Sake Opportunity - You Can Work In A Brewery For A Week!
It happened very quickly! In a round of email exchanges with Yasutaka Daimon of Daimon Shuzo Sake Brewery in Osaka Japan one of the most amazing "sake opportunities" came to life late in November. Since that time we have been ironing out perhaps the coolest way for sake enthusiasts to fuel their passion by the ultimate means of making sake. Can you say "kurabito"? (people who make sake)
Daimon-san shot me an email asking me about an idea that a bartender in Hawaii had once asked him - how can I make sake or do an apprenticeship in Japan? No programs existed or very few at the least for obvious reasons - language barrier - living conditions etc. But for foreigners the options have always been slim and none - and slim left the building long ago. (Of course pioneers like Philip Harper took the hardcore route and became Japanese! But on the whole there has been no program for foreigners to inject themselves into the heart of the sake making process quickly and effortlessly for the purposes of deeper understanding.)
I have been to Daimon's kura twice with John Gauntner and even spent some time with the aforementioned Mr. Harper who worked at the brewery and later on became the first geijin toji (head brewer) working at Daimon Shuzo. So in a sense Yasutaka Daimon has been a pioneer in the advancement of the "globalization" of sake by means of allowing John Gauntner to host his Sake Professional courses at his brewery - and by hiring a young and wilily British hooligan to work at his brewery - and then the ultimate "advancement" of sake of promoting this young Brit to the highest honor of brewing - to be called a "toji" or master brewer. Yasutaka has opened the closed doors of the sake world to the west more than most and now he has proposed doing the ultimate - a once in a lifetime experience charter program.
You pick the word - apprenticeship or internship - whatever you want to call it just think about flying to Japan for a week of making sake! How cool is that? In time to make this issue of the True Sake Newsletter we - Yasutaka, John, Mark Schumacher, and a few others - have crafted a very unique opportunity that will allow three lucky sake enthusiasts the opportunity to live the life of a kurabito (sake maker) in its truest form. You will eat, sleep, and work at the brewery and without a doubt will learn more about sake in this short duration than most learn in a lifetime.
No you need not know how to speak the mother tongue, but it is incredibly helpful (not necessary) to know the basics about sake production. Explanation will come very easy as it is far more effective to learn with your eyes and hands than just reading a book. As I told Daimon-san the best way to learn sake is to make sake. Likewise Daimon Shuzo has a common room with high-speed Internet access, so for those who would like to document real-time their sake making adventure they will have the ability to share instantaneously if they so desire.
Herewith are two documents about the program. The first is a letter from Yasutaka Daimon explaining the program and the second is his "Production Schedule" that shows specifically what the new "kurabito" will be doing each day. I am honored that Yasutaka came to me to hash out this idea, and I feel that this endeavor is tremendously important for the betterment of sake. He is a visionary and is on a quest that is truly exciting for not only us but him as well. He is incredibly focused on this historical moment and I believe that it will change many lives forever - including his!
I have been trusted with the role of reviewing the applications and the ultimate decision will be made by Daimon himself. Point being - if you read this Newsletter you are worthy in terms of understanding sake and having the passion to learn more - the hardcore way! For more information and to get a copy of the application I will pass you on to the newly created websitefor this awesome and historical event:
The Introductory Letter is here:
The Production Schedule is here: