Kaizō: the formal end of the year’s brewing

This expression is used to mark the point at which the last moromi of a particular season has been pressed, the quantity of sake and sake kasu produced has been calculated and confirmed, and the final kentei registration has been completed. This final registration is commonly called the kaizo kentei.

In breweries where production is mainly carried out as cold-weather brewing (kan-zukuri), all the members of the brewing team begin living and working together to begin the season in the off-season for farming and fishery in late autumn, and kaizo happens in early spring. It is customary to hold a celebration called kaizo iwai to celebrate the safe conclusion of the year’s brewing. The common pattern was for all the brewery workers (except the toji and a few workers to carry out hi-ire) to go home after the day of kaizo.

In breweries where production carries on all year, brewing goes on continuously across the division between two Brewing Years (BY). Consequently, kaizo exists only on paper, and the final kentei registration before the summer break effectively marks the event.