In a world where most mass produced goods are heavily automated, a small group of artisans must brave tough working conditions to preserve the ancient tradition that we have come to know as saké. THE BIRTH OF SAKÉ reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in northern Japan. The workers at Yoshida are an eclectic cast of characters, ranging from 20 to 70 years old. As a vital part of this crew that must live and work for a six-month period through the brutal winter, charismatic veteran brewmaster Yamamoto (65) and the brewery’s sixth-generation heir, Yasuyuki Yoshida (27), are prime keepers of this tradition. Currently, stiff competition and the coming retirement of experienced workers intensify the pressure of preserving quality of taste, tradition and brand reputation for Yoshida Brewery. As craftsmen who must dedicate their whole lives to the making of this world-class saké, their private sacrifices are often sizable and unseen.
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