Posts Tagged ‘日本’

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Junmai Nama Genshu Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Fuji-Takasago Brewery went through a scare when a magnitude 6 earthquake hit Fujinomiya City almost just after the terrible earthquake that hit Northeastern Japan. They found cracks in walls in over ten spots and are busy repairing them now.
But it did not prevent them from brewing in general and certainly not their brews made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Rice!

No the label did not break during the earthquake!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: Banana
Body: Fluid
Taste: Not as strong an attack as expected. Almost liquorish.
Fruity. Banana with hints of almonds and coffee beans.
Lingers for a while with alcohol background. Very pleasant despite high alcohol contents.
Hints of oranges, custard and macadamia nuts with further sips.
Changes little with food apart of getting a little drier.

Overall: Difficult to say whether best drunk on its own or with food.
Does marry well with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.
Personally appreciated it on its own a little chilled!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Fair: 19th Shisa Heiya Bishu Story 2011

March 5, 2012

Junmai Ginjyo created by Oomuraya Brewery (Shimada City) with Hyakumangoku Rice, Yeast and water all form Shizuoka Prefecture (limited batch!)!
Courtesy of Marcus Grandon

On the 9th of June 2011 the 19th Shida Beya Bishu Monogatari 2011 was held in Yaizu City at the Hotel Ambia Shyofuku!
”大19回志田平野美食物語2011” means “19th Shida Plain Beautiful Sake Story 2011”!

Welcoming 400 guests through the lobby!

My friend Marcus and I have been invited at the event for the last 4 years and we can afford (politely) to take some liberties.
After having gone through the reception motion we decided to take a quick peek before the official entrance!

Getting the sake tasting space ready before the rush!

Preparations for the meal by the hotel staff were almost completed!

Almost finished!
About time we made ourselves scarce!

The sake kegs from the 6 participating breweries in front of the entrance hust be fore the official entrance!

400 guests patiently queuing up…

Guests seated and everyone waiting for the official beginning of the festivities…

Isojiman Brewery in Yaizu City!

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!

Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe, Fujieda City!

Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City!

Sugii Brewery from Fujieda City!

Aoshima Brewery in Fujeda City!

Still looking at the “wrapped” food before the brewers’ presentation…

Official speech and presentation!

And then… Tasting Battle Royale!

The yearly attendance by John Gauntner proves this is a major sake event in Japan!

The dessert was sakekasu/sake white lees mousse!

Growers of the Shizuoka Homare Fuji sake rice!

This emblem was created by a university student!

See you next year!
But before that be assured I will pay a few visits to these 6 breweries!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

The beauty of Japanese sake (like wine) is that, regardless of the same methods, same ingredients or same skills, the same brewery will not be able to reproduce exactly the same brew as the precedent year!
And when it comes to making Yamahai it is simply, and luckily to my own mind, impossible!

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has never been afraid to experiment.
Once again they used the Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare rice and brewed it with a yeast not from our Prefecture to produce a very interesting Yamahai!

Sugii Brewery; Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Fuji Homare

Rice: Homare Fuji (100% Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 4.5
Acidity: 1.6
Yeast: Association No 7
Heated only once
Bottled in April 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue (normal for Yamahai)
Aroma: Dry and fruity: custard, macadamia nuts
Body: fluid and slightly syrupy
Taste: Dry fruity attack backed up by strong junmai petillant
Custard, oranges, almonds.
Stays very dry but fruity all along.
Lingers for a short while before leaving with a warm note and dry nuts.
Pleasant, although the final dry note might surprise a few people.
Changes little with food.
Further sips end with a dry note of apricots and oranges.

Overall: A sake conceived to be enjoyed with food, especially heavy izakaya food, the dry note compensating the heaviness of sauces.
Typical sake from Sugii Brewery, a favorite with food!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Doi Brewery-Hana no Ka Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Ginjyo Nama Genshu

March 5, 2012

Doi Brewery has been already been producing this Hana no Ka/華の香 for the past few years according to old traditional methods
This particular brew was concocted with Homare Fuji Sake Rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and is the untouched product as it is nama (no sterilizing) Junmai (no alcohol added) muroka/unfiltered, a true connoisseur’s delight!

