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
Visit Kitaya Sake Brewery Website
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.
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