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“Alcoholic Beverages Research Institute Tokyo Office” Red Brick Factory in Tokyo

“Alcoholic Beverages Research Institute Tokyo Office”
Red Brick Factory in Tokyo

DATA
Independent Administrative Agency Alcoholic Beverages Research Institute
2-6-3- Takinogawa Kita-ku Tokyo
https://www.nrib.go.jp/English/index.htm

Red Brick Factory in Tokyo

Most people think of the Red Brick Warehouse in Yokohama when they hear “Red Brick”. However, there is another location with a similar name in Kita-ku, Tokyo. This building is called “The Red Brick Sake Factory” and was designed by the same designer that built the Red Brick Warehouse in Yokohama, Yorinaka Saiki. The 2 buildings are like siblings. The building in Kita-ku is the older brother, built in 1903. Located in Tokyo, there are residential areas in the neighborhood giving it a different image from its sibling. It is a sturdy building made in the Meiji period, and it fits in well with the neighborhood.

This building is a result of Yorinaka having studied beer factory designs in Germany. He adjusted the design of the building for ”sake” by making the walls hollow in some places, thicker, and stronger to adjust temperature, and other conditions best suited for ”sake”.
Only a few of Yorinaka-designed buildings still remain, so this building has a historic significance as well.

A ”kura” different from those of the past

Currently, it is managed by the Independent Administrative Agency Alcoholic Beverages Research Institute though originally, ”sake” was actually made on-site under supervision of Ministry of Finance National Brewing Laboratory, former name for the Independent Administrative Agency Alcoholic Beverages Research Institute. Goto gave us a tour of the brewery.
Its impression is completely different from the traditional breweries which have a long history dating back to the Edo period. This brewery incorporates cutting-edge techniques of the Meiji period, with particular attention to design.
Presently they hold ”sake” production technology training twice a year for rookie ”sake” makers, and also hold open seminars about brewing. The annual “Nationwide Sake Evaluation Meeting” used to be held here . Seasonal plant tour events are also held.

Cherry Blossoms 100 years in the future

One of the projects held at the Red Brick Sake Factory is the “Japanese Sake Centennial Brewery Project”. It is a project held jointly with the Sake Aging Research Association.
Goto told us “We already have 15 and 16-year old matured ”sake”, but we’d like to try aging for longer periods.” Will there be a change in taste or color, and what kind of change will it be? Of course, this kind of research will take time, but that makes it all the more interesting. It’s about figuring out how ”sake” ages.
Of course, the Red Brick Sake Factory itself will age along with the ”sake”. In 100 years, this building will be 200 years old. How will things be different? This is interesting too. There is a park with cherry trees on the north side of the brewery. In 100 years, the 200 year old Red Brick Sake Factory and 100 year old ”sake” will be celebrating spring with people coming to see the cherry blossoms.

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