Fukuoka Sake Breweries
Fukuoka Prefecture is located on the island of Kyushu. It borders Saga Prefecture to the southwest, Kumamoto Prefecture to the south and Oita Prefecture to the southeast. The story of “Fukuoka’s sake is delicious” dates back to the days of Genroku and Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, the fifth shogun in Edo. Kaibara Ekken, a Confucian scholar in Chikuzen (now Fukuoka Prefecture), described Fukuoka’s sake in the late Genroku period as “excellent, superior to the fine products of the upper country”. The Itoshima district in the west of Fukuoka City is thriving, and the temperature difference between day and night around this area is suitable for growing rice in order to make sake for local production and consumption. Yamada Nishiki, the rice suitable for sake brewing began to be cultivated in Fukuoka in the 1945s, and its production is still the second-largest in Japan.
Fukuoka is a treasure trove of agricultural products brought about by abundant water and the blessings of the earth. There are classics such as rice, wheat, and soba, as well as sesame, carrots, green tea shochu using Gyokuro (which is a specialty of Yame), sunflower shochu and sweet potato shochu. In the case of shochu, raw materials such as wheat, rice, and potatoes are fermented together with the jiuqu. Until around 1970, the main role of shochu in Fukuoka was rice shochu made from rice jiuqu, but after that, barley shochu made from barley jiuqu was the most produced.
Ebisu Shuzo Sake Brewery
Located near the border of Fukuoka and Oita Prefecture, Ebisu Distillery is 50 km southeast of Fukuoka City. Amid lush greenery, They are surrounded by a mountain range and the Chikugo River, the biggest river of Kyushu Island. A wide variety of fruits, such as persimmons, grapes, and pears, grow on the hills, enjoying lots of sunlight. The great grain belt, Chikugo Plain, spreads along the Chikugo River, from where they collect fresh water to make their Shochu. The barley used by them comes mainly from local producers and is harvested in Chikugo Plain. Distillation techniques brought from overseas were uniquely modified and adapted to produce Japanese Shochu. Today, its quality is widely recognized in the world. We hope that our authentic Shochu products, inspired by our strong passion, will be appreciated and enjoyed by Shochu fans around the world.
Representative: Katsumi Tanaka
Address: 680-3 Hakihayashida Asakura-shi, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1885
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Koshuzo Sake Brewery
It consisted of Koyasu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd., which was founded in 1890, and became independent as Koshu Brewery Co., Ltd. The brewery started manufacturing and selling full-scale shochu. It is a quiet brewery near Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport, with the JR single track (Sasaguri Line, Fukuhoku Yutaka Line) running behind the factory. The representative brand “Hakata Kojoro” was named after the doll Joruri “Hakata Kojoro Nami Pillow” by Chikamatsu Monzaemon in the Edo period. We continue to make full-scale shochu by making full use of the traditional sake brewing method of Hakata shochu brewing and the refined storage method, and further adding Mr. Mori’s ingenuity. We always aim to be “real” (meaning genuine in Hakata dialect), and we will only deliver products that customers are confident that they will find delicious.
Representative: Shinichiro Mitsuyasu
Address: 6-12-20 Chojabaruhigashi, Kasuya-cho, Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1992
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Kitaya Sake Brewery
Kitaya was founded some 190 years ago during the Bunsei Era (1818 – 1830) in Yame City. Located in the south of Kyushu’s breadbasket on the Tsukushi Plains, the city is rich in nature and scenic beauty. Family records state, “Saikichi, the eldest son and patriarch, passed his patriarchal rights down to his brother Wasuke during the Bunsei Era to start his own brewery.” After giving up his rights as the eldest, Saikichi devoted his life to producing Sake. The three Japanese characters within the word “Kitaya” read “Joy”, “Many”, “Homes”, and to this day represent Kitaya’s corporate philosophy of “Spreading Joy, One Sake at a Time”. Also, because founder Saikichi had such a passion for brewing sake and employed himself as the chief brewer, the family rule that “The Owner should brew the Sake” has been passed down through the generations. In 2011, our Junmai Daiginjyo Kansansui sake was entered into the San Francisco International Wine Competition, receiving the highest Double Gold award. Then in 2013, the Daiginjyo Gokujo was entered into the IWC (International Wine Challenge) held in London, where Kitaya was awarded the Champion Sake of the World.
Representative: Kinoshita Kohtaroh
Address: Honmachi 374, Yame City, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1818-1830
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Nishiyoshida Sake Brewery
Under the blessings of the water of the Chikugo River, which is one of the leading rivers in Japan, they have been manufacturing full-scale shochu since their establishment in 1887. While conveying traditional techniques, they are constantly challenging new techniques with the attitude of seeking better taste. Nishiyoshida continues to stick to raw materials and manufacturing methods so that you can enjoy more delicious and tasty shochu.
Representative: Yumiko Yoshida
Address: 612 Izumi, Chikugo city, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1893
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Tenpai Sake Brewery
Tsukushi Plain, a rich granary spreads from Fukuoka Prefecture to the southern part of Saga Prefecture, where Nijo barley suitable for shochu is grown in a large production area of high-quality barley. At Tenban, we place a special order at the barley factory and finish it into barley, which is the raw material for 35% high-refined barley, in a total of 31 milling processes. The underground water of Kodokoro Mountain is used for the brewing so that the texture of the original sake is clearly expressed. The difference in the quality of authentic shochu is determined by the raw materials, preparation, and distillation. Distillation has the greatest effect on the quality of sake. While many vacuum distillations are performed by lowering the boiling point to make it easier to drink, Tenban sticks to atmospheric distillation that retains the characteristics of the raw materials.
Representative: Itaru Tada
Address: 978 Moriyama, Asakuragun Chikuzenmachi, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1898
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Beniotome Shuzo Sake Brewery
Beniotome Sake Brewery, an affiliate of Fukuya Co., Ltd., which is familiar with mentaiko, has developed the world’s first sesame shochu (in our company, it is written as “sho” which means “congratulations”). A liquor manufacturing company focusing on shochu. In addition to our main product – sesame shochu, we also manufacture liqueurs such as wheat, potatoes, rice shochu, and plum wine, as well as amazake. Our products have been awarded annually at domestic liquor appraisals, and our representative product, “Red Maiden Gold,” is treated as a cocktail at a prestigious hotel that has won five stars in France. In 2014, it was offered as an in-car drink for the cruise train “Nana Star in Kyushu”, and has been highly evaluated in many places both in Japan and overseas.
Representative: Takuji Yoshimura
Address: 214-2 Masuoda, Tanushimaru-machi, Kurume-City, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1978
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Hiwatsuru Syuzou Sake Brewery
Representative: Hirokatsu Ninomiya
Address: 466-1 Uchino, Jyoujima-Machi Kurume-City, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1895
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Kenjo Sake Brewery
The brewery is located in the central and southern parts of Fukuoka Prefecture, Tachiarai-cho, Mii-gun is about an hour’s drive south of Fukuoka City. With the Mino Mountains in the background, there is the Chikugo River that flows magnificently through the fertile and vast Chikugo Plain, and the ginseng shochu “Mezurashi” is made from ginseng and running water cultivated in the rice fields and fields along the Chikugo River. In addition, the Tsukushi Plain is a region where double cropping is popular, and wheat cultivation is also carried out along with rice cultivation, making it one of Japan’s leading wheat cultivation areas after Hokkaido. We have also developed our own roasted barley shochu using barley harvested in the Tsukushi Plain, and are currently selling representative brands such as “Owl”. We manufacture shochu with unique characteristics and aim to make shochu that has been popular for a long time.
Representative: Toshimitu Koga
Address: 1089 Sakaeda, Tachiarai-cho, Mii-gun, Fukuoka
Foundation (year) 1983
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