A year has past since we last exhibited at the Matsumoto Festival, the biggest festival in Nagano prefecture. We exhibited in the sister city booth representing craft spirits from Salt Lake City with Matsumoto Brewery supported by the City of Commerce of Matsumoto. We were invited again this year for the same event. Last year, the weather was great, sunny and warm over the two days of the event which was just perfect for enjoying alcohol outdoors. However the weather was predicted to be not-so-nice this year, with the weather forecast expecting it to rain on both days, plus, it would be cold. Hummmmm....
So, I talked with Mr.Hayashi, the bartender and the owner of Matsumoto Brewery, who invented the Salt Lake Breeze recipe. I asked what he thought about serving a hot cocktail at the event. He thought about it and came up with the idea of serving a hot wine using wine from Matsumoto with a hint of Antelope Island Rum to add a better flavor. When we did this event last year, he bought the Rum from us directly, but this year he bought Antelope Island Rum, through a local liquor store. Yes, that means our rum is now available at a local store in Matsumoto. We have a shop that sells our product! That was a big step forward for me. When I think back, my boss and I visited the offices of the Matsumoto City of Commerce in 2015. We visited them in hopes of creating "an economic exchange" between sister cities but we were not exactly sure how to do it. They also have been seeking to create an economic exchange for years but they didn't know how to do it either. So they proposed to have us exhibit at the Matsumoto Festival and see where it might go. Then Mr.Hayashi got on board and we actually "sold" something from Salt Lake City at the event. And 2 years later, you can buy the rum from SLC in Matsumoto City. That’s so cool. I went to visit the liquor store which brought Antelope Island Rum in for the event, after we set up the booth. And since it is a liquor store, I brought Masút wine with me for tasting. The store owner liked Masút, and ordered a case on the spot. Nice!
Then in the evening, I had dinner with the people from the City of Commerce office and Mr.Hayashi. I told them that our head office in SLC finally obtained an accreditation for handling alcohol and our goal is to toast with them next year 2018 in SLC at the 60th Anniversary of sister city program, with sake Daishinshu our company would import from Matsumoto. They talked about making a special recipe for beer, for the 60th Anniversary event, collaborating with a local brewery in SLC and Matsumoto Brewery. Sounds like another economical exchange to me, hehehe!
The first day of the Matsumoto Festival was cloudy and the second day it rained all day. We were not so fortunate with the weather this time but we were able to get to know each other better through a lot of chit chatting. The 60th Anniversary event in SLC takes place in July so we need to start working on getting Daishinshu into the SLC soon.