It also comes with plenty of comments: kasumi ka kumo ka nigori zake/霞か雲かにごり酒/A sake like a haze or a cloud? (referring to the presence of sakekasu/white lees!

Rice: Homare Fuji (100% Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 55%
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Alcohol: 17 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: very clear when at rest, slightly smoky when stirred
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Pleasant. Alcohol. Fruity. Pineapple.
Body: fluid and siruppy
Taste: Strong alcohol and junmai petillant attack which quickly disappears.
Fruity: pineapple, custard, almonds.
Makes a complete turn from sweetish to dryish, a telltale mark of sakekasu/white lees
Lingers for a while with alcohol leaving a somewhat marked impression.
Marries and changes little with food.

Overall: A sake obviously devised for food in spite of its ginjyo status.
A sake for the connoisseurs as it is absolutely left untouched.
Great for a Japanese izakaya-style party!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Nama Genshu

March 5, 2012

Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City, in spite of the strong earthquake in March is actively producing all kinds of sake (and shochu) brews!

They are also one of the 19 (out of 28) Shizuoka Breweries experimenting with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Sake Rice (“sakamai”)!
This particular brew is a nama genshu junmai, meaning it is the very original product with no addition or alteration!

This time I had the perfect snack to enjoy the tasting!

Shizuoka-grown crispy small cucumbers with wasabizuke/wasabi stems and leaves pickled in sake white lees/sake kasu!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Nama Genshu

Rice: Homare Fuji (100%)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very Clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Light and fruity. Complex. Pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Strong dry attack with marked junmai petillant and nama genshu punch combining for a marked first impression.
Complex. Pineapple with hints of caramel and apricots
For all its strength, disappears fairly quickly with dry pineapple spreading over the palate with notes of almonds and apricot.
Changes little with food.

Overall: Intereting strong sake designed for food.
The dryish overall taste combines well with izakaya food.
Noteworthy sake for strong sake officionados!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Yaoyorazu Yamahai Junmai/Homarefuji Rice

March 5, 2012

There are now 19 out of 28 breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture producing brews made with locally-grown sakamai/sake rice.
Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has been experimenting with Shizuoka-grown Homarefuji/誉富士 rice right from the very beginning.
Now, they have come up for the last couple of years with a traditional brew that a lot of other breweries avoid because of its difficulty: Yamahai/山廃!

It does have a peculiar name: Yaorazu/八百萬 that even Japanese have a hard time to read! It is an allusion to a Shinto Shrine whose history dates back to the 8th Century!

Sugii Brewery: Yaoyorazu Yamahai Junmai Homarefuji Rice/杉井酒造ー八百萬山廃純米誉富士

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 70%
Dryness: +6
Acidity: 2.3 (vry high for Shizuoka!)
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in Novemwber 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: faint yellow hue (normal for Yamahai)
Aroma: Light, sweetish. Custard, banana, macadamia nuts
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack.
Complex: dry oranges, almonds.
Turns a little sweetish later to make a quick dry comeback.
Disappears quickly for a yamahai.
Alcohol pepping up later.
Changes little with food.

Overall: More distinguished than expected for a yamahai.
A sake designed for food? Very probably as I found it in many izakayas in Fujieda City.
Strong and solid sake.
Perfect for food, especially that in izakaya.
Can be enjoyed slowly at home with a snack!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune, Fujisan No Hi

March 5, 2012

The actual and very long name for their sake is:
Takashima Brewery, Hakuin Masamune, Heisei Nijusannen (2011), Fujisan No Hi (Mount Fuji Day), Asashibori (pressed in the morning), Homare Fuji (rice variety), Junmai (no alcohol added), Genshu (no water added), Origarami (natural pressing)!

Takashima Brewery has always been keen to create limited brews for local events and this particular one was not only made with Shizuoka-grown sake rice but also for Mount Fuji Day!

