If you’re not sick of the sight of alcohol after last night’s festivities, here are some ideas for tipples in 2021. A toast to recovery and sustainability!:
- Some might say it’s a nutty idea, but as part of reconstruction efforts, peanuts grown in an area hit hard by powerful typhoons in 2018 are being used to make distilled shōchū spirits in another prefecture hit by torrential rains in July last year. Kazusaya, a processor and seller of peanuts based in Kisarazu, Chiba, has provided some 200 kilograms of peanuts for the project in Kumamoto.
- With Tohoku set to mark the 10th anniversary of the 3/11 disasters, a local committee has revealed a plan to make “space sake” using yeast that has traveled out of this world. Under the plan, yeast developed by the prefectural government will be sent to the International Space Station by the SpaceX Falcon 9 and then cultivated back on Earth for use in Japan’s trademark drink.
- Also in Tohoku, American James Watney — inspired by the drive among locals to rebuild their tsunami-hit city in Miyagi Prefecture — quit his job as a scientist, studied beer-making in the U.S. and then moved to Kesennuma with his wife to help establish Black Tide Brewing. “I just found what was happening in this city to be very attractive and very interesting,” Watney says.
- There’s local, and then there’s micro-local. When the pandemic shut the doors of the guesthouse Julien and Nobuko Caudron hoped to open in Kamiseya, Kyoto Prefecture, they quickly pivoted to beer, writes Joan Bailey. Their unique selling point: Almost all the ingredients for their brews come from the tiny town of Kamiseya — population 30.
- After a day in the historic city of Kamakura of temples, rambling through woodlands, inhaling the bracing sea air or just romantic rickshaw rides, the chances are you will be looking for good local pubs, writes Robbie Swinnerton. He offers his pick of breweries and bars for a crawl through the city once things have calmed down a bit. One to bookmark for when times are better.