Friday, March 11, 2016

Sake News

Kanpai! Here is another short list of some of the interesting Sake articles that have been published lately. It is great to see more and more coverage for Sake, though I recommend that anyone seeking to publish a Sake article check it at least a few times for accuracy. A few basic errors continue showing up in introductory Sake articles, and those errors would be easy to eliminate if you had a knowledgeable Sake person check your facts. Let us also hope that we see more than just introductory Sake articles in the future. Sake has many depths and all those varied facets make great material for articles.

1) Kiwi Sake? The Southland Times presents some information on a Sake brewery in New Zealand. Strangely enough, the article never actually mentions the name of the brewery, New Zealand Sake Brewers, Ltd. which sells Sake under the brand name Zenkuro. Opened for about a year, the company is a partnership of Craig McLachlan, Richard Ryall, brewer David Joll, and Canadian sake brewery owner Yoshi Kawamura. The Sake is made from California rice and water from the Southern Alps. It is currently available in several restaurants, and they are hoping to soon add more restaurants as well as souvenir shops. I'll be seeking more info about this brewery and will report back what I learn.

2) A Sake comeback? The Japan Times is reporting on how new, young Sake brewers are trying to make Sake cool once again, to raise consumptions levels within Japan, especially with the younger generation. At the recent Craft Sake Week, there was a significant effort to take away pretentiousness and stuffiness. From a live DJ to food trucks, the event tried to reach a younger audience, to attract them to Sake drinking. In addition, two brothers at Senkin Shuzo, the oldest Sake brewery in Tochigi Prefecture, are trying to treat Sake more like wine, especially concerning the issue of terroir. The brothers are also experimenting with different types of Sake, including a range of natural ones. It is great to see all of this innovation in the Sake industry as there is plenty of room for growth and stagnation will only doom the industry.

3) A new Sake in Massachusetts? Last month, Blue Current Brewery, the first and only Sake brewery in Maine, announced that its Junmai Ginjo Sake is now available in Massachusetts, distributed by the Martignetti Companies, through their Classic Wine Imports division. It is available in 375ml and 750ml bottles. This is excellent news and you should read my review of the brewery and its Sake. In Maine, you can find Blue Current Sake in many non-Asian restaurants and hopefully this will happen in Massachusetts too, showing consumers how Sake pairs well with all types of cuisines.

4) Sake & Ramen? Yes, this is an excellent combination and some local diners are going to experience a special dinner showcasing these two. On March 21, Chef Moe Kuroki of OISA Ramen, a pop-up ramen shop, is collaborating with Chef Matthew Virzi of Aurum Hand Pies in Jamaica Plain, for a special four-course dinner. The courses will include: Wilted Kale Salad; Crispy Chashu Fritters; OISa Ramen with handmade noodles; and Strawberry Azuki Hand Pie. I am also helping out, having selected four different Sakes to accompany the dinner. This should be a delicious and fun event. There will only be a single seating and tickets cost $55 per person. There are still a few tickets left and you can go to EventBrite to make reservations. Act fast as the tickets will likely sell out soon. Hope to see you there!

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