The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake Part 3

The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake Part 3
By Kosuke Kuji

I received a phone call from Master Sake Brewer Morikawa in "Kouro" of Kumamoto prefecture a few days after the Kumamoto Earthquake. It happens that while I was in the 3rd year of attending Tokyo University of Agriculture, Brewing and Fermentation, I had the experience of receiving student training at "Kouro", the birthplace of Kumamoto brewing yeast No. 9. For two weeks, I slept in the brewery with Master Sake Brewer and all of the brewery staff, learned the basics of sake making and fortunate to receive training of cultivating brewing yeast and also Kouro brewing yeast (Kumamoto brewing yeast).

At the time it was the Master Sake Brewer Morikawa that gave me warm and sometimes strict guidance.

To hear his voice after a long time since I graduated university brought back such fond memories, but beyond that I was so worried about the damage status that I asked about the damage in Kouro with asking about general matters.

Regarding Kouro brewing yeast (Kumamoto brewing yeast) that I was most worried about, they had already incorporated in-house generators since they occasionally experience outages from many typhoon passing through Kyushu, so there was absolutely no problem with the refrigeration of the yeast.

I found out that on top of that their preservation technology of yeast has advanced and they could now dry the yeast and store it in room temperature, and already as double insurance had preserved such dry yeast as a backup.

I was so relieved after I heard this. The original yeast of brewing yeast No. 9, Kouro brewing yeast was saved!

Regarding damage status of the entire brewery, serious condition was caused by a chimney breaking and falling directly on the electrical lines of the Kyushu Shinkansen, a large number of sake bottles were broken in the bottle storage, and there was threat that the storage brewery may collapse and was off limits etc, there was no way of grasping the total damage at that time.

However, Master Brewer Morikawa told me this regarding the yeast.

"Kumamoto yeast doesn't belong only to Kouro. I made sure that there was tight management of the yeast because many breweries across Japan depend on it."
I thought that was wonderful thinking and what wonderful responsibility he has.
Let's drink Kumamoto sake and support their quick recovery.

「熊本大地震 その3」