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:

news_iconPhilip Harper, Japan’s only foreign Toji and author of The Insider’s Guide to Sake, is featured in this wonderful article in the LA Times:

A Foreigner Hopes to Revive Japan’s Flagging Spirits
By John M. Glionna / Los Angeles Times
February 3, 2009

An unlikely master brewer is hoping to revive the centuries-old drink’s flagging popularity — an auburn haired Briton, Philip Harper, who fell in love with the drink and the culture that produced it.

Reporting from Kumihama, Japan — As master brewers have done for 13 centuries before him, the sake factory boss is everywhere at once in his rustic timbered building along Japan’s rugged northern coastline: helping to drag sacks of rice, gently issuing instructions to his four brewing assistants, consulting with his own boss, a fifth-generation owner.

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news_iconOur friend and Foodie about town Michael Anstendig recently published a great list of the “Top 10 Sake Dens” that was featured in the New York Observer. Makes me proud to be a New Yorker!

Top 10 Sake Dens
by Michael Anstendig / The New York Observer
January 30, 2009

Revered as Japan’s “Drink of the Gods,” sake is the traditional offering to Shinto deities. With good reason—it’s pretty miraculous stuff. Employing rice, yeast and water, some of the humblest ingredients on Earth, sake brewers can tease out a staggering array of divine aromas and flavors, from the earthy to the fruity. New Yorkers have lately become hip to sake, having figured out the good stuff isn’t flogged at scalding temperatures in cheesy ceramic bottles. Sake-drenched drinkeries have happily proliferated to meet this new thirst, offering mind-bending varieties, tasty eats, and diverse vibes.

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news_iconI found this interesting article on the Ozkei production in Hollister California. Little did I know that Ozkei is celebrating 30 years of making sake in the US. Since 1979! The comments on why This particular part of California are especially interesting.

Sake Country
By Jessica Fromm / Metro Santa Cruz Weekly

Hollister’s Ozeki celebrates its run as America’s first sake brewery. Yoji Ogawa leans over a large, cloth-lined tub and thrusts his hand into the snowy white mass filling it. Bits of white dust stick to his cuticles as he draws his hand up and opens his palm, revealing a handful of what look like powdered, bloated bits of Styrofoam.

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