Tama Asahi Brewery is one of many old breweries in Toyama Prefecture. Established in 1808, generations have brewed clean, dry, regional sake. From this double-act of master brewer and brewery comes a big dream. They brew flavourful sake with delicious water and rice. They brew what you would expect in a way you would expect. Their endeavor is not mass production but the sort of hand-crafted sake that you can hand to the consumer directly, sake brewed with sincerity. That, they believe, is the way they will achieve their mutual dream to create sake that “is soaked in an unforgettable melody: memories”.
A brewery carving out over 340 years of history in Niigata Prefecture’s Uonuma City. They brew sake which is a slight break from the usual traditional fayre. It’s all part of their ethos to challenge anew.
Lyeing at the border between the eastern edge of Kyushu’s Saga Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefecture, this brewery started out as a collaboration in the early days of the Meiji Era. In 1920, a limited company was formed. Brewing that uses mainly rice grown in Motoyama Town and underground water that originates at the Sefuri Mountain Range is the key to sake that is loved and cherished by the region. Komori Kennichiro, who is the youngest of 4 sibilings and the only male offspring in the family, took over the role of master brewer in 2014 and brews sake that mixes the old with the new. As the brewery themself put it “This small brewery looks forward to the day that their sake reaches a wider audience”.
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.
Established in 1839, Fukunishiki Brewery is located slap bang in the centre of the Banshu Plains, the number one grower of sake rice in Japan. They might be small but they brew sake with belief. In 1992 they switched to Junmai-only sake and since 1996, brew with only rice grown in their local Kasai City. There lies a passion for pure honest sake brewing that “is what it is because it is loved by the region”. Using the umami from the rice to full effect to give it a slightly golden hue and melt in the mouth acidity. The flavour that resounds in your heart half way through is evidence of the mutual love for rice.
Shuhou Brewery was started by first generation Seigoro in 1890 in Yamaka Town which lies North East of Yamagata City at the foot of the Zao Renpo mountain range. Shuhou translates to calm. Rich nature, pristine water and a calm soul are the key ingredients of their hand-crafted sake. Tradition and the brewery’s personality and techniques complete a natural production. Over 10 different varieties of sake rice are used, and distinctive characteristics and umami from the rice is used to maximum effect to lend the sake an individuality and make it shine in the regional sake country of Yamagata. The result? warm feeling Yamagata sake that moves the drinker.
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.