Sake Nation: “Craft Gin and Vodka: Part I”

By Kosuke Kuji

The widespread novel coronavirus depleted supplies of rubbing alcohol across Japan early in the pandemic and created a supply shortage.
Therefore, regulations were relaxed on an emergency basis for sake breweries like my own to produce rubbing alcohol, as I wrote before in this series.
I met disabled children requiring lifelong care and their families, who thanked me saying, “thank you for saving lives.” To ensure these families lifelong supplies of rubbing alcohol, I vowed to continue “local production (of rubbing alcohol) for local consumption” to service the approximately 200 patients in Iwate prefecture. As I wrote before, the production of Japanese sake decreased dramatically at the same time, with plenty of leftover sake rice originally allocated for contracted farming.
To continue the production of rubbing alcohol indefinitely requires a license for the authorized production of “spirits.” This license to produce spirits also authorizes the production of gin and vodka, along with distilled, highly concentrated alcohol for which the leftover sake rice can be used. Nanbu Bijin decided to produce craft gin and vodka as a new business during the coronavirus pandemic.
I, along with other Japanese sake breweries, decided to start new businesses in this manner.

酒豪大陸「クラフトジンとウォッカ その1」