Episode-101: Starting a Brewery with Adachi Noujo

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If you’ve been listening to this show even intermittently over the past several years, you’re probably already aware that starting a sake brewery from scratch in Japan is, and has been for decades, a gargantuan task. However, in recent years, the number of young entrepreneurs navigating regulatory loopholes in order craft sake themselves in a manner that fulfills a dream and mission of cultivating a more inspiring and sustainable culture (and business model) for the next generation are beginning to pop up here-and-there across the country.

The latest challenger pushing the envelope is Yuji “Yoshi” Adachi, founder, head brewer, and farmer at Adachi Noujo, a new craft sake brewery scheduled to open in earnest in Osaka before the end of summer 2023. An increasingly popular bit of vocabulary being adopted by a growing number of sake breweries looking to summarize their dedication to agriculture and commitment to brewing, “Noujo” is a made-up word that mashes together the characters of “farming” and “brewing”. With his own single plot of koshihikari that he spent the past couple of years restoring, for the foreseeable future, it’s a one-man operation where Yoshi is handling...everything.

But Yoshi’s foray into sake was by no means preordained. Having spent his early 20s in Texas pursuing a lifelong ambition to become an Olympic swimmer, followed by a stint helping his father establish and run a Japanese food restaurant in the longhorn state, his return to Japan and a stint at a popular sake bar in Kobe sent him spiraling down the an unintended sake path. Being so young it seems like this new brewery popped up out of nowhere, but after 3.5 years at Hachinohe Sake Brewery (makers of Mutsu Hassen, not to mention the most awarded sake brewery of 2021) and two years at Nishiyama Shuzojo in Hyogo both brewing and farming, he’s been laying the groundwork for his vision through his first original label, Koyoi, and is now on the cusp of bringing a new sake brewery to his home city of Osaka for the first time in a long, long time.

For this episode, Yoshi shares his story, plans, and ambitions (including the establishment of a sake brewery in Switzerland!) with regular host Justin Potts. If you’re looking for a source of inspiration this week, look no further.

At the same time, if you’re looking for updates @sakeonair, you can follow us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. Don’t hesitate to also share any other sake or shochu-related thoughts or questions with the hosts at questions@sakeonair.com and rate us on the podcast service of your choice while you’re at it.

We’ll be back very soon with plenty more Sake On Air.
Until then, kampai!

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.