Storehouse for old awamori completed

Storehouse for old <em>awamori</em> completed

On March 27, at the International Logistics and Industry Accumulation Area in Uruma, participants cut the tape at the opening ceremony of the Ryukyu Awamori Kusu No Sato.

March 28, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 27, the Township of Ryukyu Awamori-Sake, a cooperative consisting of 43 brewing companies, held the opening ceremony for an awamori storehouse at the International Logistics and Industry Accumulation Area in Uruma. The Ryukyu Kusu No Sato in Japanese has an administration building and a storage area. The cooperative moved unblended awamori from its breweries to the new facility and placed it in new storage area. Aged awamori kusu will be sold outside of Okinawa and used as a core product to expand the market and build the Ryukyu awamori brand.

The cooperative has set up ten 50-kiloliter tanks in one facility. They will construct five buildings in the next ten years, and set up a storage area to hold a total of 2500 kiloliters of kusu. The cooperative had collected 150 kiloliters from 15 brewery companies by March 27 and expects to have it all stored away in May and June.

Awamori needs to be stored for ten years, but shipment of kusu that has been stored for a minimum of five years will be considered depending on whether or not they need to move into the black within three years after completion of the facilities. The Kusu no Sato plans to build an awamori museum and to set up a bottling facility. In the administration building there will be a laboratory for researching changes in awamori components in order to maximize the added value of the product.

Board chairman Ryo Matsuda said, “This is a key project designed to boost the awamori industry over the next 10 to 30 years. With it being a core industry project for Okinawa, we really want to work together as a team to make it a success.”

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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