Season and Sake: Seasons Brewing; Summer – Fall
Do you know how a year goes by in breweries? Even though an increasing number of breweries are engaged in three-term (fall, winter, spring) brewing and four-season brewing, brewing and seasons have a close relationship.
A brewery year for sake starts from July 1st until the next June 30th. This means July 1st is the New Year’s Day for brewing. So sake fans can celebrate the New Year’s Day three times; January 1st , July 1st and October 1st.
While hot outside in summer, it is much cooler inside the brewery, where sake quietly waits to be matured in fall. Some breweries start shipping hiyaoroshi sake.
The new rice of the year arrives and seasonal tojis and kurabitos come to work for breweries. This is the season of kurairi, literally entering a brewery. People start making an object called sugitama to be hung under the eaves, which indicates that new sake has been made.
October 1st is known as National Sake Day, but is also known as the day for koshikidate (steaming rice for shubo in the first place), meaning the start of brewing. For years, the timing to start brewing has been forwarded, however, many breweries place importance on starting brewing from October.