Rice: Homare Fuji 100%
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Pressed on February 23rd, 2011

Clarity: very clear
Color: Transparent if not stirred as it contains white lees
Aroma: Sweetish, custard, banana. Very pleasant
Body: fluid, light
Taste: Sweetish attack. Complex. Welcome alcohol. Turns dry later.
Lighter but deeper than expected.
Pineapple, macadamia nuts, custard, dry almonds.
Lingers only a little with a very dry note.
Changes little with food. Especially great with fresh vegetables.
Junmai and white lees (sake kasu) very present for some extra impressions.

Overall: A very interesting sake with a more complex taste than expected.
Light enough in spite of its high alcohol content.
A sake that should please true sake lovers in search of unusual brews!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fujinishiki Brewery-Fujinishiki Junmai Homarefuji Rice

March 5, 2012

There are presently 19 out of a total of 28 (active) Shizuoka prefecture breweries producing some of their sake made with Shizuoka-grown Homarefuji sake rice.
This rice is a hybrid developed from Yamada Nishiki sake rice.
We are certainly bound to see more of it with other Shizuoka-grown rice, not only from the taste and the economical point of views, but also because sake rice “imported” from the north of Japan might become scarce!

Rice: Homarefuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.6
Alcohol: 16.5 degrees (genshu)
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: fleeting, greens
Body: fluid
Taste: sweetish attack, turns quickly dry with almonds.
Junmai petillant.
Welcome alcohol.
Almonds combined with macadamia nuts and dry walnuts. persimmon.
Lingers on with a very dry note.
Changes little with food, but combines very well with any kind.

Overall: A straightforward sake with a “macho” character.
Strong, solid, but not overwhelming.
Probably best appreciated with food because of its high alcohol content.

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Oumuraya Brewery-Jyuube Junmai/Shimada City Gohyakumangoku Rice

March 5, 2012

Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada City has encouraged local farmers for a long time.
They have been recently brewing sake with sakamai/酒米/sake rice by local farmers.

I’ve just found this bottle called Jyuube/重兵衛 at (Farmers Market) Japan Bazaar in Shimada City.
The rice grown is of the Hyakumangoku variety.
They went as far as decorating the bottle with pictures of the very farmers!
How about that for traceability!

Rice: Hyakumangoku (100%)
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Strong and fruity: custard, vanilla
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong and drier than expected attack.
Fruity: Custard, bananas. Junmai petillant.
Disappears quickly with dry almonds.
Light and dry, almost discreet with food.
Dry pineapple appearing later.

Overall: A straightforward sake.
Very pleasant, fruity with a dry note.
Accompanies food well.
Very pleasurable on its own or with food.
A sake for all seasons!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Junmai Shiboritate Genshu

March 5, 2012

Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City ‘ the largest Sake Brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture and export a sizeabkle amount abroad.
For quit some time they have been breweing their sake with their own ingredients. They grow their own Yamada Nishiki rice in the same city, uses Shizuoka yeats and the local water!

They produce also many limited brews such this nicely warpped “shiboritate/newly pressed” Junmai (no alcohol added) Genshu (no water added!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.8
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Bottled in October 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity and asserive. banana, pineapple, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong fruity alcohol attack.
Warms back of the palate.
Dryish and strong junmai petillant.
Lingers for a short while with lots of almonds and coffee beans. Oranges, Macadamia nuts, hints of dark chocolate.
Drinks well with food with more Macadamia nuts.

Overall: Unusually strong sake for Hana No Mai Brewery.
Straightforward and fruity.
Tends to vary with food.
Best appreciated with strong taste food, although the latter might influence the taste.
A good sake for Izakayas!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Diamond Fuji

March 5, 2012

Although the Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City is part of a larger conglomerate, all the staff is from Shizuoka Prefecture and the sake there are made exclusively according to methods prevalent in the Prefecture.

Moreover, they are active in promoting sake rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
In this particular case half of the rice used for this brew is Homare Fuji, a Yamada Nishii hybrid developed in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Rice: Yamada Nishiki and Shizuoka-grownHomare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dyness: +6
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottlled in November 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity: pineapple, custard. almonds
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack backed up by Junmai petillant.
Fruity: dry almonds, custard.
Quickly disappears with a soft custard note.
Very soft and easy to drink in spite of its softness.
Turns dry with food.
Goes very well with fish and sashimi.
As nurukan/lukewarm: Turns sweeter with a short strong junmai pang with a quick comeback on the drier side.
Oranges and custard.
very pleasant as a warm sake.

