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If you were in downtown Nagoya on Sunday 26 August 2018 and wondered what was going on, the Meitetsu Keizai Shinbun site reports on a joint event between 31 bars and restaurants serving sake in the city and 36 breweries – most but not all from Aichi Prefecture.

It was the seventh Nagoya Sake-no-Masu event, where breweries partner with bars or other establishments, mostly one-to-one, teaming up to offer one sake and one paired side dish for around JPY 500.

Some brewers also travelled out to the bar representing them so they could meet the drinkers.

The number of participating bars in the Fushimi station area increased this year to 31. [There is a station in Nagoya called Fushimi, confusingly the same name as the famous sake area in Kyoto.] 36 breweries took part, mostly from Aichi Prefecture but also from Gifu, Mie, Nagano, Nara, Gunma, Okayama, Kochi and Yamagata, setting a new record for bars and brewers alike. Limited edition sake and special side dishes were available in limited quantities, with the specifics announced via social media.

One of the organisers is Hiromasa Yamashita, owner of the Food And Service Table work Association (FASTA Co., Ltd.) in Toyota city. Casting his mind back to the first year, when it was a small event with only nine bars and breweries, he notes that more and more people started coming and bringing newcomers along to the next location. The breweries also found it valuable as a way to connect with lots of people in one day without having to go to more than one place. As a sake fan himself, Yamashita hopes to hold more events in other locations to carry on spreading the word about sake.

The event ran from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Everyone who took part got an exclusive t-shirt or tenugui (thin cotton towel) that they had to wear to get the event sake and side dishes, and participation cost JPY 1,000 early bird or JPY 1,500 on the day.