6th Generation Brewer Sato Jumpei's Resume
Transition to Junmai-Daiginjo-Only Brewery ("TATENOKAWA" Newspaper 15/07/2015)
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In 2010, TATENOKAWA,INC. devised a Junmai-only concept but there were already many breweries that had achieved the same thing. An ever-increasing surplus of rice was making such a concept much easier to implement and we predicted that the customer’s tendencies would gravitate more towards the purer products so it would become important to stand out amongst the other Junmai-only competition, that there may even come a time when a Junmai-only concept alone would not be enough to generate sales. And so, we took a step further, and in order to establish a USP for the brewery, we switched to Junmai Ginjo, Junmai Daiginjo-only production. Most of the Junmais in the existing line-up had a polishing ratio of 55% so we could actually sell them as Junmai Ginjos to begin with; thus going forward, I thought we could promote ourselves as a Junmai Ginjo-only brewery.
At the time, no one in the brewery objected to this decision. Everyone thought it was quite a good concept.
However, when we started making plans for the brewery, we started to doubt the uniqueness of the concept, whether we could really continue for another 100-200 years under this banner.
So then, what we were to do? As September came around, the rice was harvested and the sake-making season began, our attention was focused elsewhere.
We needed a concept that would see us through another 100-200 years, something that was easy for foreigners to understand, that would break the complicated sake category system down into something more manageable. Furthermore, we needed something to satisfy the natural demand to drink good sake.
We finally arrived at a concept after navigating our way through lots of ideas: Junmai Daiginjo-only production.
We would make only Junmai Daiginjos that offer lots of different features such as different rice polishing ratio and sake rice varietals; unpasteurised and pasteurised; seasonal styles: undiluted and cloudy etc; and sakes with an authentic feel. Additionally, we would put together a line-up that offers not only products at prices that the ordinary customer can afford, at around 2000-3000 yen per 1.8L bottle; but also higher quality, higher priced products.
With our policy and concept taking shape, armed with a new determination, 2010 marked our start as a Junmai-Daiginjo –only brewery.* TATENOKAWA,INC. had become a Junmai-Daiginjo-only brewery. The next issue will be the last in the Jumpei’s Resume series.
6th Generation Brewer Sato Jumpei