also is consistent with MIyasaka Jōzō’s commitment to that yeast, which they demonstrated by using some form of it in all of their sake products, a switch they made a few years ago. That meant eschewing yeast strains from which it is easier to extract expressive aromas and using their technical prowess to do the same with No. 7.  

油長酒造 風の森 露葉風 , 土田酒造 土田生酛 , 宮坂醸造 真澄 漆黒 KURO

The Return Of The Magnificent Seven

Miyagi- In June 2021 SIN reported on the final edition of the DATÉ 7 project, a seven-year collaboration of seven breweries from Miyagi Prefecture looking to grow the "Miyagi sake" brand. However, due to popular demand and an unfulfilled desire to penetrate the overseas market, DATÉ 7 has put the band back together with a new member and a new release set to mark the beginning of DATÉ 7: Season ll. 

Popular brewery, Saura Ltd. maker of Urakasumi has stepped into the group replacing Kanbai Shuzō (Miyakanbai). In years past, the seven breweries would gather together each season at one of the members’ kura, a location that rotates each year, and work together to make one great sake, with each brewer taking on a different role in the brewing process.

This time round consumers will be spoilt for choice as the group releases two different sake - each under a different leader. One style was brewed under the lead of new member, Urakasumi, while the second was brewed with Koganezawa at the helm. Both sake used the same rice, Yamada Nishiki, milled to 47%, however the use of no.12 yeast from Urakasumi was a first for the group.

Season ll marks the first time the DATÉ SEVEN will be exported to eight Asian markets including Korea and Taiwan. 

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