Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Axeman Cometh: Anthony Kagurazaka, the heir to wheat soda and kvass industry

Kimito Kagurazaka, the father of Anthony Akihito Kagurazaka.

Axeman Cometh: Anthony Kagurazaka, the heir to wheat soda and kvass industry

By Carol Craftman
The Spirit News
November 18, 2076

Anthony Kagurazaka is a five-star receiver from Yarraville, Victoria. His father is Kimito Kagurazaka and his mother is Aika Tenkuubashi. After emigrating to Australia to allow Kimito and Aika experience the real world, Kimito came up with the ingenious idea  of starting up a wheat soda and kvass brewery in Melbourne. Collaborating with sports scientists and nutritionists, and with the blessings of Mick Malthouse's estate (Kimito and Aika are Collingwood Football Club members), Kimito founded Malthouse Brewery and developed the Mick's line of wheat sodas, or malta, and Gorbachev Kvass, or Gorb's.

Wheat soda, and its relative malzbier, is a non-fermented drink that contains nutrients and is a predecessor to the soft drink industry. It also had a Russian version, kvass. Through two years of research and studying the best brewing methods, Kimito and Aika helped pioneer the wheat soda and kvass industry in Australia and Malthouse Brewery's products are enjoyed at AFL, NRL, NBL, Super Rugby, netball and Big Bash League matches across Australia and New Zealand. Mick's Malta and Gorbachev Kvass have won numerous awards around the world for its exceptional taste and quality and are now being produced under license in North America, South America and Asia.

 Aika Tenkuubashi, the mother of Anthony Kagurazaka.

By the time Anthony committed to Leafa College, Mick's and Gorb's had made his parents millionaires, a good deal of the fortunes going to philanthropic endeavors and home well as their son's full-ride education. Furthermore, Mick's is the official wheat soda of the AFL and Gorb's is the official kvass of the NRL.

"Mum asked me after I told Coach Harding that I would join the Spirit, 'Son, how are you going to prove yourself out in the capital?'" said Kagurazaka via phone interview, a cool bottle of Gorb's in his hand. "I said, 'I want to carry on Dad's legacy and have a wife and kids of my own, and I'm not gonna let you down. Just watch me.'

 Karen Jinryou, the godmother of Anthony Kagurazaka.

"My godmother for my first six years, Auntie Karen [Jinryou], is a Cats fan and is the manager of a woodchipping plant in Geelong. She declared when I was a baby that I'd be called the Axeman and chop wood, or rather, chip wood just like her. When I started played touch at 10, my peers called me Ags, a nod to my initials A.G., which stand for Anthony Greig. I was named after AFL mind Anthony Hudson and Scottish rugby player Greig Laidlaw, although my Japanese first name is Akihito.

"Over time, Ags became Axe and when I began playing  tackle gridiron, I was called the Axeman because I originally played as a cornerback. But one of my youth coaches decided to put me at wide receiver because he thought I would paralyze somebody with my tackling. Turns out, I end up dishing opponents the don't argue and celebrate a touchdown with the tomahawk chop. Been part of my style since.

"I'm glad I get to be a part of a great gridiron team and a great university. So I want to make everyone proud and give it a go for everyone in Yarravile. Watch out, mates in America. We're ready to chop you down."