Shinmai Web reports on overseas students of sake on a visit to a brewery in the Suwa area of Nagano Prefecture.

The Miyasaka brewery in Suwa city held a study meeting for overseas visitors interested in using sake in their business. It formed part of a tour led by American-born sake journalist John Gauntner, who is based in Kamakura, Shinagawa Prefecture. 25 people from the USA, Singapore, Spain and other countries who are involved in the restaurant business or sake imports took part, and also tried tasting sake while on a tour of the brewery.

The tasting featured seven styles of the Masumi brand brewed the Miyasaka brewery, including a junmai and a sparkling sake. The students looked serious as they tested the aroma, making notes on the gentle mouthfeel and plentiful residual aroma while drinking.

The visitors also had a chance to see and handle sake-specific rice, peeked into the room where the temperature and humidity are controlled for the growth of kōji, all while learning the processes involved in sake production. They were keen to ask questions about the rice milling and bottling machinery as well.

Company president Miyasaka Naotaka remarked that there are a number of misunderstandings about sake abroad, including it being mistaken for a distilled, high-alcohol content spirit. He hopes that these students will return home with a correct understanding of sake and spread the word about its charms.