Special Sake Interview
Getting a Taste for Sake - Interview with sake master brewer Philip Harper
There cannot be many people (with the possible exception of Father Christmas) who can say that their job has prevented them spending Christmas Day with their wife for each of the past 16 years, but sake brewer Philip Harper is one. Eat-Japan caught up with him during a visit to the UK.
From Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, there are currently around 1,500 sake breweries spread along the length of the Japanese archipelago, ranging enormously in size and character, and of course the type of sake they produce.
While there are of course differences between individual breweries within a region, sake, just like wine, has regionality, with varieties from a particular prefecture or region often exhibiting shared characteristics. These can encompass style, representative flavours and aroma, and two major factors that affect these are the drink's raw materials of rice and water.