This website’s contributors have always sought to shed light on the trade and commercial side of the awamori and shochu industry. We have published official data, a seasonal Japanese newsletter, and general interest articles highlighting innovation, international outreach, and opportunities.
There’s also a lot going on behind the scenes, of course, and much of it is directly related to the content we publish on Shochu Pro. For instance, it has been almost exactly one year since we became involved in a Kyushu-based startup that has two main areas of business. The first is a beverage alcohol import wing which sources high-quality, small-batch spirits, wine, and beer from overseas and sells them domestically in Japan. While there are many fine brands in the lineup, it could be argued that the most exciting product that we carry is our newest addition to the portfolio. And you can’t even drink it.
It’s called “repour,” and it’s a wine bottle stopper that absorbs oxygen. It’s remarkable, really. Repour can also be used to remove the oxygen from an opened bottle of nihonshu as well.
The second prong of the business is export, and that’s the wing that is more closely aligned with the content of this website. We have spent a significant amount of time creating a portfolio filled with highly-respected and difficult-to-find awamori and shochu brands. Our goal is to introduce these amazing drinks and their stories to international markets. This has naturally been an exciting and incredibly complex process for us that has led to insights into the ways that small makers understand and position themselves for export.
If you’re wondering how the awamori and shochu industry is weathering the uncertainty of COVID-19, then your concerns are appreciated and the situation is indeed fraught with risk. We will return to this topic in an upcoming article about the effects of the virus pandemic on Japan’s craft spirit makers.