December 10, 2017
Tennessee liquor laws are hopelessly complicated, and the rules for sake are among the most byzantine.
Sake is rice wine. Is it wine under Tennessee law?
No. Wine must be made from grapes or other fruit to legally be wine in Tennessee. Rice is a grain.
Sake is clear and tastes like liquor. It must be liquor. Ever slammed a sake bomb? But sake is not distilled and is not a spirit under Tennessee law.
Sake is brewed. Is it a beer? It doesn't have malt and hops and certainly doesn't taste like Budweiser.
But voila, sake is
beer under Tennessee law. Brewed from grain, like our favorite cereal in a can - beer.
Yes, Virginia, you can sell sake in your grocery or food store. Well, at least some kinds of sake.
Remember that pesky high gravity rule about beer? Beer under 8% by weight or 10.1% by volume can be sold in a grocery, food store or convenience market. Beer over 10.1% ABV must be sold in a liquor store.
Same rules apply for sake, because sake is beer under Tennessee's tortuous liquor laws.
We ransacked what is left of our minds and turned up naught for songs about sake. But we couldn't resist the Vapor's infectious one hit wonder "Turning Japanese"
I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of them all round my cell
I asked the doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down
And turning in and turning 'round
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so