[ Iwate ] Sake brewery Archives Iwate 1

Sake to know

[ Iwate ] Sake brewery Archives Iwate 1


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

Characteristics of Sake from Iwate Prefecture

 As you may be aware by now, flavours and charms of Sake are largely influenced by Toji. The Toji group in Iwate is called Nambu Toji (南部杜氏), which is one of the three largest Toji groups of Japan besides Echigo Toji of Nigata and Tamba Toji of Hyogo. Nambu Toji inheriting the technics delivered from Itami of Hyogo Prefecture in Edo Period, started professional Sake production in Morioka under a protection and developmental support of the clan.  

  Nambu Toji is one of the largest groups among Tojis in Japan. The title of Nambu Toji was originally given exclusively to the Tojis originated from the Morioka Clan, Hachinohe Clan and Shichinohe Clan. However, Tojis who learned technics of Nambu Toji are dispersed across Japan to create delicious Sake of each local region so the tile is currently used in a broader sense. If you have a chance to drink Sake from Iwate Prefecture, I recommend you try one made by Nambu Toji.

1. Akabu Brewing Co., Ltd. (赤武酒造株式会社

岩手の日本酒 – 赤武酒造【公式】 (akabu1.com)

Akabu Brewing Co., Ltd. / 赤武酒造株式会社 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 Akabu Brewing Co., Ltd was established in 1983 at Otsuchi-cho of Iwate Prefecture, located along the Sanriku Coast. The brewery was famous for a label of “Hamamusume”, however the production site was destroyed by the Tsunami after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The brewery was forced to make a restart from scratch. The brewery was rebuilt in 2013, 2 years after its loss of the original building. Akabu Brewing Co., Ltd was moved from Otsuchi-cho to Morioka City. The brewery is currently led by the young 6th generation master to remain innovative. Sharing a motto of building a new history of Akabu Brewing, the young brewers who gather up under the young master’s leadership work together to produce Sake that responds to the current generations’ needs, by pouring largest amount of passion, love and guts.

Representative brand : 

 Popular product of the brewery are designated Sake made from Sake rice such as Yuinoka (結の香) and Ginginga (吟ぎんが) grown in Iwate Prefecture. Fresh juicy fruity scents and soft touch given by soft preparation water give a smooth drinking experience to the palette. Thanks to its seaside origin, the Sake goes well with seafood. It has won the best prize at the Annual Sake Awards of Iwate Prefecture in 2017, only 3 years after its brand launching. The brand is drawing the largest attention among the products of the brewery.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 5 minute walk from the bus stop, Research Institute for Environmental Sciences and Public Health of Iwate Prefecture – Mae.
  • Brewery visit is not possible

2. Asabiraki Co., Ltd (株式会社あさ開)

あさ開 (asabiraki-net.jp)

Asabiraki Co.,Ltd. / 株式会社あさ開 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 The name of the brewery is Asabiraki, which is taken from a poem in the Manyoshu collections to describe a scene where a boat is rowing out in the early morning. Genzo Murai, a member of Nambu Clan, gave up a warrior status to start Sake production is 1871. The name therefore carries a meaning of new departure: Master Murai shifted his profession from a warrior to a merchant, and the society turned into a new era of Meiji after Edo.

Representative brand : Asabiraki (あさ開)

 Thanks to the water springing within the brewery premises, Daiji-shimizu (大慈清水) which is selected as the best 100 fine water of the Heisei era, and technics of Nambu Toji, Asabiraki ends to contain umami in clear Sake characters. The Sake is highly evaluated at a number of competitions. What is especially notable is that Asabiraki has won gold prizes at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for the 12 consecutive years, in total of 23 gold prizes.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 4 minute walk from Matsuo-mae Bus Stop
  • Brewery visit is available with prior reservation


3. Azumamine Shuzoten General Partnership (合名会社吾妻嶺酒造店)


岩手県紫波郡の造り酒屋 吾妻嶺酒造店 – 南部杜氏発祥の地、紫波町の日本酒蔵 吾妻嶺酒造店のホームページです。販売店や新商品の情報や通販のご案内をしております。 (azumamine.com)

Azumamine Shuzouten General Partnership / 合名会社吾妻嶺酒造店 – IKKI – Japanese Sake Media (ikki-sake.com)

About the brewery:

 The origin of Azumamine Shuzoten, is Gonbe Sakaten (権兵衛酒屋) started by Gonbei Murai at Shiwa-mura (current Shiwa-cho). Previously being a merchant in the Omi district of the West Japan, he started to make purified Sake in the West Japan style when other brewers back then produced doburoku-style non-purified Sake. Gonbe Shuten is the oldest brewer in Iwate, and has a key origin of Nambu Toji, the largest Toji group in Japan.

Representative brand : Azumamine (あづまみね)

 The brewery exclusively produces Junmai-shu and Junmai-ginjo-shu. There are no products that fall into the Daiginjo category. Selecting Sake rice carefully, the brewery intends to maximize umami of rice and create a marriage with Iwate’s local ingredients, therefore it avoids fruits-like Ginjoko to appeal to the Sake connoisseurs. To fully supervise the preparation process ensuring the quality of Sake, the production amount is limited up to 30K bottles. Preparation, bottling and labelling are all performed manually to deliver its passion to customers.

Access and brewery visit information:

  • 5 minute walk from Shiwa-nakamachi
  • Brewery is not open to public



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