Suzuki Brewery NagaizoDaisuke Suzuki
How to enjoy IKKON,
3rd Suzuki Brewery Nagaizo Daisuke Suzuki
The three-part series that talks about IKKON and Japanese sake from the perspective of a sake brewery is finally the final round.
Daisuke Suzuki, who is the representative director of the Nagaizo Suzuki brewery and brews sake as Mr. Tsuji himself, has a deep story about sake and bowls.
We asked about the future of sake brewing. Please enjoy yourself.
―What kind of liquor do you want to pursue in the future?
There are endless combinations of rice and yeast, and the resulting organic acid composition is also different. The experience so far has fixed rice and yeast to some extent. Next, I would like to try changing the temperature and duration of storage depending on the type of organic acid.
There are 23 amino acids, of which 20 are bitter and the remaining 3 are sweet. Until now, it was said that the “sweetness” derived from this amino acid was detected in sake, but it has been found that this is not the case in recent research.
Among them, our liquor is relatively expensive. I think that if we can grasp and refine the sweetness of this amino acid with numbers, it will be our strength.
―It seems that you have a new idea in terms of sales.
I’m thinking of attaching a QR code to the label so that people who purchase can come to our website and provide detailed information about the product and what kind of food it is suitable for. That’s because if you don’t connect directly with your customers and thicken the communication pipe, you won’t survive. Some say the sake boom, but in fact, sake accounts for less than 7% of the nationwide liquor sales. The number of salespersons who can explain products properly, including specialty stores, is decreasing, and the number of sake stores themselves is decreasing.
In the region where the population is declining alone, there is no sales, and the breweries that are going out of business continue. That said, if you go to Tokyo, you will compete with brands across the country. And the population of Tokyo will begin to decline in the years after the Olympics, so it will become a competition in an increasingly narrow area. So, I think it is necessary to establish my brand by then.
―It is surprising that the share of sake is so small. Beer and strawberry high are more popular.
There may be an image that shochu is better for diet and health because it contains less sugar. In fact, even sugar that is said to be sweet has 3% sugar. Our liquor has a sugar concentration of 1% or less. On the other hand, sake contains active ingredients that are good for the body, such as amino acids. I have to promote this area a little more.
―The Suzuki Sake Brewery was located in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, but it has been 7 years since we moved to Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture due to the damage caused by the tsunami and the evacuation of the nuclear accident. However, I think that Mr. Suzuki’s heart has always been with Namie. This year, you were given the “Landmark Namie Sake” for the first time after the earthquake as a sake made with rice from Namie.
Yes, this time we brought the water from Namie and made all the necessary materials from Namie.
In Namie Town, rice demonstration cultivation began in 2014, and no radioactive material has been detected since the first year. Since then, we have made sake from Namie rice for publicity of non-sale items, but last year (as of the end of March 2017), part of the evacuation order was finally lifted, so this year it will finally be made for sale I was able to.
By the way, this “Landmark Namie no Sake” is a tasting type of Junmai Ginjo, so if you enjoy it at IKKON, the round type is recommended (laughs).
―Thank you very much.
Suzuki Sake Brewery
The double-baking used by IKKON is also a feature of the traditional crafts of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Soma-yaki Ohori. The Suzuki Sake Brewery (Honzo), located in the Ume district of Namie-cho, was closed due to the subsequent nuclear accident. The Suzuki family moved to Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture, acquired all the shares of Toyo Sake Brewery, which has a long history in the region. The main brands are “Hagi Castle Pass”, which has been loved in Namie Town for a long time, and “Lifetime Happiness” inherited from Toyo Sake Brewery.