This special event is designed to bring our customers and the breweries that we represent closer together. Every month, on a random basis, we invite representatives from the breweries to come to the bars and share a toast of their sake with everyone. As well as hearing the passion that goes into sake direct from the craftsman/woman, you can also try sakes that have been prepared exclusively for the event. It all adds up to an extremely special event, not the sort that you can experience everyday.
The Allure of Drinking Sake with the Brewer
“Sake tastes all the more delicious when you drink it knowing who made it and why”.
This is the KURAND concept. To ‘Share a toast with a brewer!’ is to experience sake at the same level, to hear stories that normally don’t get heard outside the four walls of the brewery, and to ask questions. Even your average tasting event does not bring you this close.
For the brewers themselves, this event represents an opportunity to gather feedback about their sake direct from the customer, feedback that leads to quality improvement in the future.
We have added the above calendar so that you can find out when and where the breweries are going to be, to enable you to plan ahead.
Introducing the Breweries Visiting in May
This where we introduce the breweries who have taken time out of their business trip to Tokyo to pop over to our 4 branches in Ikebukuro, Asakusa Shibuya and Shinjuku and spend time with everyone.
The event calendar shows you when and where the breweries will appear.
Asahitsuru (Chiba Prefecture)
Asahitsuru is a family brewery in Chiba Prefecture’s Sakura City. The brewing is headed by female master brewer Tanaka Motoko. Situated just an hour from the capital, the brewery runs tours offering the chance to experience a classic brewing atmosphere surrounded by the Yasaka Shrine forests and the rural landscape of the River Kashima. The blessing of the four seasons, rice, and water from a sacred tree gives birth to fragrant beautiful sake that ferments the hearts of the brewer and the surrounding nature. The characteristic of rich dry sake is a sake that is robust with a clean aftertaste. They brew if only but to hear you say that their sake is delicious.
Umeda Brewery (Hiroshima Prefecture)
Established in 1916, Umeda Brewery is located in Hiroshima City’s Eastern quarter. They brew using special rice for brewing grown in Hiroshima, soft water from an underground river that originates in the mountains behind the brewery and ginjo yeast developed at Hiroshima Prefecture’s research institute. Based on the ethos that sake should be enjoyed by people who are not experts about sake, are not used to sake, their sake is smooth with a gorgeous aroma and mellow flavour.
Takizawa Brewery (Saitama Prefecture))
Established in 1863, originally based in Kogawa Town, Saitama, but later moved to Fukaya City in 1900s to get better access to the location’s water and benefits. From the beginning, the focus has been on quality so they use only the traditional small box koji production method. The inner sanctum of sake brewing, the koji room, is made from Fukaya red brick, the same brick used in Tokyo Station. In a historical building, with a traditional production, in just the last few years, they have received high acclaim: national sake championships gold 4 years in a row, IWC gold medal two years in a row. A strong brewery in Saitama that cares about the future of sake.
Hasegawa Brewery (Niigata Prefecture)
Established in 1842, Hasegawa Brewery has carved over 170 years of brewing in Settaya, in Niigata Prefecture’s Nagaoka City. Settaya is a charming town with a popular miso, sake and soy sauce production that dates as far back as the Edo Period, and counts 5 breweries that are registered as tangible cultural properties. As one of the breweries that were built in the Edo and Taisei Periods, they brew the sake by hand, in the traditional way using properly maintained antique tools and small Daiginjo purpose tanks to produce a savoury flavour that extracts the best from the rice. A sake that compliments food and brings the whole table to life.
Takarayama Brewery (Niigata Prefecture)
Takarayama Brewery is a small brewery that began life in 1885 as regional sake to Iwamuro Onsen,a well-known 300 year old inner parlour in Niigata. In the frozen lands of Echigo, with “harmony among people” as their motto, a team of three including the master cherish every single drop of the brewing process. In a little plot at the back of the brewery the staff grow the variety of sake rice that was developed in Niigata: Echigo Tanrei. From this year, master brewer Watanabe Keita who completed his training in a brewery outside the prefecture joins the team and takes over the reins from 78 year old master Mr. Aoyagi. A new wind is blowing at this brewery.