Overall: Very pleasant and easy to drink sake.
Goes well with any food, raw or cooked.
A sake to please everyone!
A great sake for a great party!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Shidaizumi Brewery/Organic Sake-Junmai Ginjo

March 5, 2012

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City has been conducting some very interesting experiments with organic ake rice for some time.
With Aoshima Brewery in the same city, a new movement has been started for a new and growing trend: Organic sake.

Shidaizumi Brewery hence received the Ecofarmer License from the Shizuoka Prefectureas a member of the JA Oigawa Yaizu Sake Rice Research Committee.

The Brewery used organic rice of the Yamada Nishiki strain cultivated by 11 farmers in Yaizu City:
Kohji Ohata, Toshiyuki Umehara, Masamitsu Masuda, Tatsuo Muramatsu, Teruo Matsumura, Toshiyuki Sone, Hirao Noda, Masashi Suzuki, Naomi Yamamoto, Riji Yagi and Kazuyuki Ishikawa.

Rice: Organic Yamada Nishiki all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Rice milled to: 55%
Yeast: NEW-5 (Shizuoka)
Dryness: +5.0
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in December 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Bananas
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry attack with junmai petillant.
Soft but complex.
Warms up back of the palate and ends on a dry note.
Banana, almond, apricot, memories of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Dry melon appears with food with more nuts and dark chocolate.
Elegant, easy to drink.

Overall: Ever talked of a “feminine drink”?
A sake not easy to discern.
Ladies would be screaming for it?

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Suruga Brewery: The Newest Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture!

March 5, 2012


Takahiro Nagashima/長島隆弘 of Nagashima Sake Shop and Daigo Hagiwara/萩原大吾 of Suruga Brewery

I finally found the occasion to pay a long delayed visit to the newest Sake Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture (and probably in Japan!): Suruga Brewery/駿河酒造!


Tenkou/天虹/”Heaven’s Rainbow”, Suruga Brewery’s representative brand!

My good friend Takahiro Nagashima of Saketen was on hand as he had wanted to visit and deal with Suruga Brewery the very moment they arrived in Shizuoka City!


Delivery truck formerly owned by Yoshiya Brewery.

Suruga Brewery may have a short history but it has been a pretty eventful one!


Haginishiki Brewery of old times!

It all started in 2006 when some members of the family owning the Haginishiki Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to separate themselves form the old brewery to create the new one.


Chumasa sake casks from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

So they first moved to Kakegawa City where they started brewing their own brands at the former Sogatsuru Brewery which had laid dormant for 10 years.


Hagi No Kura Brand flag

They produced brands such as Hagi nO kura, Sogatsuru and Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura. Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura was the official name of the “new” brewery then.


Equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

One cannot start a new sake brewery with a new license in Japan.
The only way you produce your own brand of sake is either to obtain the collaboration of another brewery or to buy the license of a brewery.


More equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

They brewed their sake under the name of Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery until 2009.
Then in 2010, Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to stop their activities.


Press from Yoshiya Brewery

They then were able to buy Yoshiya Brewery’s license and call themselves Suruga Brewery.
Not only did they buy the license but also all the unsold sake and equipment from Yoshiya Brewery!


Tanks from Yoshiya Brewery

Sake brewery equipment is hard to make and obtain, and terribly expensive, so buying a defunct brewery’s equipment is quite common in Japan.


Another view from the outside

But they moved to their present address in Shizuoka City only last year.


Chumasa brand

I was personally extremely happy to learn and verify that they kept the names Yoshiya Brewery’s sake brands, Chumasa, Onigoroshi and Abekaido in their own range of labels headed by their representative brand name, Tenkou.


Entrance to the koji muro/麹室

Now, the family branch who decided to go alone also possessed land and a supermarket in Nishiwaki, Suruga Ku (hence the new name of the brewery) in Shizuoka City.
They just transformed the supermarket into a very efficient, cost-saving brewery!


Inside the koji muro

They had their own well dug 50 meters deep into the Abe River subterranean bed. This water is top-class for sake even that deep inside a city!


