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By early December each year, the brewing season is in full swing at Kinoshita Brewery, makers of Tamagawa sake in the Kumihama township of northern Kyoto Prefecture. But unlike previous years, scaled-back production in 2020 means the brewery is far ahead of schedule.

“Because the coronavirus put a big dent in sales, we’re making less this season. We’re taking the pace down to one batch every other day, and then one every three days,” British-born master brewer Philip Harper says.

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