“What should I do next year?”
2020 was the first year of Corona.
September, when the lingering heat remains. When I went to a sake brewery in Saga.
The amount of inventory I saw at that time, the decrease in sales due to the coronavirus, and the feelings of the brewers I heard at that time.
Everything is shocking and I have to do something about it from the bottom of my heart.
I felt that way intuitively.
table of contents
- [Nice to meet you] This is Hands-on Local SAKE Masu.
- Why did you decide to start a business in the first place?
- Studying abroad in Australia changed my life | “Just be yourself.”
- Launch an inbound promotion business company
- Business completely suspended due to the new coronavirus
- Current situation of the sake industry where 3 companies go out of business in a month
- Directly connect “creators” and “drinkers” and connect their feelings
- “Online Sake Brewery Study Abroad®” starts from December 2020
- [Real Sake Brewery Study Abroad®︎] Renovate the image of Japanese sake
- Launched “SAKE Kurafun” service specializing in Japanese sake
- Creating life-changing encounters through sake
[Nice to meet you] This is Hands-on Local SAKE Masu.
Nice to meet you, everyone.
My name is Massu, and I am the representative of Hands-On Local SAKE.
Hands-on Local SAKE provides a variety of other services related to sake, in addition to this sake-specialized club fan service.
This article is written in a blog format to reflect on my thoughts, focusing on why we decided to launch [Hands-on Local SAKE] and what our future vision is.
Please stay with me till the end if you like.
Why did you decide to start a business in the first place?
Studying abroad in Australia changed my life | “Just be yourself.”
Originally, I dropped out of regular high school and was able to get into university after taking a correspondence course. However, I was disappointed by the gap between the ideal university I had envisioned and the reality, and by the end of the first half of my first year, I decided not to stay. He was such a so -called dunce that people would say, ``I'm sure my age is certain .''
As I approached the age of 19, I felt the fear of becoming an adult, so after completing my second year at university, I went to study abroad in Australia .
At that time, an Australian woman said to me , ``Just be yourself.'' (Why don't you just live your life?) and my life changed forever.
Since then, I have returned to Fukuoka as a fourth-year university student with the mission of ``connecting people with completely different values and creating life-changing encounters'' based on my experience studying abroad in Australia. It opened in October 2015.
Launch an inbound promotion business company
In order to accomplish this mission, we chose a so-called inbound promotion project to communicate the appeal of ``Fukuoka Food'' to inbound people and connect foreigners and locals .
We also focused on repeat tourists among foreign tourists, and developed our business by creating free newspapers for repeat foreign tourists and collaborating with bloggers and YouTubers .
Business completely suspended due to the new coronavirus
However, in 2020, the number of inbound tourists suddenly dropped due to the influence of the new coronavirus.
Our business has virtually come to a complete halt .
I had finally built up my business over the past five years, had managed to repay my loans, and had made new friends, when something happened that turned my mind completely blank.
That's when I came across a sake brewery in Saga.
During this time, I met the sake brewery in Saga that I talked to at the beginning.
At that time, I was shocked when I heard about the extent of the decline in sales due to the coronavirus and saw the large amount of inventory left in the warehouse.
“What should I do next year?”
I had no words to respond to the sake brewers who voiced such voices.
Also, since I was in a similar situation, I felt like our thoughts were in sync with each other.
"There must be something we can do. This is the path for us to live."
I was convinced of that.
Current situation of the sake industry where 3 companies go out of business in a month
Since then, I have researched sake and discovered a shocking fact: at its peak , there were more than 4,000 sake breweries, but in 2016 there were 1,400, and as of 2022, the number has decreased to around 1,200. is.
If you convert this into a monthly amount, it means that three sake breweries are forced out of business every month . .
When you hear that there are 3 companies in a month, you can understand the seriousness of the situation.
Directly connect “creators” and “drinkers” and connect their feelings
I kept thinking about what I could do to change the current situation in the sake industry, and the answer I found was:
The idea was to connect the ``creator'' and ``drinker'' directly .
This is because, as I talked with the sake brewers I met, I realized that even though they are pouring so much passion into making their sake and have spent their entire lives creating it, their aspirations are not being realized at all.
That's why we thought that the first thing we should do is convey the thoughts of the makers and the struggles behind sake brewing as pure as possible to the consumers who drink it.
