Pioneer of Yamahai Sake in Aizu Region (Friday, March 1st, 2013)
Suehiro Sake Co., Ltd.
The year-long filming of the epic drama series, “Yae no Sakura” has made Aizu one of the hottest regions in Japan in 2013. Based on a true story, it depicts the stormy life of a woman during the time when Japan transformed its social system drastically from the feudal samurai system to modern society, and Suehiro Sake Co., Ltd. was founded during the same period in the same area portrayed in the drama series.
Reflecting the spirit of riding on the tide of ages, Suehiro Sake has skillfully incorporated innovative technology into handed down traditions. The brewery has two brewing factories with different functions: Kaei-gura, a factory that has been used for over 150 years for traditional style brewing, is filled with the passion of its brew master and brewing staff, and in their Hakase-gura, is a new factory equipped with the most advanced equipment. Also, from the beginning of the establishment until now, the brewery has continued to produce “umai sake” (hearty, flavorful sake) and authentic Aizu jizake (local craft sake) by using regional water and rice as well as local people. The environment in the Aizu basin brings ideal water and rice to brew Suehiro’s sharp, crisp sake.
Suehiro Sake has been enthusiastic in trying something new in order to improve their sake. Actually Suehiro is the brewery that developed and perfected the yamahai technique in the 1910’s and is one of the first breweries that started collaborating with contract rice farmers.
Currently, 5 sakes from Suehiro Sake are available in the U.S. Ken is a daiginjo sake boasting a gorgeous aroma of melons, pears and peaches with a crisp finish. Suehiro Densho Yamahai maximizes the flavor coming from the yamahai style brewing method and has a complex aroma of hay and smoke. Kira, honjozo type sake, is very dry and recommended to those who love sharp and refreshing tastes. Rin is brewed from 100% organic rice and has a soft aroma and delicate flavor. Finally, with low alcohol and a refreshing bubbly texture, Poochi Poochi Sparkling Sake is perfect as an aperitif and dessert sake, which can satisfy both long time sake lovers and beginners.
Suehiro Sake Co., Ltd.
12-38 Nisshin-machi, Aizu Wakamatsu-Shi,
Fukushima, JAPAN 965-0861
3 things you should know about Suehiro Sake Co., Ltd.
Rice: The brewery highly regards the quality of rice that affects the taste and aroma of their sake. They currently have about 100 contract rice farmers that provide optimal sake rice. The brewery’s staff members also participate in rice growing from time to time and cooperate with farmers. They are also passionate about growing organic rice.
Water: Thanks to the local climate in Aizu, Suehiro Sake has an abundance of natural water that is perfect for sake brewing. The water used in Kaei-gura is refined and uses soft water from Seaburi Mountain while the one used in Hakase-gura is from the undercurrent gushing from the foot of Hakase Mountain, largely contributing to Suehiro’s “umai sake”.
Aizu Toji Brewmaster: Brewing sake in Fukushima Prefecture, including Aizu region, had long been a cottage industry, but the 3rd generation president of Suehiro Sake in Meiji Period enthusiastically invited brewmasters from other regions and brewing staff members there learned techniques. They gradually established their own Aizu style brewing method.