Unfortunately, the first microbrew boom was short lived. The industry peaked at microbreweries in By , only about microbreweries had survived.
Why wine writer Anthony Rose has written a book on sake
Despite the grim initial outlook, craft brewers managed to beat market expectations. The stagnant beer industry started off expecting to register So why are the craft brewers able to survive and thrive in a niche segment of a stagnant industry? More importantly, the industry is attracting international craft brewers who are passionate and committed to long-term sustainability. In the absence of market pressure from major breweries in Japan, these microbreweries are allowed space to grow and thrive. The existence of passionate craft beer fans and brew masters helps to create a great platform to fuel the growth of the industry.
The answer is three-fold.
Mutual network As the craft beer community grows, brewers and companies will grow accordingly to supply demand. Most are slowly building organizational capabilities, production capacities, and ties to domestic suppliers and consumers. They seem willing to sacrifice short-term profits from overseas markets in favor of long-term demands of domestic customers.
What price points do you think sake performs best at? Price is a problem on overseas markets because a combination of transport costs, duty, margin and small-scale importation. What is your own particular favourite style of sake and why?
Anthony Rose: how to bring sake to a wider audience
I started out particularly liking daiginjo and ginjo sake because of its beguiling fragrance, freshness and and delicacy, and I still love many a ginjo and daiginjo sake, especially the drier styles emanating from the northerly prefectures of Niigata, Yamagata and Akita. As time has passed though, I have started to appreciate sakes with more umami content, that savouriness that makes them so delicious with food, and not just sushi and sashimi.
With its myriad styles and the ability to drink it at different temperatures, sake is a versatile drink that matches not just the usual suspects of sushi and sashimi, but all sorts of dishes from the subtle to the strong-flavoured. Sake can cope with pickles and vinegary dressings where a wine might struggle. Curries and cheese are among some of the surprisingly good matches for sake. Majestic has recently taken on three premium sakes for instance from Akashi-Tai.
It will still be a gradual process, but as Christine Parkinson, the Hakkasan Group wine and sake buyer, and I have seen on the consumer course that we have run at Sake No Hana for over three years, people are ready to embrace the adventure of the mind and the senses that sake can bring to their lives.
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The more the rice grain is milled away, the higher the grade. Where the lines becomes a little more blurred is relating the sake grade to style and quality.
Can inexperienced sake drinkers recognise the difference if they start buying premium sake? Good question. Can an inexperienced wine drinker recognise the difference if they start buying fine wine? The more premium or high quality the sake, the more flavour intensity and the greater the texture and length it tends to have although counter-intuitively, a short finish can be a virtue in sake , so in that sense, I would say yes, even an inexperienced sake drinkers can tell the difference. It was love at first taste. That may not happen every time but on our course for instance, most beginners leave wanting to learn — and drink — more.
Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking
In particular, fragrant fresh aromatic sakes in the ginjo group pair well with seafood, shellfish and white meats. Sake has roughly one-fifth the acidity of wine and so its gentle textures go well with food that partner well with a wide variety of foods.
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So, starting with a clean slate, just about anything goes. Sake is also often available in ml and half-litre sizes, which adds to its versatility on a restaurant list.
Japanese language history
Hot or cold? Until I went to Japan, I was led to believe that hot sake was naff, something that American tourists asked for because it masked sake faults. On our course we always have at least one sake with the lunch which is served both chilled and hot, and then we take a vote as to which is preferred.
It usually comes down to What is the most unusual sake that you have come across? He must be doing something right because the brewery has been going strong since