Modern temperature regulator

The brewmaster/杜氏 at Suruga Brewery is Mr. Kazumo Kobayashi/小林一雲 (39) of NaganoPrefecture and of the Nanbu Brewmasters School who brew the sake with his team of three “kurabito/helpers”.


New tanks/oke/桶

The present yearly production is of 350 goku/石/about 63,000 liters.


Having a peak at premium sake ready to be pressed!

The shikomi/actual brewing is done in two stages, in November~December, and then again in March~April.


Modern tanks where fermenting is being conducted

Apart of the brewing personnel who reside in the brewery only during the brewing, Suruga Brewery, Daigo Hagiwara, who represents the 3rd generation, employs 4 full staff and 2 part-timers.


It’s brewing!


One cannot escape the manual work, however modern a brewery might be!


They still keep reminding themselves of their new name!


The Abekaido Brand!


Mr. Hirai, the accountant and jack of all trades!


A treasure trove of old and very old sake!


Their best and most expensive sake!

Don’t worry, I’ll start tasting reports soon!

Suruga Brewery
422-8044 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Suruga Ku, Nishiwaki, 923
Tel.: 054-281-1331
Fax: 054-251-1475

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Toubinkoi Muroka Junmai Ginjo

March 5, 2012

Yamanaka Brewery i not easy to access as it is far away from Kakegawa Station near the sea and one can reach only by bus, car and bicycle (not from Shizuoka City for the latter!)!
It is a fairly small establishement, although very well known, the more for it that its neighbour is the famous soy sauce brewery, Sakae!

This particular bottle was extravagant for many reasons.
The decoration was very original in the sense that the label on the bottle is actually made of cloth!
Coming into a great box with plenty of explanations, both the bottle and box are worth a collector’s attention.

The contents were also absolutely extravagant:
The real title is Yamanaka Shuzo/Yamanak Brewery, Aointenka (sake name), Tobinkoi (sake extracted drop by drop by being left hanging into sacke inside the tank and into a large glass jar), Muroka (unfiltered), Junami Ginjo (high premium with no alcohol added), Genshu (no pure water added), the whole meaning a completely untouched sake brew!

Now for the details:
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 48% (high dai ginjo level!)
Yeast: 1401
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 16~17 gegrees
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Slghtly dry and very fruity. Almonds, coconuts with notes of pineapple. Extremely pleasant
Body: fluid
Taste: Very complex and fruity. Extremely pleasant and sophisticated.
Dry and fruity. Junmai petillant spreading over the back of the palate. Lingers on only a little.
Dry almonds, pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla.
Finishes on a very dry almond note, but turns a little sweetish with food. Later on reveals faint notes of dark chocolate and cofee beans.

Overall: Simply extravagant, although its pricetag is ridiculously cheap (that is for that quality!). The rice millage would be of another plane elsewhere!
Sophisticated, lmost “feminine” in spite of high alcohol content.
Best appreciated lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Personally the best aperitif one can come across!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Bandai Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Genshu Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

Bandai Brewery is located in one of the most scenic cities of Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Peninsula formerly called Shuzenji. The city has recently been included into a larger city called Izu City, but people and tourists certainly don’t mix the two when they say they are going to Shuzenji!
One can reach this city also famous for its hotsprings and Japanese inns by taking a local train from Mishima City.
When you go down at Shuzenji Station, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shop where you will find all the products of Bandai Brewery, including real wasabi shochu!

Bandai Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the Prefecture and its history under other names can be traced back to the 16th Century!
Like most of the other sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture, it has started to use locally grown sake rice to ensure a stable output.

Rice: Homare Fuji 100% (grown in Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +3
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu: no water added)
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and fruity: banana, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Strongish attack with junmai petillant and a lot of fruit. Warms back of the palate. Well-rounded backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Complex: banana, gum-candy, almonds with memories of coffee beans later.
Softens with food to turn dry again on its own.
Almonds and banana tend to follow each other alternatively.

