PR Times features a press release for a brewery sending out a sake for each season along with some carefully chosen local seasonal delights.
Takeshita Honten in Shimane [which the article describes as the “birthplace of sake“] released their “Shimane Sakagura Seasonal Delivery” for sale online on 14 December 2018.
The press release starts by stating there are “seasons” for sake, and if you don’t know what sake breweries want you to drink in what season and how to drink it, you’re missing out. [The joys of translating Japanese advertising material.] Moved by the possibility of poor consumers being left in the dark, the 150 year old Takeshita brewery drew on its long history and detailed knowledge of sake to develop a regular delivery of the right sake and snacks for each season.
Sets are delivered four times a year, with a sake just ready to drink and local products to match it. And that’s not all – you also get original merchandise from the brewery and a magazine. An introductory package is sent with the first delivery, containing a guide to how to drink sake, an ochoko and a thermometer.
Takeshita hopes that the experience of drinking the right sake, at the right time, with the right snacks will generate interest in Shimane and encourage people to find their own way of enjoying sake.
The product page shows that the autumn sake, hiyaoroshi, comes with sheets of wakame and blackthroat seaperch, plus bonus umeshu, a tenugui from the brewery, and a magazine about the rice harvest. The winter delivery is the first pressing of the brewing year and is an origarami [with some lees still left to settle] to be paired with sweet stewed clams and local akaten fish sticks, with a bonus of brewing water, milled rice and a magazine about the brewing process that also introduces the brewery staff.
Spring brings a special junmai daiginjō brewed for competition entry, agonoyaki [local chikuwa?] and soba, cedar for making a sugidama, sakekasu with recipes and another magazine introducing freshly-brewed sake. Summer sees a four-month matured sake brewed in a local cave where the temperature rarely goes over 10°C, dried figs, a reusable coaster made from jute sacks, and another magazine looking at transplanting seedlings.
Those who sign up also get to visit the brewery, join a community on Facebook and attend special events.