The Jomo News site reports on one Gunma Prefecture sake brewery taking advantage of the recent EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to start exporting to Europe.

The EPA abolishes a number of import duties between Japan and the EU, including doing away with European duties on the import of sake.

Tsuchida Shuzō, makers of Homare, are taking the leap with the help of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). JETRO offer individual support services provided by export specialists, and thanks to that Tsuchida will attend a London event running over 1 and 2 July 2019 in an attempt to expand their sales routes.

Tsuchida Shuzō was founded over 100 years ago and still brews sake using traditional methods and their own brewery-resident yeast and lactobacilli. There aren’t many kuramoto still brewing in this way, particularly as the quantity and type of microorganisms involved will naturally vary year to year, producing different flavours and providing annual variation in the value of the sake.

The event in London is Imbibe, a specialist drinks trade fair, where Tschida will be putting three varieties of sake, including their Tsuchida Kōji Kyūwarikyūbun (kōji 99%), on sale. Another variety [looks like Tsuchida Ichi but I can’t track down the last character] has rich sweetness but also acidity and amino acids that give it characteristic complex aroma that goes well with Western dishes like meat or cheese.

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