Sake-Loving Australian Man's ApprenticeshipAt Brewery in Fushimi, Kyoto31 December 2015 - Tradition/Culture
An Australian man fascinated with Japanese sake is working and living at Shoutoku Brewery Co., Ltd., in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. He came to Japan on December 15, and will stay until early March. He has devoted himself to sake preparation, hoping to use his experience of sake brewing in his restaurants and sake bars after returning home.
Andre Bishop runs restaurants and Japanese sake bars in Melbourne. Interested in the diversity of combinations between sake and food, he has been offering sake in restaurants for about 15 years to promote sake in Australia.
His interaction with the brewery began in March 2015, when he attended a lecture by Maho Otsuka, Shoutoku Brewery's master brewer, dispatched to Australia as a part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs activities. He decided, "I want to experience the true sake brewing with my own body," and requested a live-in apprenticeship through Otsuka.
As an employee, he starts working at 7:00 a.m. He is studying the process under Otsuka's guidance, doing tasks such as carrying bags of brewer's rice to pour into the rice washing machine, or checking the condition of rice immersed in water. He has also experienced the process of handling rice malt in the "Muro," or a special chamber for malt. Despite his limited Japanese skills, he talks actively with brewers, and has a positive personality. He commutes from a nearby apartment to the brewery.
While saying, "I was surprised that this is such physically hard work," Bishop also expressed his enthusiasm. "I have been impressed with the brewers' teamwork. After returning home to Australia, I want to convey the depth of Japanese sake."
Shoutoku Brewery said that an American woman also experienced the sake brewing process in 2014. Otsuka said with pleasure, "I am happy that as Japanese sake is being recognized around the world, people have begun to be interested not only in drinking it, but also in sake brewing."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)