CraftGene Craft_vol.0

Why do not you travel in Japan to see craftsmen? There are many charms in the rural areas of Japan to satisfy you.


>> P.3

KESENNUMA3CraftGeneSotenden,animpactfulbrewoutofKesennumaItwastimetoheadtothebreweryatlonglast.Forthisinstallment,IvisitedOtokoyamaHontenCo.,Ltd.Thisbrewery,foundedin1912,isresponsibleforbrewslikeFushimiOtokoyama,offeredsinceitsfounding,aswellasSotenden,apremiumsake.LongrecognizedinKesennumaandSendai,andincorporatingauniqueKesennumaethos,SotendenisdesignedtobringatrueKesennumasaketoJapanandtheworld.NowthatIthinkaboutit,IoftencomeacrossSotendeninTokyo.OtokoyamaHontenislocatedjustshyof2kmfromKesennumaStation.Itisaboutafiveminutewalkfromtheporttothebrewery,locatedonaplateau.Iwassurprisedonarrival,perhapsbecauseIhadalwayshadtheimageofJapanesebreweriesasbeingnestledinthemountains.Thenagain,it’snotuncommontofindbreweriesalongthecoastline.IfoundmyselfreminiscingaboutthevariousbrewsIhadknown.PassionondisplayatthisbreweryOtokoyamaHontenissituatedinfrontofasmallmountain.YouseeachimneyandtheboldstrokesoftheFushimiOtokoyamabrandemblazonedonthewall.FacingoppositewhatIassumedtobethebuildingwheretheypreparethemash,Isawabuildingstockedwithvastquantitiesofcasesholdingsixsakebottlesper.MyinitialguidewasYuichiKato,fromsales.Iaskedhimwhatallthebottleswerefor,andhesaidthatthat’swheretheybottlethebrewon-site.Thesakeisbottledintotraditional1.8Land720mlbottles,packedincases,andshippedoutacrossthecountry.Interesting,sobreweriesarenotjustaboutmakingsake.Itstandstoreasonthattheyhavetobottleit,too.Evenso,therewassomethingcharmingaboutthesenseofscaleofthisoperation.Therewasaplant,withanatriumleadingfromthefirsttosecondfloor,andthenatinybutwell-keptofficeadjacenttothat.Thusfar,inreportingontraditionalcraftsforCraftGene,wehavemetmanysoloartisans.Here,theplanthasquiteanindustrialfeelandisfullykittedout.Hereyouwillfindpeoplebottlingthefinishedsake,salesmenlikeMr.Kato,whotravelJapantopitchproductslikeSotendenandOtokoyama,andtheback-roomofficestaff,amongothers.It’squitealargeteam.Thatbeingsaid,thiswouldnotbemistakenforamassivefactory.OrshouldIsay,large-scale”simplydoesnotfitthefeelingthislocalenterprisegivesoff.HowshouldIputit?NounkindnessmeanttoOtokoyamaHonten,butitkindoffeltlikeagroupofrelativescomingtogetherintheirruralhometowntolaunchaproject.That’stheimpressionyouget--verylocal.Eventhemachinerytherefeltsomehowfamiliar,cozy.Ican’tputmyfingeronit.Iwonderwhatitwasthatmademefeelsoatease,juststandingthereatthefactoryentrance.Makenomistake,though--peoplearehardatworkhere,grapplingwithmakingthebestbrew.ApersonaltourwiththechiefbrewerFinally,itwastimeformytourofthebrewery.MyguidewasDaisukeKashiwa,thechiefbrewerhere.Whataprivilegetobeledinpersonbyhim.Equipmentisinstalledthroughoutthefacilityintunewiththebrewingprocess,whichbeginsbypolishingtherice,rinsingit,andsteamingit.Mr.Kashiwadescribedtheprocesswhileshowingmetheactualstepsinvolvedandtheequipmentused.Themostintuitivepartofitallwasthespecialdisplaypanelstheydevelopedtoexplaineachstepinavisualmanner.“Thereareseveralkeystepstoproducinggoodsake.Webelieveitisthericethatisthedefiningelement.That’swhywetreattheprocessofrefiningit,rinsingit,soakingit,andsteamingitwithduecare.”


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