1) The continue spead of Sake always excites me. So, I was ecstatic to learn that a new Sake brewery will soon open in Toronto!
The Toronto Life reported that Ken Valvur will open the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company in the spring of 2011. Valvur wants to create a brewery that adheres to Japanese tradition, and it will produce a variety of sake, including nigori, genshu, junmai and namazake. The brewery will also have a tasting bar, where freshly pressed sake can be sampled. I have not been able to find a website for this new venture yet so check out the article for more information.
I met Ken this summer in San Francisco at John Gauntner's Sake Professional Course and I wish him the best of luck with this new endeavor!
2) John Gauntner also related some less than happy news. Sake sales in Japan for October were down 10% though sales of whiskey have increased.
A survey was also recently taken of kura concerning sake exports. A little less than half, about 500, of the active breweries responded, and of that number a little less than half indicated they currently export. About another 22% indicated they would like to export, and about 32% indicated they did not want to or could not engage in exportation. There is lots of room for growth for exportation, but it seems there is a significant percentage of breweries opposed to such. Let us hope that if more breweries begin exporting their product, that it will encourage others to do so too.