Our guest is Takatsugu 'Taka' Amano who is the co-Founder and CEO of American Shochu Company based in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit and it is more popular than Japanese sake in Japan. If you compare sake and shochu, 4.2% of liquor tax comes from premium sake, whereas 14.8% comes from shochu, according to the Japanese government’s data in 2019. But the number flips when it comes to overseas. In 2020, Japan exported about $212 million worth of premium sake but only $10.6 million of shochu was brought outside the country, which was just 5% of sake’s export.
It is a shame because shochu is as delicious and artisanal as premium sake. That is why Taka decided to introduce the charm of shochu to America by producing his own brand in 2015. He makes 100% barley shochu with his wife Lynn Amano in Maryland and they have already won the 2020 American Craft Spirits Awards.
In this episode, we will discuss why the successful biotech industry executive decided to produce the traditional Japanese spirit in America, how he studied shochu production techniques, how he produces his award-winning shochu with American ingredients in the climate of Maryland, why we should drink more shochu and much, much more!!!
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