Sake Nation “Activities of New Sake Breweries: Part 3”

By Kosuke Kuji

Hokkaido prefecture is fast garnering attention as home to one of several new locations of Kamikawa Taisetsu Sake Brewery, featured in the last report.
Another reason Hokkaido is garnering attention is a sake brewery in Gifu prefecture relocated their entire sake brand to produce sake in Hokkaido, an unprecedented development in past history.
Koji Yamada, CEO of Michizakura Shuzou brewery, producer of the “Michizakura” sake brand for the past 143 years, explained the impact of global warming and the search for a new location from their deteriorated brewery in Gifu prefecture led to his decision to relocate to Hokkaido prefecture.
The reason for their relocation had nothing to do with a brewery closure nor any change in ownership. The current owner of the founding family departed Gifu prefecture after nearly 140 years in business and chose Hokkaido prefecture as their new home to continue their legacy.
Japan is indeed impacted by global warming, requiring western breweries to expand their cooling facilities while rice crops are more easily destroyed by high temperatures. I hear breweries in southern and western Japan face many challenges due to the weather. Moving to Hokkaido prefecture eliminates this challenge posed by the climate. Further, recent rice harvested in Hokkaido is said to have improved significantly.
Further, Hokkaido prefecture is prepared to welcome new breweries to the region like Kamikawa Taisetsu Sake Brewery, which likely inspired Yamada to relocate to Hokkaido.
The new “Michizakura,” released as a new regional sake produced in Hokkaido, is popular among many fans of the Michizakura sake brand in addition to new consumers in Hokkaido, indicating their relocation was a success.
I’m confident regional sake from Hokkaido prefecture will continue to garner attention.

酒豪大陸「新しい酒蔵の息吹 その3」