Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Abe Sake Brewery Mr. Yuta Abe part2

阿部酒造 阿部裕太様part2

Abe Sake Brewery Mr. Yuta Abe part2


Next time , I will tell you all about Mr. Abe's passion for sake brewing.

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 .
In this second installment, following on from the previous installment , we would like to ask Mr. Yuta Abe, the 6th generation owner of Abe Sake Brewery in Niigata, a rice-growing region.

His rival is his father. To continue "Abe Sake Brewery".

-Do you ever think about your predecessor, in other words your father, when brewing sake?

I am conscious.
At 26BY, I make both the Abe brand and Otokoyama. My father, the 5th generation, is designing sake quality for Otokoyama, and I help him with that. For the "Abe" series, I'm the one who designs the sake quality. Among them, my father helps me with physical work.

- In what ways do you use or differentiate your awareness of your father?

First of all, I don't want to make the same sake as my father's.
I think of alcohol as a luxury item, so I think I'll definitely improve if I make something that suits my tastes. It just happened that my father's tastes and tastes did not match.
When I serve my father's sake and my own sake at events, people who have been drinking sake for a long time say that my father's sake is good. It's frustrating. People who usually drink wine enjoy drinking mine. No matter how much you love to drink, if someone in front of me told me that your father was good, what a shame! I think (laughs)
It's the same company, but it's the closest rival . I want to surpass this person as soon as possible.

- So you receive a lot of stimulation every day.
Does your father also have experience as a salaryman like Mr. Abe?

I have. It just so happened that I graduated from the same university and department (laughs).
My father was told by his grandfather that he didn't have to take over the brewery, so he worked at a textile trading company in Hiroo. I didn't train in sake brewing at Agricultural College or other breweries. Then, where did you learn from? It was from my grandfather.

-Wasn't there a toji union or something like that?

For generations, we have adopted a system called internal toji, and since the toji system was in place, basically the top toji is the landlord of the house.
The landlord makes sake and manages the business. We have been doing that for a long time, and we have a system where parents pass on sake brewing to their children.
My grandfather teaches my father accordingly, but he doesn't teach 1 to 100 because he's from that era. My stance is to watch and learn, learn on your own. Why did I do that until now... think about it and study from there.
In that sense, it's been a long time since my father came back, but the sake brewing itself hasn't been that long. Until then, my grandfather was there, so I could rely on him for better or worse, so he didn't have any knowledge of sake brewing. Since it was a brewery that had a unique system for a long time, I think it was a lot of trouble.

-I heard that Abe Brewery is also involved in the sake sales business.

I agree. My father was trying to open a liquor company. The construction is good. I was saying that I would sell it from now on.

Sake marketing from the perspective of wine

-When you look at wine, what do you think should be incorporated into sake, Mr. Abe?

Is it branding or sales ?

-Is there anything about the branding that impresses you?

The wine is generally well branded.
I think it's good in the alcohol industry to drive consumers' desire to buy, such as terroir, where it's from and what year it's delicious.

The first image I had of sake was that of a farmer.
Just make things and stop there. There are many people who don't know how to sell, and they don't need to promote themselves because they are making delicious things in the first place. I think that is something that sake lacks and that we should learn from the wine industry. Branding is accompanied by sales, and the sales method will also change.

I think Dassai is doing the best in the sake industry. No other brewery has grown its volume in such a short period of time.
Of course, I think it has quality, but at the same time, it has its current position because it has a solid branding. I think there are still many people in the sake industry who hate horizontal characters like branding and marketing.
That's fine, but I think those two points are the things we need to learn.

-I see. thank you.
When I think about marketing and branding, I think that the existence of women cannot be ignored. The number of female brewers and drinkers is increasing, but what do you think about the role women are expected to play in the industry?

I don't ask for much, but I want you to keep drinking alcohol.
For example, if you go out to dinner on a date and someone says, "I want to drink this," I want to give you a drink, and I'll say, "I'll drink it too." Women are definitely necessary as a target because they are the trigger to drink because there are women.

-Do you have any plans to design sake quality for women?

There are many different types of women. For example, when Niigata Sake no Jin put out a sake for women that I thought up in my own way, there were pros and cons.
I have a vague image of sake being aimed at women, but I don't think it's too much of a gender-specific approach. There may be something to be said if you look at it relatively.
*Niigata Sake no Jin: One of Japan's leading sake events held in Niigata Prefecture every April

-When it comes to presentation, do you have a particular concept for packages and labels?

So, it boils down to the fact that we have to learn from the wine I mentioned earlier.
I think we can learn a lot from wines that are good at showing the design and shape of bottles. Try changing the shape. Try making it 750ml instead of 720ml. I wonder if it will be that kind of place.

-I see. In Japan, I think that there are things that are closer to wine, or that there are things that should be adopted and evolved, but overseas, on the contrary, I think that there are things that have to be differentiated from wine. Do you have any thoughts on that point?

Strategies are different in Japan and overseas.
For our brewery, what we want to cherish overseas is the hiragana font, which is unique to Japan . If it's written in kanji, you'll think it's a Chinese liquor. Therefore, I would like to include hiragana characters in brands that are exported overseas. That's a big reason why I chose hiragana for my "Abe" brand.

-Do you plan to expand the "Abe" brand overseas in the future?

I don't know if I'll be able to use the same flavor, label, or brand in the future, but I'd like to use hiragana on the label in the future.

Read more

阿部酒造 阿部裕太様part3

Abe Sake Brewery Mr. Yuta Abe part3

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 ....

Read more
阿部酒造 阿部裕太様part1

Abe Sake Brewery Mr. Yuta Abe part1

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 Top...

Read more