Taka Amano is trying to introduce part of Japanese culture to Maryland.
Amano is among the first in the country distilling an alcoholic beverage called shochu. It’s a Japanese, vodka-like alcohol almost unknown in the United States. Amano hopes a bill being considered in the Maryland Senate will help get his locally made shochu into more restaurants and stores.
“People who have tasted it have really liked it,” Amano said. “I would like to make it available at sushi and Japanese food restaurants.”
Amano and his wife, Lynn, founded the American Shochu Company. They live in Silver Spring, but work out of a lab at the Frederick Innovation Technology Center, a business incubator funded through a public-private partnership.