Major sake breweries announce price hikes
Hakutsuru announced increases of five to 10 percent across about 150 of their products like the 2L (68oz) Josen Hakutsuru Sake Pack Regular, which will see its price rise from 1,837 yen (US$13.83) to 1,960 yen ($14.76), and the Hakutsuru Sake Pack Maru, whose price will rise from 1,460 yen ($10.99) to 1,563 yen ($11.77).
These are Hakutsuru’s first price increases since 2013, and will go into effect on October 1. The company released a statement saying, “In order to provide customers with safe and secure products at reasonable prices, we have made repeated in-house efforts to reduce costs, such as through technological innovation and productivity improvement. However, various costs have soared, especially recent raw material, energy, and distribution costs, and it has been deemed no longer possible to absorb these increases through our efforts alone.”
Meanwhile, Asahi Shuzo also announced price increases of two to 17 percent on all their products from July 1. The brewery’s famous Dassai 23 in 720mL (24oz) bottles will go from 4,900 yen ($36.90) to 5,000 yen ($37.65) and bottles of the same size of Dassai 39 will rise from 2,310 yen ($17.40) to 2,400 yen ($18.07).
Asahi Shuzo also cited skyrocketing material and distribution costs as the reason for the increase, saying that they too could no longer compensate for it through in-house efforts alone.
Hyogo Sake Expo 2022 held in Kobe Hankyu Department Store
From June 1 to 6, the Hyogo Sake Expo 2022 took place at the Hankyu Department store in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. At the opening ceremony on June 1, organizers cracked open a sake cask in the traditional “kagami biraki” fashion, and the first 100 guests were treated to a drink from it.
The event showcased sake from 27 breweries in the prefecture famous for its sake production, in particular the Hyogo Gokoku region of Settsu, Harima, Awaji, Tamba, and Tajima. In addition to both sales and tastings from regular exhibits by each brewery, including Kikumasamune and Hakutsuru, an expo sake barserved different recommended brands each day.
With the themes of “local production for local consumption” and “the blessing of water,” organizers held seminars to help people get the most out of their drinking experience, and sold local snacks that pair well with the featured sake.
More than just sake, the expo also served to highlight Hyogo Prefecture itself, and a special booth featured places of interest in the area for both sake fans and travel fans alike. This was the first ever Hyogo Sake Expo, but it will likely return again next year.
Suigei Brewing celebrates 50th Anniversary with special song by Yu Sakai
Sake producer Suigei Brewing of Kochi Prefecture is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with the help of singer-songwriter Yu Sakai, who was also born in Kochi.
In honor of the milestone, Sakai penned “Whale Song,” whose title was partially influenced by the name “Suigei” (“drunken whale”). Preorders are already being accepted for the Suigei Brewing 50th Anniversary x Yu Sakai Special Collaboration Set, which includes a 720mL (24oz) bottle of Suigei Junmai Ginjo Izuma, a special “gold tail” mini sake glass, and the Whale Song EP, featuring the title track and four other songs by Sakai.
Sakai has also provided the soundtrack to a commemorative video for Suigei’s anniversary, which was posted on YouTube on June 1. In addition, Sakai gave a two-part interview on Suigei’s “Sake Girls’ Enjoy Sake” YouTube channel, where he speaks on songwriting, sake, and growing up in Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture.
In addition to the 50th anniversary set, the Whale Song EP will also hit major music streaming and download services from June 22.
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