Overall: A sake you might as well drink chilled as it is quite sweet in spite of a +3 dryness level (quite dry by Shizuoka standards).
One of those sake you can pour over an ice-cream!
Very pleasant. Tends to get drier with food.
Would very well accompany blue cheese like a Port wine, or being drunk as a digestif!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

March 5, 2012

The great thing about Morimoto Brewery is the unpredictability of its sake!
All are worth tasting again and again every year as they show different characters and idyosincrasies.

This sake made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji sake rice is another proof of their originality!

Morimoto Brewery: Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai Homare
Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in October 2010

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: Fruity, alcohol, custard, macadamia nuts. Sweetish and pleasurable
Taste: Very dry attack backed with a little pleasant alcohol and junmai petillant.
Fruity: custard, almond nuts, greens.
Disappears quickly with notes of coffee beans and dry almonds.
Sharpish, straightforward. Devised to accompany and complement food.
Changes little with food, turns only a little drier.

Overall: A very good sake for food, especially winter heavy food.
Contribute a dry note to balance heavy food.
A fine sake on its own, too!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Junmai Hyakumangoku Rice

February 22, 2012

Yamanaka Brewery is a small, ancient and traditional brewery lost a long way south of Kakegawa Station and it is not easy to find their brews even in Shizuoka City. Luckily enough I happened to find this sake made with Hyakumangoku rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Hyakumangoku (Shizuoka-grown)
Milled down to: 65%
Dryness: +2.0
Acidity: 1.4
Yeast: Association No 1001
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2010

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: fruity, light, banana, chocolate, vanilla, hints of pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Dry soft attack with junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity: chocolate, coffee beans, banana.
Quickly disappears with notes of almonds.
Gets drier with food.
Easy to drink.

Overall: A sake for all seasons.
Very fruity, dry and soft.
Actually quite complex and showing more facets than expected.
A sure value!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Senju Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Homare Fuji

February 22, 2012

Senju Brewery is the sole sake brewery in Iwata city famous for the Yamaha Company.
It’s a bit off the beaten track and their sake are not always easy to find!

Sake made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji sake rice usually (if the space is available) bear a sticker with Homare Fuji written on it Japanese characters.
The label was actually designed a couple years ago by a local university student!

Senju Brewery-Junmai Ginjo Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji: 100%
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Botteld in August 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: light golden
Aroma: Discreet, fruity and elegant: Pineapple, vanilla
Body: fluid
Taste: Dryish attack. Fruity. Light and complex. Dry nuts, almonds, Macadamia nuts. Disappears quickly.
Very easy to drink.
“Fleety” when chilled.
More almonds and turns sweetish on second and third cups, although drier almonds make a comeback later.
Changes little with food, although turns a little drier.

Comments: My best Junmai Ginjo with Homare Fuji Rice so far!
Complex and surprising.
Can be appreciated either chilled or at room temperature.
Will open up with more facets at the latter including memories of coffee beans typical of Shizuoka sake.
Definitely recommended to light sake lovers!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Shusseijyo Aki Agari Tokubetsu Honjozo

February 22, 2012

Hamamatsu-Tenjigura was the oldest Sake Brewery in Hamamatsu City until it started absorbing all the neighbouring cities.
It stands in Shizuoka Prefecture for having the only “Brewmistress”!

Their sake come into two distinct varieties, the ones designed for food, the others for separate tasting.
This particular sake was great with food prepared by the Missus!
It also has the merit to made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Sake Rice!
And it certainly makes for a long title!

Hamamatsu-Tenjigura Brewery: Shusseijyo Aki Agari (Autumn’s First) Tokubetsu Honjozo Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji 100%
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in August 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Dry and fruity: bananas, coffee beans and coconuts
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack. Fruity: Coconuts, almonds.
Disappears quickly with a drier note with more almonds and nuts/coffee beans.
Changes little with food with an even drier note.

Overall: An eminently drinkable sake for dry sake fans.
At 60% millage simply an extravagant Tokubetsu Honjozo!
Great accompaninent to food.
Could be enjoyed in any way, chilled, room temperature or lukewarm!

It was certainly perfect with the Missus’ food: Deep-fried lotus roots chips and cheese gyoza!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

THE JOY OF SAKE in TOKYO, November 2nd

October 15, 2010

For more details check: http://www.joyofsake.com

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi