”Sake” made in Kumamoto prefecture

We visited KUMAMOTOKEN SHUZOKENKYUSHO (sake brewing laboratory). Kyushu has a strong image of ”shochu” (a distilled spirit). However, ”sake” made with the clear waters from Mount Aso is delicious as well. As the name suggests, KUMAMOTOKEN SHUZOKENKYUSHO is a ”sake” brewery that researches Japanese ”sake” as well as ”sake” brewing. Kumamoto yeast developed in this laboratory by Kinichi Nojiro who is known as the ”god of sake” is now used in ”sake” breweries across the country, and is indispensable in ”sake” brewing. It is not an overstatement to say that the development of Kumamoto yeast has greatly contributed to the boom of high grade ”sake” across the country.

Using originality and ingenuity to protect the traditional taste

We tasted seven types of ”sake” including the ”daiginjo” and ”junmaiginjo” variations of ”Kouro”, all of which are brewed at KUMAMOTOKEN SHUZOKENKYUSHO. Kouro was awarded a gold prize by ”Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai”, and ranked top in a variety of competitions in the country. Yamadanishiki and Shinriki rice are used for ”sake” brewing at KUMAMOTOKEN SHUZOKENKYUSHO. In addition to the development of yeast, a lot of innovation was applied in the manufacturing to improve quality. For example, ”Nojiro-type top light” (ventilation system for the ”koji” room), ”Niju-oke shikomi” (using two barrels for preparation), and ”Fukurotsuri Joso” (squeezing by hanging a bag). People do not tire of drinking ”Kouro”. It features a consistently rich flavor and fresh taste. In particular, ”daiginjo” has a gorgeous scent and mild taste.

Popularizing ”sake” around the world

With ”sake”, the sensation of how the flavor of rice fills the mouth is very important. But the balance of how it goes down the throat, and the sharpness after it is swallowed are also just as important. The taste differs by the temperature of the ”sake” as well.
For wine, a sommelier can give advice. However, for ”sake”, there are few such opportunities. The techniques involved in ”sake” brewing are wonderful, however, for it to become more popular around the world, it may be important for the information to be organized so that it can be communicated effectively.


1-7-20 Shimazaki, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto