Sake Nation “Sake Rice Left Over due to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Part 2”

By Kosuke Kuji

"Due to the impact from the coronavirus, the production volume for Japanese sake had to be reduced." However, the sake ingredient – sake rice – was contracted before the coronavirus pandemic and cannot be diverted elsewhere.
Sake breweries cannot back out on their contract farmers.
Therefore, sake breweries must purchase the sake rice contracted for the volume of sake they don’t need to produce. To not impose any debt to our contracted farmers, we purchased the sake rice to fulfill our contract despite the financial challenges we faced.
Unlike grapes, rice can be stored for some time. However, storage in the refrigerated warehouse is only good for up to a year.
Rice cannot continue to be used after three or four years of storage.
Therefore, sake breweries must fulfill their obligation by purchasing the contracted sake rice and find a way to use them up.
For breweries skilled in producing aged sake, one option is to use all the sake rice to brew and sell aged sake.
However, we sell only a small volume of aged sake. Therefore, we’ll basically sell a fresh rotation of sake.
In our case, brewing and storing the sake poses a challenge.
On the other hand, sake rice “Yamadanishiki” used to brew Dassai from Yamaguchi prefecture and Kamoshibito Kuheiji from Aichi prefecture was in danger of remaining unused. Therefore, the sake breweries pleaded to the public, “Please support Yamadanishiki by consuming their rice.” Sake rice Yamadanishiki was actually processed and released for consumption as rice, evoking a huge response from the public.
Actually, sake rice Yamadanishiki is not as flavorful as rice sold for consumption. Therefore, recipes were introduced to prepare sake rice flavorfully, a very impressive idea. It was truly eye-opening to learn there are ways to use up the sake rice left over.

酒豪大陸「コロナで余った酒米 その2」