The Heartwarming History Behind a Brewery’s Kosher Sake

Atlas Obscura, 29th  March 2021

New York, USA

Chiune Sugihara was “Righteous Among the Nations.”

TUCKED WITHIN THE MOUNTAINS OF Japan’s Gifu prefecture, in the middle of Takayama, lies Funasaka Sake Brewery. With its dark-wood walls and stacked sake barrels, it looks typical. But inside is a surprise: Funasaka sells top-notch kosher sake.

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Japanese Sake in the UK 2021 UPDATE and COVID

Sake Portal, 25th  March 2021

London, UK

UK export value has doubled over the last 10 years, however due to COVID export value fell from 2019-2020 by around 2,000,000 GBP. This decrease was expected and given the Olympics and tourist travel soon (hopefully) opening up again, Sake sales are expected to rebound and grow in the following years.

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The Future of Saké Brewing is Female

but did you know its past is too?

Traverse, 12th March 2021

London, UK

We believe in the present and future of women’s achievements and in 2021 there is no better time than now to reflect on and highlight women in Japan. Has saké production always been a man’s world? Following my extensive research, it would seem, rather interestingly, the answer is… no. To fully explain how and why, as often is the way, it helps to look at the etymology.

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Master brewer: the woman excelling in Japan’s male world of sake

The Guardian, 13th January 2021

London, UK

Miho Imada has won international acclaim as a tôji, or master brewer of the traditional Japanese tipple. As a child, Miho Imada promised herself she would never perform “women’s work” to support her family’s sake brewery. She saw how her mother juggled looking after five children with cooking three meals a day for groups of visiting seasonal workers, and devoted what little time she had left to doing the accounts.

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Sake Special: Sake Trends and a Study of the French Market

The Drinks Business, 5th March 2021

London, UK

From January to December 2020, sake exports reached a record high for the eleventh consecutive year. Shipments rose by 3.1% to reach 24.1 billion yen, despite being significantly affected by Covid-19. Sake now accounts for around 34% of the total value of Japanese alcohol exports (71.1 billion yen) and is second only to Japanese whisky, which achieved exports worth 27.1 billion yen last year.

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Sustainable Sake: Fukuju’s Winning Combination

The Drinks Business, 16th February 2021

London, UK

Among the products that entered 2020’s Green Awards from the drinks business was a category of drinks that had yet to feature in the competition. Hailing from the Kobe Shushinkan Brewery, the accolade went to the maker of the Fukuju brand for its efforts to converse water for ecological and ethical reasons.

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International Sake Producers Face Challenges — and Opportunities

VinePair, 4th March 2020

New York, USA

Of all the great things that are available to drink nowadays, few are limited by geography. However, you can’t say the same thing for at least one beverage: Outside of Japan, rice-based sake faces real challenges, both in terms of production and consumer acceptance — though sometimes those challenges offer unexpected upsides.

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Why This Award-Winning Champagne Maker Is Turning to Sake

Fortune, 20th October 2019

New York, USA

Although making sake may seem like an unusual career move for a heralded Champagne producer, this traditional Japanese beverage is the new focus for Régis Camus, chef de cave at Maison Rare Champagne. Instead of looking toward retirement, as one might expect this eight-time Sparkling Winemaker of the Year award winner to do at this point in his career, Camus has his sights set on a new, rice-focused endeavor called Heavensake.

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An unexpected synergy of sake and wagyu

Japan Times, 12th October 2019

Tokyo, Japan

When it comes to matching sake with food, there are no hard and fast rules. However, conventional wisdom for pairing the drink with wagyu beef — that most luxurious of meats, sumptuously marbled with buttery fat — suggests choosing earthy, full-bodied sake with copious acidity, such as kimoto– or yamahai-style (sake production methods that use naturally occurring lactic acid) brews.

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CNN highlights the importance of sake in the culinary world

The Drum, 11th October 2019

CNN is highlighting the use and importance of sake (Japanese rice wine) in the culinary world. As part of their campaign ‘Escape the Ordinary’, The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center​ (Jfoodo), engaged CNN International commercial’s studio Create for two films featuring a master sake sommelier, Joshua Kalinan and chef Pepe Moncayo.

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Interactive Japanese Sake Pop Up to Launch in London

Foodepedia, 10th October 2019

The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO) has announced an exciting London pop-up celebrating Sake & Seafood in October.

Starting from October 24th for 3 days, JFOODO are collaborating with London’s iconic seafood restaurant, The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen.

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Rugby-Inspired Shochu, Sake Catching On amid World Cup Excitement

Nippon, 9th October 2019

Tokyo, Japan

Rugby-inspired “shochu” spirits and sake rice wine are drawing popularity in Japan, the host of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as the ongoing tournament generates excitement across the country.

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Sake Is the Best Choice for Surreptitious Public Drinking

Eater, 8th October 2019

In Japan, vending machines are stocked with all sorts of drinks packaged to be consumed on the go, like shochu highballs, beer, and flavored malt beverages. According to Monica Samuels, director of sake and spirits for Vine Connections, a wine importer, “drinking on the bullet train is a huge part of the culture [in Japan].

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The Arts Club brings UK’s ‘first ever sake tap’ to Mayfair

Evening Standard, 10th June 2019

London, UK

Britain’s “first ever sake tap” has been unveiled at a private members’ club in Mayfair. The Imari porcelain ceramic tap, sitting on the bar at The Arts Club’s new 80-seater Japanese restaurant Kyubi, is the brainchild of sake sommelier Sayaka Watanabe.

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Yummy Sake Collective: A new pairing of blind tasting and AI tech

Japan Times, 8th June 2019

Tokyo, Japan

For those new to the world of sake, one of the hardest questions to answer is, “What style of sake do you like?” Consumers are rarely accurate in describing their own taste preferences, especially without prior knowledge of sake basics. It’s like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle of an image you’ve never seen: How do you know where to start?

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On June 15, the Largest Sake Gathering in the World Will Take Place

Epoch Times, 3rd June 2019

On June 15, the largest sake gathering in the world will take place at the Japanese Sake Fair 2019 in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City, Tokyo, Japan. On that day, brewers associations from 45 different prefectures will present their local products, which you can sample or purchase on at the 13th All Japan Sake Fair.

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Sake Season: World Famous Iron Chef Makes Enjoying Sake Easier Than Ever

Forbes, 2nd June 2019

I am just back from my sixth trip to Japan, and I really enjoy sake (cold), especially this time of year, when temperatures heat up. It is refreshing and complex and goes great with food. But it is just about the most confusing adult beverage out there, as the overwhelming majority of the world’s sake comes from Japan, and many Japanese sakes have little or no English on the labels. Selection in this country is also pretty limited at regular liquor retailers.

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Try Kit Kat and sake pairing at the Craft Sake Week in Roppongi Hills

Time Out, 19th April 2019

Tokyo, Japan

Pairing Kit Kat with sake? Yes, really. This weekend happens to host many boozy events across the capital, including the massive Craft Sake Week at Roppongi Hills (ends April 29). Along with 110 participating breweries showcasing their sake plus a selection of gourmet food trucks, the event will also feature an inventive pop-up by Kit Kat.

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The little-known California sake you didn’t know you needed

Los Angeles Times, 17th April 2019

Los Angeles, USA

Den Sake Brewery’s head brewer Yoshihiro Sako often uses the language of wine to describe his sake. Sako’s mission with Den is similar to that of many upstart wineries in California and beyond: to create a hyper-local, small-batch drink that speaks to the place it was made.

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Sakura, Sake, And Special Cocktails: Sakagura Does Hanami

Londonist, 12th April 2019

London, UK

Ever heard of hanami? Each spring, people all over Japan gather under cherry blossom trees to celebrate sakura season — that fleeting time of year when the nation becomes a candy-coloured wonderland of blooms. It’s one of Japan’s most ancient traditions and this year, you can experience it for yourself in Mayfair.

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Ed Sheeran is selling his own sake in Japan now

CMU, 9th April 2019

Japan

Ed Sheeran has released two limited edition bottles of sake in Japan to coincide with upcoming tour dates in the country. Sake brewery Konishi Shuzo says that it learned that Sheeran is “a great fan of Japanese food and sake”, so approached him with an offer to collaborate, which was “pleasantly accepted”. Each of the two types of sake, put on sale yesterday, is themed on a different Sheeran album.

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Japanese sake goes global, intoxicating many

Nikkei Asian Review, 7th April 2019

Tokyo, Japan

The number of sake drinkers is rising sharply around the world, partly on the strength of recommendations by sommeliers at high-end restaurants overseas. But for those truly bitten by the sake bug, sipping is not enough. More people from overseas are learning the ancient art of sake brewing in Japan; some are helping to bring the tipple to the world.

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Experience the harmony of food and sake at London Sake Week

Evening Standard, 22nd February 2019

To celebrate London Sake Week, restaurants around the capital will be offering special menus so you can explore the harmony of these foods and sake. Participating restaurants include city favourites such as BAO in Fitzrovia and Soho, La Fromagerie in Bloomsbury and Marylebone, and Nobu London in Shoreditch, Berkeley Street and Old Park Lane.

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Sake Exports Sparkle, Setting New Record in 2018

Nippon, 20th February 2019

The popularity of Japanese sake, or nihonshu, is spreading around the world. While lighter, fruitier types are particularly popular as exports, interest in authentic sake for connoisseur tastes seems to be rising.

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Nobu Matsuhisa to collaborate with sake master Fumio Hazu for London dinners

Evening Standard, 12th February 2019

Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa is set to join forces with sake master Fumio Hazu for two intimate dinners at his London restaurants next week. Both will over a tasting menu with a selection of sakes from Hazu’s 140-year-old Hokusetsu Brewery in Japan.

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Gakkogura: A Traditional Sake Brewery’s Attempt To Revive The Industry

Forbes, 11th February 2019

Thanks to the prosperity of Japanese restaurants abroad, Japanese sake has been increasing its popularity. On the other hand, back in Japan the sake industry is facing serious challenges. The number of sake breweries is rapidly declining.

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The Charming Sake Cups Restaurants Will Let You Take Home

Eater, 5th February 2019

In the US, sake is often served in delicate little cups, sized to afford a scant few sips at a time. But in Japan, sake isn’t always so precious; many everyday varieties are packaged in single-serving cups, often aimed at train commuters to drink on the go.

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Brewing In The Desert: Sake Finds An Unlikely Home In Arizona

NPR, 27th January 2019

Holbrook, Ariz., wasn’t the ideal place for Atsuo Sakurai to set up a sake brewery. The town of 5,000 is like a snapshot of a bygone era; kitschy diners, vintage motels and mostly mom-and-pop shops line the main drag. It has zero Japanese restaurants.

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Craft sake takes experimental turn in U.S. as popularity grows

Kyodo News, 26th January 2019

With growing demand for sake in the United States, evidenced by a near doubling of Japan’s sake exports to the country over the past decade, American craft brewers are also getting in on the act — and giving Japan’s “drink of the gods” their own twist.

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Aldi is selling chardonnay sake and it’s under £3 a bottle

Good Housekeeping, 25th January 2019

The no and low alcohol market is booming and retailers have been taking note by offering a wider range of non-alcoholic and low-­abv wines, beers and spirits than ever before. Aldi has launched the Sandara Chardonnay-Sake – a blend of high-quality Chardonnay with traditional Japanese rice wine – and it’s only 5% ABV.

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Japan Night reception to serve a selection of Gold Prize-winning sake

Japan Times, 22nd January 2019

Six kinds of Fukushima Prefecture’s sake will be served to complete the feast at the annual Japan Night reception during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 — one of the events that VIPs from around the world attending the conference look forward to the most.

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An Ex-Wall Streeter’s Big Bet on Sake

Bloomberg, 15th January 2019

When Yumiko Munekyo was a vice president at Nomura Holdings Inc. in 2011, she would take clients to upscale sushi spots around Manhattan. They’d invariably order junmai daiginjo, the highest grade of sake and also usually the priciest, but not always the most interesting or appropriate. In 2013 she and her husband, Jason Geiger, an executive director at Nomura, founded Sake Suki, a boutique company that imports smaller labels to the U.S.

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Gov’t to open special zone for small-scale Japan sake breweries to promote tourism

The Mainichi, 13th January 2019

The government will start allowing sake makers to operate small-scale breweries in fiscal 2019, in hopes of increasing facilities for foreign visitors to have hands-on experiences and driving regional revitalization through tourism.

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A new year taste for Tokyo’s best speciality sake bars

Japan Times, 12th January 2019

I’ve decided to do more sake tasting — as opposed to sake drinking — in 2019. Thankfully, Tokyo has no shortage of sake specialty bars offering small-format glasses and tasting flights that allow you to sample different styles without necessarily overindulging.

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Fukushima’s Sake Challenge Shop, a Test Market Shop for Japanese Sake in Manhattan, Has Opened

Business Wire, 4th January 2019

New York City is a major export destination for sake produced in Fukushima Prefecture. FUKUSHIMA’S SAKE Challenge Shop, a Fukushima sake test market shop, opened there on December 1, 2018.

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