"Tohoku Sake Awards in Fall"

By Kosuke Kuji

Sponsored by the Sendai Regional Taxation Bureau, last fall's Tohoku Sake Awards was held in Sendai.  Annual Japan Sake Awards was sponsored by the National Tax Agency many years ago, but now it is joint sponsored by Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and National Research Institute of Brewing.  The Sake Awards that is sponsored by the Regional Taxation Bureau is sponsored by each local regional taxation bureau like Sendai, Kanto Koshinetsu, Nagoya etc., and Tohoku holds their sake awards in the fall. 

The gold prize at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for Tohoku 6 prefectures was #1 in Japan for 6 years in a row, and considered to be an area with high percentage of breweries to receive the most gold prizes in Japan.

For the national average, the percentage to win the gold prize is about 20%, but if you do the math for Tohoku 6 Prefectures, it comes out to about 40% which makes them proud to be twice the percentage of the national average to receive the gold prize.  Tohoku is a region that undoubtedly has the highest level of technology in Japan, and this has continued to be the case for the last 8 years. 

For such a Tohoku's sake awards in fall, from a group of brewers that has received the most gold prizes in Japan, they must use even stricter judgements in deciding the gold prize which makes their sake awards probably the most difficult to win in Japan. 

This most challenging Tohoku Sake Awards has 2 large divisions of "Ginjo category" and "Junmai category", and the brewers that win the gold prize have the honor to be awarded the prize from the Sendai Regional Taxation Bureau Chief during a solemn ceremony.

Also, from the gold prizes, a "Grand Prize" for the most outstanding and a "Honor Prize" for the next outstanding is  awarded.

The grand prize means being No. 1 in Tohoku which has the highest level brewery in Japan and is also known as being "Japan's #1 Title."

At this fall's Tohoku sake awards, can you believe our company's Daiginjo received the "Grand Prize" in the Ginjo category!

Also in the Junmai category, our company's Junmai Daiginjo received the "Honor Prize!"  We reached the outstanding achievement of receiving No. 1 & No. 2 awards in both categories!!

It is just unbelievable that this means we were selected as the #1 brewery in Tohoku both in name and reality. 

I am most honored and thankful.  I have reached one of my goals in my life.
I will not let this get to my head and devote more efforts to this year's sake making and plan to work hard than ever before.