Zuiyo Sake Brewery
“Let’s make the first sake in Kumamoto that represents Kumamoto”. The first Tahachi Yoshimura was one of the first to start making sake in the 3rd year of Keio (1867). Zuiyo’s sake name started when Tahachi saw a hawk chases a sparrow while opening the door of the sake brewery to try to put the light of the new year into the brewery. The Kumamoto Prefectural Sake Brewery Research Institute was born as a part of Zuiyo’s sake brewery, with the determination to expand the brewery and take over the sake that was made regardless of the finish. Kumamoto yeast is separated and cultivated from the brewed yeast of “Koryu” brewed at the research institute. Even if Kumamoto yeast uses the same raw materials, it is recognized that it is excellent as it can bring out the individuality according to the maker’s request, and it will be adopted as “Kyokai No. 9 yeast” of the Brewing Society of Japan. Zuiyo continues to use this Kumamoto yeast as the main yeast.
VIDEO: Zuiyo Sake Brewery
Representative: Kohei Yoshimura
Address: 4-6-67, Kawashiri, Minami-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto
Foundation (year) 1867
Visit Zuiyo Brewery Website
Kumamoto Sake Breweries
Kumamoto Prefecture is located on the island of Kyushu. It borders Fukuoka Prefecture to the north, Oita Prefecture to the northeast, Miyazaki Prefecture to the southeast and Kagoshima Prefecture to the south. The mountains of Kyushu and Aso, with its immense caldera, act as the sources for the huge reserves of groundwater that bubble up through the Kumamoto earth. It is believed that there are at least 1000 freshwater springs within the borders of Kumamoto Prefecture. Akazake (meaning “red sake”) is a kind of alcohol unique to Kumamoto, a region with both hot summers and cold winters. For hundreds of years, Akazake was the only alcohol allowed in Kumamoto and sake could neither be produced here nor brought in from outside.
Great changes in Japanese society in the second half of the 19th century, like the Meiji Restoration and the Satsuma Rebellion, led to the legalization of alcohols other than Akazake, and brewers in Kumamoto began experimenting with sake. In 1903, a man named Nojiro Kinichi was assigned to work in the Kumamoto Tax Office. Nojiro would go on to be called the “God of Sake” through his work in instructing the breweries throughout the prefecture on brewing techniques and offering advice on improving the quality of sake. He also helped the breweries work even more closely together, leading to the start of the Kumamoto Prefecture Sake Institute in 1909 and its incorporation in 1918 by the breweries of Kumamoto.
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