Sake In the News

Sake is always the number one story with me, but other media outlets have been featuring a lot of news on Nihon-shu, too. Here is a quick roundup of some interesting sake stories making the news recently:

news_iconMiho Fujita, president of the Mioya Brewery Co. in Ishikawa, Japan was recently interviewed by the Village Voice. And in their words she is “freaking adorable” I couldn’t agree more! Read on:

For Heaven’s Sake–Japanese Rice Wine Is No Longer Just A Boys’ Game
By Chantal Martineau / The Village Voice
Wednesday, May. 20 2009

Apparently, New York Sake Week starts June 1. What great timing because we’ve just met one of the sake world’s most talked-about personalities: Miho Fujita, president of the Mioya Brewery Co. in Ishikawa, Japan.

She may be in charge, but Miho gets her hands dirty in the brewery everyday, working closely with her brewmaster, and even tending to the rice. As one of only a handful of women in the industry, she has become something of a media darling in her native Japan. (It doesn’t hurt that she’s freaking adorable.) …

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news_iconThere has been a lot of talk about recent sake ingredients scandals in Japan. This AP article focuses on the recent hubbub at Bishonen Brewery.

ANALYSIS: Japan in need of sake brewery law that tells it like it is
by The Associated Press
May 29, 2009

MIYAZAKI, Japan, May 29 (Kyodo) — The image of Japan’s iconic drink has taken a knock following revelations of a scam operated by one of the country’s major sake breweries.

Brewery Bishonen Shuzoh Co. of Jonan, Kumamoto Prefecture, is said to have sent out high-grade rice for polishing and received back lower-grade rice that it used to make sake. It is further alleged that it received cash to make up the difference in rice quality. Bishonen President Naoaki Ogata said he could not resist the temptation to make off-the-books money because his company was in dire straits. He added that the practice existed even before he joined Bishonen in 1982. …

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news_iconOne of my favorite brews is getting some airtime over at Time Out New York! Our friend Tejal Rao profiles Kikusui Funaguchi honjozo nama in a can. One of the most popular sakes in the new “one cup” sake movement. Thanks Tejal!

Canned sake: This unfiltered treat is anything but lowbrow.
By Tejal Rao / Time Out New York
Issue 713 : May 28–Jun 3, 2009

Yes, we can! The Japanese famously stock their goody dispensers with cheap thrills: instant noodles, beer, lightly worn underwear… It’s not hard to see why sake in a can, also sold on street corners and in train stations, is generally considered a sake of ill repute. But high-end Funaguchi Kikusui Ichiban Shibori is no ordinary quaff. The unpasteurized gem is fresh, sophisticated and full of body and lingering floral notes. The chilled sake started out as a special treat reserved for visitors to the Niigata prefecture brewery, but once the trend of namazake (unpasteurized sakes) took off, the company figured out how to properly store and transport the precious liquid. …

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