Foo Fighters promote signature Japanese beverage along with their latest album

Tatenokawa, which has been making sake in Yamagata prefecture for past 180 years, has produced two varieties of Japan's distinctive beverage to pair with the release of the Foo Fighters' upcoming album, "Medicine at Midnight."


By THERON GODBOLD AND HANA KUSUMOTO | Stars and Stripes | Published: January 28, 2021

Foo Fighters, the renowned rock ‘n’ rollers known for hits like “My Hero” and “Everlong,” reached across the Pacific to a distinguished Japanese sake brewer to help promote the band’s upcoming album, “Medicine at Midnight.”

Tatenokawa, which has been making sake in Yamagata prefecture for the past 180 years, produced two varieties of Japan’s distinctive beverage to pair with the Feb. 5 album release. The band has released a two-minute video showing brewers working in slow motion set to “Shame, Shame,” a track off the new album.

The video, posted on YouTube, confused some fans; the cameras followed workers from the brewery as they made a batch of sake. Many commenters thought the Foo Fighters were collaborating with a Japanese band, while others shared their excitement over the new beverage.

The band members love sake and remotely tested a variety of flavors for the collaboration before they ultimately landed on the two that will be used in the promotion, according to a recent article by Japan Today.

“We produced two types of junmai daiginjo sake, which members of Foo Fighters tasted and liked,” said a Tatenokawa press release. Junmai daiginjo is the highest quality sake under regulations set by the Japanese government.

The first variety of Foo Fighters sake, “Hansho Ao,” or “Midnight Blue,” has a “gorgeous aroma with a light, sweet taste that thrills the entire body,” according to the brewery.

The second selection, “Hansho Gin,” or “Midnight Silver,” is described as having a richer flavor with a sharp aftertaste, and a “firm body and dignified appearance, which gives you vitality for the next day,” according to the brewery.

The Foo Fighters’ sake, which will be available only in Japan for the time being, goes on sale with the album on Feb. 5. A boxed set that costs 11,000 yen (about $106) and includes both sake varieties, two sake cups and the Japanese release of “Medicine at Midnight” may be ordered in advance on the brewery’s website.

However, the boxed set and both flavors of Foo Fighters sake will be sold at Tower Records in Japan for 3,080 yen per bottle or 6,160 yen for the pair.

Sake expert Brian Ashcraft, author of “The Japanese Sake Bible: Everything You Needs to Know About Great Sake,” praised the Foo Fighters’ decision to put their name on Japan’s most celebrated beverage.

“It's good to see sake brought to large audiences,” he said via email. “Any time sake is brought to a larger, international audience is good for sake.”


Twitter: @GodboldTheron
Twitter: @HanaKusumoto

Dave Grohl plays an acoustic version of the Foo Fighters' hit "Everlong" during The Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C., Nov. 11, 2014.