Sake Brewing Our Way
Taka Sales Staff

Hiramatsu Yūdai
Joined in 2016

Currently, I work in product management and for the last year I’ve been in charge of sales, as well. I have always liked meeting new people and making connections, so that’s perfect for sales. For the two years leading up to this work, I was in charge of getting our products ready to ship, and I learned a lot then, but it’s clear that connecting directly to customers and listening to their opinions from a totally new direction has been the real learning experience.

Using restaurant
experience to
make better recommendations.

I’m from Okayama prefecture, and I worked in front-room service at a restaurant there. It was a western-style restaurant, and many customers drank wine with their meals, so part of my job meant I needed to be able to suggest wine and meal pairings. I went on winery tours for both work and fun, and I got interested not only in drinking wine but in the depth of it as a topic. So, my last job gave me direct experience with how food and wine can bring out each other’s flavors better. I later married a Yamaguchi native, and we moved here to be near her family. I thought about looking for more restaurant work locally, but when I saw how much President Nagayama knows about wine, and how deeply wine-making has influenced his attitude toward brewing Taka, I decided to make the leap into sake brewing.

I want the people of Yamaguchi
to know more about all the ways
to enjoy sake.

My work mostly keeps me travelling inside Yamaguchi prefecture, and as an outsider I seem to see a lot of differences in the ways local people drink and choose sake, and how they pair it with meals. It seems like a kind of inherent Yamaguchi-ness that’s markedly different from Okayama. Yamaguchi seems to have a lot of solid types who prefer familiarity over novelty, and I get the feeling there’s a tendency toward conservatism when it comes to enjoying sake. Personally, I want people to have more fun with it! I use my experience with recommendations at restaurants to help make that happen. Sake, and especially Taka, offers a very good way to show off the power of pairing that I learned through studying wine, and I really want people to see how it can enhance all kinds of special events, or add color to your daily life.

The wine world really values the concept of terroir, or the land and locality, and Taka also values that idea of locality highly. We want to use local sake rice and try to brew a sake that really demonstrates the flavor of that rice. And I think that’s something we can be proud of.

More and more people are leaving sake behind, so I think we have to rethink the ways that we serve and supply sake. There may be limits to what we young workers can do, but by coordinating with other brewers and liquor shops, I think we can build a base for a new approach to sake sales.