Next time , I would like to ask you about your thoughts on your father, the predecessor, and about the branding of sake.
Behind the delicious sake lies the passion of the maker
In Topics, we will deliver not only the taste of sake but also the story and thoughts behind it through interviews with the sake producers handled by the sake select shop Mirai Nihonshuten .
For our first installment, we interviewed Mr. Yuta Abe, the 6th generation owner of Abe Sake Brewery in Niigata, a rice-producing region.
When we think of Niigata sake, we usually think of light and dry sake, but Abe Sake Brewery also makes umami and sweet sake. We will deliver Mr. Abe's passion for sake, such as his thoughts on sake brewing and overseas expansion of sake, in three parts.
Tanrei dry is not the only sake from Niigata. Tracing the roots of the 6th generation of Abe Brewery.
―Thank you for your time today.
When you think of Niigata, you probably think of light and dry sake, but Abe Sake Brewery makes umami and sweet sake. What made you decide to take the current direction of sake brewing?
In the first place, Niigata is not an area where all of the breweries are dry and dry. In fact, there are breweries that make Umakuchi type.
Similarly, we have been making Umakuchi-type sake since my grandfather's generation. In addition, once again, I ended up with the Umakuchi type that I liked.
After that, Niigata's Tanrei Karakuchi boom came, and I think that Niigata's sake was called Tanrei Karakuchi. So, I don't really want to make something that isn't light and dry.
In addition, the reason I returned to the brewery was when I drank sake at a restaurant in Tokyo. At that time, the Tanrei Karakuchi boom had already ended in Niigata Prefecture, but there was only Tanrei Karakuchi sake in the market. The point is that the taste is everything.
While I was convinced that this was sake, I was surprised when I drank (delicious) sake in Tokyo. With such a wide range, I thought I'd like to go back and make it.
―I think you drank a lot in Tokyo, but was there any sake that shocked you at first?
I wish I could remember the sake that made me return to the brewery, but at the time I had no interest in sake, so I don't remember what brand it was or where I drank it...
So, after that, it's just my taste, but what I thought was amazing was the sake of the brewery that brews the Shinsei, Senkin, and Zanso Horai series.
I felt that the sake of these three breweries stands out in my world of tastes and tastes.
―The brand you gave me may sound surprising to people who have been making sake for a long time, but from Abe's point of view, it's because he thought, ``Simply good sake is good, isn't it?''
yes. If you say that it's famous, that's it, but it can't be helped because it's delicious.
-It's only been two years since you started sake brewing last year.
Do you feel that such a short history is a strength on the contrary?
Do you have a feeling that alcohol can be done?
Up until now, I had just been imagining something in my fantasies, but this year I realized that alcohol is really complete after seeing it with my own eyes and experiencing everything myself.
If you're in the 20th year of brewing sake, you can't say that (laughs). I can say this because of my short history.
Another thing I can say is that it's only because we're a relatively new brewery that we're able to take on such challenges.
Mr. Abe, I believe you studied sake brewing in Takinogawa.
* The National Research Institute of Brewing, located in Takinogawa, Tokyo, provides support such as providing knowledge of sake as a sake school.
Takinogawa is very interesting.
The course I chose is all beginners, but the age and history are various. Just like when I returned to my parents' house, there are people who have come to acquire the knowledge to build for the first time and turn 0 into 1. On the other hand, at a well-known medium-sized brewery, the chief brewer retired last year, so we had to make it ourselves. Some people come to learn it.
Some people have been working for a sake brewery for 20 years. Even before this, there was a wide range of ages, from 22 years old at the time at the youngest to 45 years old at the top.
-Everyone has different reasons.