British Master Brewer Philip Harper Crafts Award-Winning Sake in Japan

Philip Harper, a British-born master sake brewer, has become a prominent figure in the traditional Japanese sake brewing industry. Working in Japan for over 20 years, Harper is recognized for his artisanal approach in creating high-quality sake with a rich, fruity bouquet that has garnered top prizes. NHK WORLD-JAPAN’s Japanophiles series features Harper’s journey, techniques, and dedication as the only foreign master sake brewer in Japan. The video provides insight into the intricate process of sake brewing, the role of the master brewer, and Harper’s contributions to the craft and its preservation.

  • Philip Harper is the only foreign master sake brewer in Japan.
  • He has been involved in sake brewing for over 20 years and aims to produce the ultimate sake.
  • Harper’s sake is celebrated for its fruity aroma and sweetness of rice.
  • He works at a sake brewery with a 170-year history, currently fermenting 120,000 liters of sake in 54 tanks.
  • The high season for sake brewing is winter, and the process includes cultivating koji (a cultured mold), steaming rice, and managing two simultaneous chemical reactions in the same tank.
  • Harper first encountered sake at a Japanese pub when he came to Japan to teach English at the age of 22.
  • He became a master brewer after 15 years of study and was hired by his current brewery in 2006.
  • The brewery supports local agriculture and conservation efforts, using organically grown rice to support the habitat of the endangered great white Oriental stork.
  • Harper believes in teamwork and harmony among brewers as essential elements for brewing high-quality sake.
  • The COI room, where koji is cultivated, is one of the most critical and labor-intensive parts of the brewing process, requiring careful attention to temperature and moisture levels.
  • Harper’s sake brewery produces over 100 different varieties of sake, with some using locally grown rice and others based on old recipes.
  • He is dedicated to changing the perception of sake among young Japanese and others who think they don’t like it, by showcasing the drink’s versatility and pairing potential with various foods.
  • Japan has become a second home to Harper, reflecting his deep integration and commitment to the country’s culture and sake brewing tradition.

NHK WORLD-JAPAN is “the international service of Japan’s public media organization NHK.” NHK World-Japan is operated by Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK). The goal of NHK World-Japan is stated as “to promote a deeper international understanding of Japan, introducing the latest events in Japan through news and other programs.”

“Overall, we rate NHK World-Japan Left-Center biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record.”

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Original video here.

This summary has been generated by AI.