Kanbai Brewery (Saitama Prefecture)
Established in 1821, Kanbai Brewery is located almost dead centre of the Kanto plains in Kuki which is a good location for both water and rice. The brand name Kanbai comes from the line in a famous Chinese poem: “the bloom of winter just before spring”. The owner of the brewer has now taken over the role of master brewer as well and focuses all his attention on a small production that it is as attentive as possible and leaves nothing to chance. With the ethos “to provide delicious and fun moments” he strives for sake brewing with personality that attacks the task head on with sincerity.
Ichinomiya Brewery (Shimane Prefecture)
In the Shimane Prefecture World Heritage Iwami Silver Mines, in the National Park Sanbesan lies Ouda City, with its 120 years of brewing history. It is here that Ichinomiya Brewery (est 1896) is based. While following sake tradition, they also put a lot of energy into product development for the new age which in recent years has included a number of liqueurs and sparkling type sakes. 2 years ago, Asano Rika who was training at Tokyo University of Agriculture, joined with the role of master brewer in her sights. The rice and raw ingredients for the liqueurs are all grown locally in Ouda City. A Sake with oodles of sincerity and love.
Kazuma Brewery (Ishikawa Prefecture)
Kazuma Brewery was established in 1869 in the Agricultural Heritage Noto. With a heartfelt desire to brew sake that soothes the soul, build a company (house) that is bright and cheerful, make Noto prosperous, and with a focus on locally sourced water, rice and skills they brew sake that is entwined with the region. At Madrid Fusion 2014, the pinnacle of the culinary event calendar which brings together the finest chefs from all over the world, they were awarded 4th best brewery in Japan. Kazuma Brewery’s spirit is the passion that has been handed down through the generations: the soul of Noto. The main brand Chikuha is a clean dry type sake with woody notes. Visit Schedule
Nishiyama Brewery (Hyogo Prefecture)
Located almost slapbang in the centre of Hyogo Prefecture, in Hyogo Tanba City, an area surrounded by mountains and greenery. The brewery’s home town of Ichijima is an organic, agricultural hamlet that started growing rice organically around 40 years ago. A brewery that prides in supplying sake that is as close to the fresh taste of just-pressed sake as possible. In order to achieve that desire they brew all year around. The origins of the famed kotsuzumi brand can be traced all the way back to earlier generations of brewers, all of whom studied under the famous poet Kyoshi Takahama. One brewer in particular became his right hand man and it is he who received the kotsuzumi verse as a poetic gift from the lauriat, a gift that his descendants protect to this day. A smooth, soft, well-rounded sake.
Nishibori Brewery (Tochigi Prefecture)
Retaining the same passion for hand brewing sake as when they were established in 1872, Nishibori Brewery strives to make sake that makes an impact. They use spring water from the Nikko Mountains and superior sake rice. Mongai Futsutsu is a brand born from the rice and water and a love for the region. The brand is made on a very small scale and most of it is consumed within Tochigi Prefecture which is apt considering that it all started with the desire to “make sake that is adored by people in the region”. A local top secret indeed, that conveys the passion of the brewer and provides a taste of Tochigi.
April Schedule (in date order)
|Date||Branch||Brewery Name (Prefecture)|
|13/5 (Fri)||Asakusa||Asahitsuru (Chiba)|
|13/5 (Fri)||Ikebukuro||Takarayama (Niigata)|
|13/5 (Fri)||Shibuya||Umeda (Hiroshima)|
|13/5 (Fri)||Shinjuku||Ichinomiya (Shinjuku)|
|20/5 (Fri)||Shibuya||Kanbai (Saitama)|
|20/5 (Fri)||Shinjuku||Nishiyama (Hyogo)|
|21/5 (Sat)||Asakusa||Takizawa (Saitama)|
|21/5 (Sat)||Shinjuku||Kazuma (Ishikawa)|
|27/5 (Fri)||Ikebukuro||Takarayama (Niigata)|
|27/5 (Fri)||Asakusa||Hasegawa (Niigata)|
|27/5 (Fri)||Shibuya||Kanbai (Saitama)|
|27/5 (Fri)||Shinjuku||Asahitsuru (Chiba)|
|28/5 (Sat)||Ikebukuro||Asahitsuru (Chiba)|
|28/5 (Sat)||Shinjuku||Nishibori (Tochigi)|