Sunday, April 3, 2011

Help Japan's sake brewers: drink more sake.

Tasting sake from Akita at Gonpachi restaurant.

The news from Japan has been devastating. Sympathy and heartfelt condolences to those who lost family members and all those who have been impacted by the earthquake and tsunami.  There are many ways to help: the Japan America Society has established a relief fund.  The American Red Cross lists organizations that are providing aid.
A traditional cedar ball often found outside sake breweries.
Sake brewers have been hard too and the impact on the industry is now being realized: from complete destruction of breweries to damage to facilities to power outages that impact sake making. Hardest hit are sake brewers in the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures as Elin McCoy of Bloomberg news details. Sake and miso makers are now just beginning to pick up the pieces per The Daily Yomiuri.

The most comprehensive list of kuras affected can be found at John Gauntner's Sake World. He cites a heartfelt plea from Kosuke Kuji that was posted on the Nanbu Bijin brewery blog (translation courtesy of John Gauntner), "For the time being, no one in this area feels like drinking sake. To avoid secondary economic damage, we want to earnestly ask everyone around the country and in other countries to eat and drink products from the Tohoku region. That is the most supportive thing you can do for us."

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