For those wondering about the “out with the old” part, I guess I’d point you toward the latest issue of my newsletter, the Ochoko Times, in which I talk about my Sake of the Year 2022 (Spoiler alert: Ibi Barrel).
Here, I want to look forward to 2023.
Whether the pandemic has subsided or not, it’s clear that people are just done with it. So, events are already in the works, and tourism plans are going forward, and sake is right in the middle of that. I think that this year I will probably try to get involved in that, which seems morally suspect given the ongoing pandemic, but I’m not sure how to avoid it without damaging my career for years to come. So, we’ll see how that goes.
All reports are that the rice harvest of 2022 was a rough one. Weather conditions were, as most are well aware, harsh. A hot summer, lots of storms, and uneven rainfall ended up dropping yields, and also making the surviving rice harder. This will have lots of roll-on impacts on sake brewing, so that is a point of concern.
But lest I become all doom and gloom, I have also seen more small local breweries embracing export and finding success in new markets, which is great for them. I have also been, in a very small way, able to help that happen and that is gratifying.
And, well, I still have a book coming, and it’s really just around the corner now. That has already opened up all kinds of new experiences and horizons, which is what life is actually about, when you get down to it.
So, all in all, I think 2023 is going to be a decent year on the sake front, for me.
I hope y’all can say the same.
Peace, and kanpai.