Okinawa Distillers Mutual Association

Common name: 
Okinawa Distillers Mutual Association
Founded: 
1976
Address: 
2-8-9 Minato Town, Naha City
Tel: 
098-868-1470
Fax: 
098-862-7032
Okinawa Distillers Mutual Association
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The association was founded by its 46 members to preserve their liquor for a long time and ensure a stable supply of superb quality awamori to fans outside of Okinawa. It is playing a leading role in the industry today.

The Okinawa Distillers Mutual Association was founded in June 1976. It allowed awamori producers to jointly purchase rice and other materials to produce awamori. Its purpose is to support advances in the industry's financial status and to ensure long-term storage of liquor to create superb matured awamori.

The first chief director, Seikou Sakumoto, completed construction of a factory-including storage facilities-to be jointly used by members of the association in 1978. Two years later, the association began sales in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area of a three-year-old kusu, Konpeki. The fifth vintage in the same series (matured for five years and with an alcohol content of 43%), and the seventh (matured for seven years and with the same alcohol content) were marketed one after another. The latter was awarded the Gold Prize in the Le Monde Selection. The Umi-no-kuni brand, which came out in 1987, followed suit. The association has played a leading role in promoting kusu to the rest of the world.Z

The storage facilities in Minato Town, Naha City include 20 stainless tanks that can hold up to 46,000 liters. There are also ten 10,000-liter enamel tanks, that contain awamori awaiting maturity.

Among all the operations carried out by the association, worthy of special attention is the fact that the association exported awamori to Italy in 1978 for the first time. The distilled liquor was readily accepted by the Italians, who found awamori to be similar to their own famous distilled liquor, grappa.

The association has also made special efforts in package design. It set up a design development committee in 1985. Two years later, it promoted sales of a ten-year-old awamori with an alcohol content of 43%, called Umi-no-Kuni. It was awarded the International Package Design Award of Cleo Awards in the United States in 1989. The association, which has been internationally acclaimed, has sales offices in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. It has been making all-out efforts to promote the local specialty, including forming an awamori club, called Konpeki-tai', which brings fans together on a regular basis.