Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun,
A”New” sake brewery is born in Shizuoka City!
Why “New” then?
Actually, by Japanese law you cannot/may not obtain a new brewery license. The only way to create/establish a new brewery is to acquire the license from a brewery which has decided to cease business before they give their license back to the government. In fact such a license can be kept indefinitely although the Tax & Excise Bureau do all it can to get it back as soon as possible. Strangely enough, such a rule applies only to sake breweries, brewers and owners…
Hiraki Company in Shizuoka City, a company with roots back in Edo Period, the biggest distributor of large spirits and drinks companies in Shizuoka Prefecture had momentarily moved from Kakegawa City in Shizuoka Prefecture to Okayama Prefecture in 1956 to acquire Hiraki Brewery while the law permitted it. They consequently moved back to Shizuoka City in 1967 to expand their business as the local distributor for big corporate companies producing drinks and spirits. Naturally, they sold their sake brand called Kihei (and still do. “Kihei” actually is the inverted name of “Hiraki”!) in Shizuoka Prefecture and were also very active in offering contracts between the local sake breweries and the big companies in Nada (Kobe area) to produce sake to the latter according to their requirements.
According to them they decided to produce sake again in Shizuoka Prefecture after a 45-year lapse (I think dates are manipulated there, but who am I to say?) after the new sake rice brand, namely “Homare Fuji” was recognized as such by the Shizuoka Prefecture and the Ministry of Agricultre and Forestry.
In 2009 they applied to the Japanese Tax & Excise Bureau after acquiring the license of Sogatsuru Brewery in Kakegawa City which had kept it (they had actually lent it to Hagi No Kura Brewery, presently Suruga Brewery for a while) ever since they stopped all activities more than 10 years ago.
Although you are not supposed to buy it, but just acquire it, I know from reliable sources that Hiraki Company obtained the license for 30,000,000 yen….
On the 1st of November 2012 they obtained permission from the Tax & excise Bureau and starting making sake end of November. They have moreover announced they are brewing real “Shizuoka sake” (although they have admitted they will also produce sake from other brands of sake rice from other Prefectures) with Shizuoka-grown Hoamre Fuji rice, Shizuoka yeast and Shizuoka water from the Abe River basin.
They have officially become members of The Shizuoka Prefecture Brewers Association and their sake will be on display at the next Shizuoka Sake Tasting Fair in March.
I was assured by the Shizuoka Prefecture Brewers Association that they were serious and did not plan to use their new brewery to facilitate sales of their Okayama Brewery sake…
Time will tell…
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents
HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City