[ Akita ] Sake brewery Archives Akita 2

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[ Akita ] Sake brewery Archives Akita 2


Please find the list of Sake breweries in Akita, the North end of Honshu island(main island) in Japan.

Characteristics of Sake from Akita Prefecture

 Akita Prefecture is one of the coolest regions in Japan, blessed with clear underground water provided by the melting snow. The climate of the region is suitable for rice cultivation, so it has abundant Sake rice to push itself to one of the largest producers and consumers of Sake within Japan. In addition, Akita Prefecture is active in developing improved Sake rice. Akita Sake Komchi becameas a representative Sake rice of the prefecture after its development in 1988.

  Typical Sake from Tohoku regions has light dry characters. In Akita Prefecture, Akita-style long-term low-temperature fermentation method is widely used. Sake brewed at a low temperature in a slow manner makes a delicately light and dry flavours.

5. Akita Seishu Co., Ltd (秋田清酒株式会社)

秋田清酒株式会社 | 出羽鶴・やまとしずく・刈穂 (igeta.jp)

Akita Seishu Co., Ltd. / 秋田清酒株式会社 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 Before introducing Akita Seishu, two breweries, Dewatsuru Shuzo (出羽鶴醸造) and Kariho Shuzo (刈穂酒造) require attention.

  Dewatsuru Shuzo was established as Yamato Shuzoten by the 12th generation of the Ito Family, Jushiro Ito, at Minaminaraoka of Dewa Province (current Daisen City of Akita Prefecture). Soon after, Dewatsuru was given as a brand name by the 13th generation Kyonosuke Ito. Its name Dewatsuru embraces a hope that the Sake becomes an elegant Sake of the Dewa Province just like a crane. In 1955, its company name was transformed into Dewatsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd.

  The other half, a predecessor of Kariho Shuzo was established in 1913 through a co-founding by relatives of the Ito family. It became a cooperate to be called Kariho Shuzo Co., Ltd.

  In 1972, two breweries collaboratively founded Akita Seishu Co., Ltd. The majority of production by Dewatsuru (approx. 2000 Goku), and that of Kariho (approx.1800 Goku) are bottled and finalized at the plant of Akita Seishu.

Representative brand : Dewatsuru (出羽鶴)

 Dewatsuru believes Sake production starts with rice production, so even Toji and brewers are engaged in the rice cultivation to ensure its quality. Maximizing the quality of local soil, rice cultivation is performed by a rice production association created by brewers and farmers. It helps to develop cultivation technologies and provide stable amount and quality of Sake rice.

Dewatsuru is made using snow-melt ground water of Dewa Mountains. The water is absorbed into the soil of richly green mountains and become purified through the layers of soils. The water after a natural purification is clear and soft, providing the delicate characteristics of Dewatsuru.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 5 minute walk from Tochiya Bus Stop
  • Brewery visit is available upon advance reservation

6. Kinmon Akita SAKE Brewery (金紋秋田酒造)

金紋秋田酒造株式会社 / Kinmon Akita SAKE Brewery (kinmon-akita.com)

Akitafuji Shuzoten General Partnership / 合名会社秋田富士酒造店 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 Kinmon Akita Sake Brewery is located in Daisen City, in the inland of Akita Prefecture. Omono River flowing from the Chokai Mountains provides affluent water making it the best farming area within the prefecture. The brewery’s history dates back to the beginning of Showa Period. Kinmon Akita Shuzo’s predecessor, Akita Fuji Shuzo-ten was established in 1936, so it is about 80 years old. 7 retailers co-invested to form the Kinmon Akita Sake Brewery in 1973.

