日本酒フェア2023 セミナー「熟成酒の歴史と未来への提言」レポート

Sake Fair 2023 Seminar Report: "The History of Aged Sake and Proposals for the Future"

" Sake Fair 2023 ", the largest sake event in Japan, was held in Ikebukuro on June 16th and 17th, 2023.

Ueno, the owner of Juku to Kan, was the lecturer at a seminar titled "The History of Aged Sake and Proposals for the Future" held within the event, so we will report on that event here.


First, we looked back on Ueno's career and summarized the position and potential of aged sake in the sake industry.

About 20 years ago, when I started up my bar specializing in aged sake, I was working as a hotelier and in the facility management department at a sake brewery, and I witnessed a market situation where there were almost no high-priced sake available, and many sake breweries going out of business.

Believing that pricing based on cost and value standards based on specific names were leading to the issue of low sales, we searched for a new axis of value and came across aged sake that had been lying dormant in the brewery because it was difficult to explain and therefore unsellable.

Ueno says that while new sake offers the joy of being given, aged sake offers the pleasure of exploring. Neither is better or worse, but the appeal of aged sake lies in the universal value of time and the layered flavors that are different from new sake.


Nowadays, aged sake is said to have new value, but if we look back at history, Japanese people have always enjoyed aged sake. There are records of aged sake in documents dating back to the Heian period.

So why is aged sake almost nonexistent on the market? The answer lies in the policies and wars from the Meiji to Showa periods. In order to obtain stable liquor taxes, the government changed the timing of taxation, which led sake breweries to start selling their sake as soon as it was brewed.

There were even papers describing methods for making new sake resemble aged sake, but in the end, the culture of aged sake was put on hold and the technology for making new sake improved dramatically.

Following the lecture portion, the participants were engaged in a discussion at the end about what is needed for aged sake to become established in the market.

After listening to the opinions of the participants, Ueno finally chose to talk about the significance of the existence of the Toki Sake Association.

He concluded by saying that for the future of aged sake, it is important for sake breweries, liquor stores, and restaurants to have common knowledge and be able to make accurate announcements to drinkers, and that in order to achieve this, it is important to come up with definitions and unify the industry.

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