NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Visiting the old and creating the new ”Nambu Shuzojo”

Visiting the old and creating the new
”Nambu Shuzojo”

Growing brewer’s rice to brew ”Hanagaki”

Nambu Shuzojo was established in the Edo period as a hardware store named Chanokiya. The store was located along Shichiken-dori, a street that bustled with ”sake”, soy sauce and ”miso” brewers.

Chanokiya was a major store which had the patronage of the Ono clan. During the Meiji period, Chanokiya started brewing ”sake” with support from a relative who was also a brewer. Technically, this should be considered to be the start of Nambu Shuzojo. ”Hanagaki”, a major label of the company originated around this time. It has a mellow taste and is smooth on the palate. After passing through the throat, it leaves an impressive aftertaste.

Since then, the brewery has maintained the unchanging flavor for more than 100 years, while also taking on new challenges. The brewery is currently trying to revive and grow Kameno-o, a variety of rice that is not generally produced, and to use the rice to brew ”sake”. Kameno-o is also the name of the brewer’s rice which was mentioned in the ”manga” ”Natsuko-no-Sake”, enhancing awareness of the rice. When planting and harvesting rice, the brewery collaborates with likeminded people in an initiative titled Hanagaki Osake-no Gakko (School of Sake). The rice requires extra time to mature, but takes on an enhanced flavor.

Taking responsibility for food and health

The brewery also is proactively involved in reviving ”kijoshu” which uses ”sake” instead of ”koshu” (old liquor), plum wine or mother water. This is an example of how they merge the old and the new. By reviewing tradition, the brewery strives to create new flavors.
In 2003, based on its stance of taking responsibility as a producer for food and health, Nambu Shuzojo obtained a certification for providing alcoholic beverages based on organic farm products. There is the challenge of organic products having a somewhat unrefined image, especially in terms of flavor.
Despite this, Nambu Shuzojo exercises ingenuity in their continued pursuit of great ”sake”. The proactive stance may be the reason they are able to continuously attract new fans for ”Hanagaki”.


Nambu Shuzojo Limited
6-10 Motomachi, Oono-shi, Fukui