Representative brand : Yamabuki (山吹)

 Akita has a number of Sake breweries, so the precedented owners were concerned how to grow its uniqueness to survive in the severe competition against larger breweries. The solution brought up was a maturation process. A representative matured Sake brand Yamabuki was developed to maximize umami of rice, and even presented itself as an in-meal drink which creates a great marriage with cuisine. Thanks to the experiences and efforts, it is highly evaluated internationally winning the best prize from the IWC.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 1 minute walk from Fujikikado
  • Brewery visit information is unknown


7. Akitahomare Brewing Co., Ltd. (秋田誉酒造株式会社)

秋田蔵元ガイド│秋田県酒造協同組合 (osake.or.jp)

Akitahomare Brewing Co., Ltd. / 秋田誉酒造株式会社 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 Located on the left bank of Koyoshi River close to the Honjo Port, Akitahomare Brewing was established with a collaboration of dozens of breweries during the war period. The history of each brewery dates back to the end of Edo Period to the beginning of Meiji Period. Sales routes were expanded after 1960s thanks to an exceptional sales growth in Hokkaido caused by the increased needs from the coal miners. Until recently the brewery has continued to sell outside of Akita Prefecture focusing on the Hokkaido market.

Representative brand : Akitahomare (秋田誉)

 The brand was named with a hope that the Sake becomes a homare (誉, pride) of Akita, home of high-quality Sake. Using local water from the Chokai Mountains and made by local brewers, the Sake is produced by strictly local resources. Akitahomare is a deeply flavoured Sake providing an ‘easy to drink’ experience.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 2 minute walk from Furuyukimachi
  • Brewery visit is not open to public

8. Akita Meijo Co., Ltd. (秋田銘醸株式会社)

しあわせ、なみなみ。美酒爛漫 | 秋田銘醸株式会社 (ranman.co.jp)

Akita Meijo Co.,Ltd. / 秋田銘醸株式会社 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 It was established in 1922 by investment of brewers, political and business persons with a hope and expectation to deliver Sake of Akita, a region for high quality rice and affluent water. There are currently two breweries under the company : Mitakegura (御嶽蔵) and Ogachigura (雄勝蔵). Ogachigura continues to use traditional methods and produce hand-made Sake. Mitakegura on the other hand, reflects the traditional methods to the computer-controlled system which enables to reduce the workload and improve the hygienic conditions inside the brewery. It is rare to find 5-story brewery building like Mitakegura.

Representative brand : Bishu Ranman (美酒爛漫)

 Ranman is made in a low temperature long-term fermentation method to take an advantage of Akita’s cool climate. Fermentation occurs slowly. Besides, low temperature long-term fermentation is useful to block the entry of bacteria. By spending a long time to extract umami of rice, the Sake made in this method turns rich and full of umami.

  The brewery was built with modern equipment for a capacity to mass-produce. Automation turned out to be a descent solution since it aimed for building a recognition and attracting customers outside the prefecture with a high-quality and stable supply of Sake.

  Lastly, its brand name, Bishu Ranman, was selected from a public offering.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 15 minute walk from JR Yuzawa Station
  • For Hygienic reasons, brewery visit is currently suspended

9. Azakura Co., Ltd (阿櫻酒造株式会社)

阿櫻酒造株式会社 – 阿櫻酒造株式会社 (azakura.co.jp)

Azakura Co.,Ltd. / 阿櫻酒造株式会社 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 Azakura started Sake production in 1886 in a city called Yokote of Akita Prefecture, so the brewery has a history of more than 130 years. One of the symbols of Yokote City is Yokote Castle, which is also called Azakura Castle. The brewery is proud to have natural climate suitable for Sake as well as brewers’ passion, which has all been reflected in a its history. Under Mr. Toshio Terui of Sannai Toji, one of the 5 major Toji groups of Japan, brewers passionately produce Sake in a traditional Akita style of low temperature long fermentation method.

Representative brand : Azakura (阿櫻)

 Sake making in Akita starts on an arrival of winter, and reaches its peak at the coldest period of winter. During the snowy season, the air becomes clean and clear with snow while the brewery is covered with snow preventing a temperature fluctuation. These natural factors largely contribute to the high-quality Sake.

  Snow-melt ground water from Ou Mountains makes a soft and clear touch to the Sake. Thus, we could say Azakura contains important essence of Akita’s terroir.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 5 minute walk from Osawa Bus Stop
  • Brewery visit is available with advance reservation



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