Sake Enjoyed with Friends (Friday, July 1st, 2011)
Aiyu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.
For over 200 years Aiyu Sake Brewery has been deeply rooted in Ibaraki Prefecture’s Itako-shi, located north of Tokyo. Today Itako-shi is a quiet riverside town facing the Hitachi Tonegawa River, but during the Edo period (1603-1868) it flourished as a post station for waterway transportation joining Japan’s Northeast region to Edo. The town is quite cultured and retains an historical atmosphere that connects past and present.
The spirit of brewing Aiyu sake remains unchanged since it was established in 1804. As the Chinese character “Aiyu (love and friendship)” displays, the brewery keeps producing sake under the spirit of “To love friends, care about each other, and establish profound relationships.”
Supported and nurtured by the people of Itako-machi, Aiyu Sake Brewery has literally grown hand in hand with the local community. They take full advantage of the local pure spring water from Oou Shrine, which is one of the seven divine springs of Oou. The water contains the perfect mix of minerals for sake brewing, allowing the brewery to produce quality sake with universal appeal.
Four kinds of Aiyu’s sake are available in the U.S.: Tomoju, Tomoshichi, Aiyu Ume and the seasonal Aiyu Shiboritate. Tomoju is a junmai ginjo class sake, which boasts a fruity aroma with a touch of acidity and body. It goes very well with light dishes like sashimi and simmered fish. Tomoshichi is a junmai-class, nigori sake. Unlike other nigori sakes available in the U.S. which tend to be sweet, it is dry and refreshing. It creates an amazing match with sweet, rich and even oily dishes. The sake base ume-shu (plum wine), Aiyu Ume is uniquely refreshing, thanks to its natural tartness from the plum. Its acidity is five to six times higher than other regular plum wine, and the freshness will definitely blow your mind. You might not find Aiyu Shiboritate all year round because it is a seasonal sake. This slightly cloudy, unfiltered sake feels sweet and silky on your tongue, and it complements rich flavored dishes. All these sakes from Aiyu Sake Brewery are meant to be enjoyed with your friends and loved ones.
Aiyu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.
Three things you should know about Aiyu Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.
2. At Aiyu Sake Brewery, five brewing staff members work under the supervision of Nanbu Toji (Nanbu style brewmaster) Shoichi Abe. Though their numbers are small, they work together really well and their harmonized teamwork is reflected in the flavor of Aiyu Sake.
3. The nature around Aiyu Sake Brewery is friendly to sake brewing. The brewery uses local water and ingredients which are traceable, fresh, and quality controlled. They have literally lived and developed together with the community.