“Ask Beau” – “What are you thankful for?”
Ha! This question is usually reserved for the Thanksgiving Day table, but in honor of the holiday I will answer David R’s question in pure sake terms.
1) I am thankful that the Japanese government for whatever reason has come to its senses and is actively looking for ways to help the sake industry. They finally have realized the wonderful “nature” of sake and what it means to Japan and the west. Sake is basically liquid Japan in essence, and they are going to great lengths to extol sake’s virtues abroad.
2) I am thankful for sushi! Crap! There I said it. Ugghhhh! Yup, after all of these years of hearing people say that they usually only drink sake while eating sushi you’d think that I wouldn’t like sushi! But the sheer magnitude of the sushi phenomenon has thrust sake so far into people’s attention span that I can only be grateful.
3) I am thankful for the brewery owners. It may seem glamorous to own a sake brewery, but it really isn’t. This isn’t wine! Ha! In all honesty it is extremely difficult in this day and age to own a small hand crafted sake brewery and the folks who work so hard doing so should be commended. They have the pressure of generation after generation looking over their shoulders in a sake industry where customers prefer other libations. It’s tough sledding!
4) I am thankful for the quality of sake being produced today. I mean it is unreal. Sake is delicious and getting better each and every brewing season. We are pretty spoiled because the quality is outstanding and better yet it’s great at each categorical level. I mean even futsushu or “table sake” is fantastic.
5) I am thankful for the dollar strengthening against the yen! Yes, I am very aware that sake is expensive, and no I don’t like that! I am very hopeful that in the near future our importers and distributors will work with the brewers to lower the cost of sake, so we can pass on those savings to you, the all important customer.
6) I am thankful for the soldiers within the industry! These are the people who put the betterment of sake before their own notoriety. These are the folks who brew, import, distribute, sell, pour, and educate out of passion for sake and go above and beyond for the sake cause. They are the opposite of the new breed of sake opportunists, who have come into the mix to turn a buck with sake without trying to make a positive mark for the success of sake.
7) I am thankful for my daughters who have actively grown up in a sake guy’s house and all the weirdness that goes along with that! These two sweet souls have been such a large part of each and every review that I write as they use their fabulous noses to help me craft a better review. They both love working at the store but I cannot write that because it is illegal. Doh! These sake sisters are awesome and 21 is not so far away!
8) I am thankful for the sake makers, who basically make sake for the love of the job as it is back breaking work over countless repetitious hours in the dead of winter! You think that you have felt cold water before? Visit a brewery in winter and you will see the definition of “harsh conditions.” I am thankful for these wonderful artists who have dedicated their lives to put forth a product that is truly handmade. They are one of a kind in a one of a kind industry!
9) I am thankful for you. Really! I mean that! This is no suck up. I am truly thankful that you read this rag and that you like sake enough to listen to some blowhard – a white blowhard at that – who goes on and on and on about a beverage that was so alien to his upbringing. In this sense I am proud of you! I am thankful and proud and I hope to keep you interested for years to come.
10) I am thankful for the opportunity to finally open a bottle of sake for you! Yes after 12 years of selling you closed bottles of sake I am several months away from opening our first sake centric bar and eatery, which will be as pioneering as True Sake! I am thankful to tell you in advance, because we will fill your reservations first and foremost! We will soon be launching a social media campaign featuring this glorious and absolutely new sake endeavor that will be the talk of the sake globe. Ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want us to add you to the VIP list of those who will be the first to know!