Established Flavor from Centuries Old Brewery (Saturday, September 1st, 2012)
Kamotsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.
Right after Japan entered the modern era of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the long-standing sake brewery in Hiroshima Prefecture also set for their modernization and the new phase of their sake brewing history. In 1873, Wahei Kimura named their sake “Kamotsuru” and in 1898 the brewery introduced the first rice-milling machine in Japan. Since then, they’ve kept brewing sake with the spirit, “Quality First” and catered high quality and safe products to customers.
The home of Kamotsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd., Saijo-cho in Higashi Hiroshima City has optimal settings to brew good sake; clean and pure air, rich subsoil water and the climate cool in summer and cold in winter. Also their surrounding area is well known for its quality rice production. The brewery mostly uses the sake rice harvested in Chugoku Mountains at a high altitude (300-400 meters above sea level) in the northern part of Hiroshima Prefecture, where it conveniently has good soil for growing rice and optimal weather conditions for storing seeds. All of these factors lead to the brewery’s longevity and the quality of their sake that’s been loved for centuries.
Kamotsuru has greatly contributed to establishing the Hiroshima Style brewing method, one of the most esteemed brewing styles in Japan. The origin of the style dates back to 1898 when Senzaburo Miura of the brewery established the inventive brewing method by using soft water and fermenting the rice slowly at a low temperature over time. Brewing sake with soft water is considered extremely difficult and requires a lot of technique, but once it’s nicely done, the result you get is a superb, refined and round flavor of sake. In the brewery, this method is passed down from veteran brewers to younger brewers.
The U.S. sake fans can enjoy a variety of Kamotsuru lines, including Gold Kamotsuru, a long selling daiginjo class sake since 1958, Sokaku Kamotsuru, a graceful and fruity daiginjo, and Namakakoi Junmai. The brewery plans to expand their overseas business, so hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy more of their sake coming to the States in the near future.
Kamotsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.
4-31 Saijo-honmachi, Higashi-hiroshima City,
Hiroshima 739-0011 JAPAN
3 things you should know about Kamotsuru Sake Brewing
Kamotsuru is a pioneer of daiginjo sake brewing. Even from the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Kamotsuru made higher milling rate sake, as high as 60%, and in 1958 they introduced the daiginjo class sake for the first time to the industry. The daiginjo sake, Gold Kamotsuru, instantly got attention at the time and it’s still one of the signature sake of the brewery.
Kamotsuru’s sake cellars, built in the early 20th century, are known for their patterned walls with beautiful white plaster. They are still in use . The towering red brick chimneys from the cellars are not used anymore, but today, these constructions establish an important part of the local landscape.
Kamotsuru has inherited the Hiroshima style brewing method from generation to generation. Currently in Kamotsuru, there are three young brewmasters, two are in their 30s and one in his 40s, who have developed their skill with senior brewmasters. They are highly acclaimed and have helped Kamotsuru receive numerous awards in the local, national and international appraisal contests.