Delegates from Rikuzentakata may have come together at Seaquake Brewery expecting to just have dinner, but It was obvious something special was about to happen when Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore took the microphone in front of three covered displays.
“We are looking at the next part of the journey where our communities are put together, not only because of the tragedy of the tsunami but as we start looking to building to the future,” Inscore said.
“One of the reasons I became so popular in Rikuzentakata, as mayor, was because I brought Rumiano cheese and SeaQuake beer,” Inscore said, to a cheering crowd. “We want you to experience, as guests, how we want to build this relationship for the future.”
SeaQuake co-owner Kevin Hartwick unveiled the packaging design for Kamome Beer, saying none of it would have happened without the kids of Del Norte High School who reconditioned and returned the boat Kamome to Takata High School. While Kamome is Japanese for Seagull, it is also the name of the tiny school boat that drifted across the Pacific.
“For that, we all who are living here should be extremely proud that they showed the tenacity to bring all of these people together,” Hartwick said.
The design features the little boat, as well as an illustration of the Miracle Pine, the only one of 70,000 left standing after the tsunami struck Rikuzentakata. The Miracle Pine became a symbol of hope and perseverance.
“In order to make sure that the little boat’s journey which brought us together, continues, We’d like to unveil our next product,” Hartwick said. “Kamome brought us together and Kamome can help us celebrate for many years.”
Hartwick said the two businesses want to continue a relationship with Rikuzentakata on a personal and business level.
Rumiano Cheese owner Baird Rumiano spoke of his family’s working relationship with Japan, where his family sold cheese in the 1960s.
“This is our 100th year at Rumiano Cheese,” he said, noting the business started in 1919. “We would be very proud to help the people of... (Rikuzentakata), to create a relationship where we can work together with Rumiano Cheese and Seaquake.”
Delegates were given the first votes on what would fill the cans and were allowed to taste three new brews and choose which they preferred.