Fukushima holds a spot of honor as the prefecture to win the most gold medals at the Annual Japan Sake awards for eight consecutive years, something no other prefecture can claim. This astounding victory is a testament to the resilience and spirit of every sake brewer in Fukushima, all of whom overcame the devastation of Fukushima’s tragic earthquake to achieve greatness.
Fukushima’s gold medal-winning sake is a result of the entire prefecture’s effort. The brewers from Fukushima are always searching for ways to elevate their sake, and share their knowledge through the “Fukushima Sake Academy.” Sake from this region is known for its mellow, refreshing and umami-rich flavors.
Daishichi Brewing Company, founded in 1752 by Saburoemon Ohta, makes rich, mellow sake with an outstanding reputation for the orthodox kimoto brewing method, which is their specialty.
“The first thing that comes to mind is that we have respect for the rice we use to brew sake. In other words, we don’t consider rice as a means, but a purpose.”
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Founded in 1850, Suehiro Brewing Company’s brewers work closely with 100 local farmers to ensure quality is maintained from the rice crop to final product.
“To me, the biggest motivation behind why I make sake, the thing that I enjoy the most, is seeing the happy faces of people as they drink our sake. That look when they think, ‘This is delicious!’”
Okunomatsu Brewing Company brews high quality sake using water melted from Mt. Adatara’s snow. 300 years of brewing experience has been passed down to culminate in sake fueled by passion.
“We’re committed to producing high-quality sake at an affordable price. That’s our goal. We use both traditional and newly developed techniques to produce and deliver a high-quality product to you.”
Homare Brewing Company is known for its use of the famous Kitakata underground water coming from Mt. Iide. The brewers give meticulous attention to their sake, and learn from every batch.
“Our credo is ‘craftsmanship that evokes tranquility, joy and emotion.’ If we can create a product that moves people, that helps them feel these emotions, that’s the pinnacle of what we can do as a company.”
Nestled in a basin in the Aizu region, Yumegokoro Brewing Company is known for their “Naraman” brand sake. This sake bears a modest aroma which highlights the satisfying umami.
“Sake is a drink that connects people with joy. Even when something makes you sad, we drink sake looking forward to happier days. So to me, it is a tool that brings people together with joy.”
Ninki Brewing Company is committed to making only high quality ginjo sake for true sake lovers. They use only traditional wooden tools and a painstakingly long process that’s well worth the wait.
“To me, seeing sake’s growing popularity tells me that people recognize Japanese craftsmanship and see just how amazing the Japanese are. That’s what drives me to keep going in the sake industry. And that’s why I think sake is part of the Japanese identity.”
The brewers at Yamatogawa Brewing Company have an intimate understanding of their environment, plus a nine generation legacy that courageously incorporates new technology to produce soft, supple sake.
Masakazu SatoManaging Director
“I think sake is a tool that promotes communication. It's also something that helps make food even more delicious. And, well, I often enjoy sake by myself, and find that it helps me be introspective.”
Fukushima monitors their products with some of the world’s strictest standards. A year after the Great East Japan Earthquack, Japan updated their standard limits of radioactive substances for food, and Fukushima Prefecture Sake Brewers Cooperative products have all passed the strict standards. To learn more, visit: - Fukushima Prefecture - The government of Japan
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