The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and the Japan Business Association (JBA) have experienced an extraordinary partnership that has spanned 22 years.  Throughout this relationship members of the chamber and JBA have experienced a variety of networking opportunities through events and cross-cultural activities.

Yesterday I was invited by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles to attend a virtual Japanese Craft Spirits Festival.  Each February is Japanese Craft Spirits month.  This virtual festival included Shochu and Awamori tastings with special insights from experts, Shochu and Awamori recipes and demonstrations, meet the makers and distributors in breakout rooms and exclusive brewery tours live from Japan.

Toshio Ueno, Sake School of America, walked us through the history of distilled spirits, the fermentation process, how to make Koji, distilling methods, the different types of Shochu and Awamori and food pairings. 

Kentaro Masuda, Chairman of the Japan Restaurant Association and owner of Kagura Torrance, provided a welcome and spoke about the large market in the United States for Japanese Craft Spirits.  Masuda offered a cheer, and all lifted their glasses and said, kanpai.

A highlight of the festival was live tours of two breweries in Japan.  Employees walked us through the breweries explaining the fermentation and temperature process.  We were also shown a variety of different tanks and how the product is tested.

This virtual festival was fun and informative.  The Torrance Chamber looks forward to many more years of partnership with the JBA.

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