Ozeki is literally just down the street from me!
Cars and liquor, our government seems to make it difficult to get the rarer of both.
I was in California some years ago, the wrong half as it turns out. I wanted to stop by two places on the way out, Ozeki and Ground Control. Both would have been 6+ hours from where I was standing and added an extra day to the drive home.
As it turns out, just being a distiller or brewer in the US doesn't mean that you can sell your product in stores in all fifty states. The easy way would be like food or anything else, they take the tax at the point of sale. But distillers and brewers have to have a separate liquor license for each state they intend to make their product available in. Ozeki chose not to bother with some inland states. I can drive across the state line, but they have higher sales tax and just cranked up their liquor tax rate by something stupid like an additional $2 per bottle (above an already stiff liquor tax they already had). They are trying to follow that California bankruptcy trend.
One of the many AB breweries is literally down the street from me (they have a dozen, they're down the street from just about everyone). AB owns the US distribution rights to Kirin. They sell the two main Kirin beer brands, but nothing else. Kirin has a dozen different beers in Japan. Beer is a taste I never acquired, but Kirin has 20+ different brands of shochu, and a line of canned chuhai drinks, including the perennial Japanese vending machine and combini favorite "Lemon Chu-Hi". None of these are available through AB.
I keep thinking I need to build my own still..