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. The keypoint is that 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, feedback that leads to quality improvement in the future. Feedback from the floor is extremely important.
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 March
This where we introduce the breweries who have taken time out of their business trip to Tokyo to pop over to our 3 branches in Ikebukuro, Asakusa and Shibuya and spend time with everyone.
The event calendar shows you when and where the breweries will appear.
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.
Chiyo no Kame Brewery (Ehime Prefecture)
Established in 1716, Chiyonokame has carved out 300 years of history in Uchiko Town, Ehime Prefecture.The brewers each help with the rice sowing to deepen their understanding of the rice which in keeping with local farming practices is free of pesticides. Their product development is bold and challenging and their Ginga Tetsudo (galaxy railroad) brand which is aged below freezing continues to have just as many fans outside the prefecture as inside. Additionally, Chiyonokame is the first brewery to use a centrifuge. It is a brewery that cheerfully brews sake that can’t be made anywhere else: Charming sake that puts a smile on thousands of faces.
Ozaki Brewery (Aomori Prefecture)
Ozaki Brewery is located on the Japan Sea side of Japan in Ajigasawa. Also home to the World Heritage site Shiraka Misanchi and the 12 blue lakes with their mysterious blue that charms all who look at them. They make sake that reaps those benefits while coexisting with nature. The signature brands are the ruler of the Japan Sea: the Ando Navy and Morishige Hishaya’s famous painting Kami no za (god’s seat); the painting is so-called because it imagines the gods sitting and drinking sake. With a wholehearted attitude, and a desire to “make delicious sake” they continue to brew honest sake in northernmost part of the Japan Sea side.
Takizawa Brewery (Saitama Prefecture)
Established in 1863, originally based in Kogawa Town, Saitama, but later moved to Fukaya City in 1900 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.
Azakura Brewery (Akita Prefecture)
Established in 1886, boasting 130 years of tradition, Azakura Brewery is located in the snowy town of Yokote in Akita Prefecture, a town famous for its Kamakura (igloos). The symbol of Yokote, Yokote Castle also goes by the pseudonym Azakura Castle. Under the command of Terai Toshio who is a member of the 5th biggest Toji Guild in the country, Akita Prefecture Sannai Toji, a passionate brewing team brew sake using the long low temperature fermentation method (Akita’s version of cold climate brewing). Azakura’ sake is crafted under the concept “sake that translates the passion of the brewer to the drinker”. A sake that transcends time and is infused with soul.
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.
Ishii Brewery (Saitama Prefecture)
Ishii Brewery was established in 1840. The brewery was set up at the crossroads of the Onari and Nikko highways, at the time a bustling inn town. The brewery owner Mr. Ishii and master brewer Mr.Wakuta, both in their 20’s, makeup the youngest partnership in the industry. Using their youth as a weapon, in a sake industry often referred to as ailing, they dive into new challenges with a positive attitude, brewing under the motto: “fermentation is people managing microbes with the desire to make drinker’s lives brighter and richer”.