[Online Sake Brewery Study Abroad®] starts from December 2020
The first thing we came up with was ``Online Sake Brewery Study Abroad''.
This service, which started in December 2020, debuted as ``a service that allows you to toast directly with the presidents and brewers of local sake breweries while staying at home .''
[Real Sake Brewery Study Abroad®︎] Renovate the image of Japanese sake
After online, I started studying abroad at a real sake brewery.
Study abroad at a real sake brewery is an ``ultra-short-term sake brewery experience'' where you can actually experience serious sake brewing at a sake brewery and receive ``freshly squeezed sake'' that you personally helped make.
In order to change the current state of the sake industry, I believe that the first step is to revamp the image of sake and increase the number of people who take the current situation of the sake industry into their own hands .
To achieve this, it is necessary for the sake brewers to experience the seriousness of sake brewing.
With that in mind, I went around negotiating with each company.
Difficult negotiations. An unprecedented battle.
However, the road to achieving this goal was quite difficult.
After all, there is no precedent.
From the sake brewery's point of view, they have never brought in outsiders during the sake brewing period.
This is because the unique nature of sake is that it involves working with microorganisms, and great care must be taken during the sake brewing period.
However, I didn't want to give up, so I continued negotiating with each brewery.
Finally realized in January 2022! Great response!
After continued negotiations, we were finally able to make it happen in January 2022!
Thanks to being featured on TV and magazines such as Jalan Sake Travel Book, we were able to have 35 participants experience studying abroad at a real sake brewery 9 times in total from January to April. I did.
As a result, more than 50% of the participants were women, and there were also quite a few people who don't drink much Japanese sake, which was a very happy and unexpected result!
Feedback from participants
“My image of sake and brewers has changed significantly in a good way.”
“From now on, I want to drink every drop with care.”
We received a lot of very happy feedback, and we are absolutely convinced that this is a way to change the sake industry! That's how I felt.
Launched “SAKE Kurafun” service specializing in Japanese sake
After studying abroad at a real sake brewery and getting a good feel for the service, I began to explore whether there was a way for people to not only simply participate in the brewing process, but to essentially view the sake brewing process as their own. , I arrived at the sake specialty service ``SAKE Kurafan''.
Our SAKE project
Unlike a simple fan service, the concept is that those who invest in each project can become sake tank owners.
The idea is to create a team like a stock company for each tank, and each investor owns liquor stocks according to their investment ratio.
Owners are given various privileges, such as participating in owner-only investor meetings, having voting rights to choose the raw materials and processing methods for sake, and being able to actually participate in sake brewing and premium sake brewery events. I can.
The finished alcoholic beverages are sold through online mail order sites and hometown tax donations, and ultimately the sales are distributed to each investor according to their shareholding ratio.
As a sake tank owner, this is a service that allows you to have the ultimate sake ownership like never before.
Truly “hands-on” local sake
The reason I chose the seemingly unfamiliar and long-winded name Hands-on Local SAKE was actually because I had a vague idea of this in mind.
Hands-on is also an investment term, and is usually used to mean that investors such as investment funds are directly involved in the management of the companies in which they invest.
By getting hands-on with the company, investors can feel a sense of ownership and become involved in the company's management.
With this image in mind, I thought that if each investor got hands-on with sake brewing, they would be able to think about sake brewing more closely and as if it were their own.
I believe that if everyone started thinking about sake as their own business, the sake industry would change.
Creating life-changing encounters through sake
I believe that ``sake is the best tool in the world to connect people.''
``Japanese sake'': A good sake that creates a Japanese atmosphere.
As the saying goes, I would like to create a service that connects people from the heart through sake, and that changes the lives of those who drink today's cup .
Since I started using this service, the number and quality of my encounters have changed dramatically!
“I love Japanese sake!” Just by saying that, you can connect with people all over the country and enjoy traveling to various parts of the country♪
I believe this is the unmistakable value of sake.
It's long, but if you've read this article, please come and study abroad at a real sake brewery! I don't think you will be disappointed!
I can only say that it was a stroke of luck that I started working in the sake industry, even though I don't like alcohol to begin with.
However, now that I'm involved, I want to bring about some kind of change in this industry.
I've just started this service, so I'm still inexperienced, but I appreciate your continued support!