Gourmet Sake Born from a Gourmet Town (Monday, December 1st, 2014)
Kasumi Tsuru Co., Ltd.
Located in a town called Kasumi in the northern part of Hyogo prefecture, Kasumi Tsuru brewery was established in 1725. While smaller breweries like them in the neighborhood sold sake made from larger breweries to maintain a steady cash flow, Kasumi Tsuru insisted on selling their own brew to establish themselves as a brand, even from its early existence, no matter what it took.
Their belief was never to do the same things as others, and that people will always follow quality. This stance has never changed through the nine generations of ownership, which allowed the brewery to become one of the most reputable microbreweries in Japan, and the town of Kasumi, famous for their gourmet produce such as matsuba crab and Tajima beef, (origin of kobe beef and all wagyu), as well as being a hot spring mecca with over 200 hot spring inns.
Today, Kasumi Tsuru brewery is one of the most unique breweries throughout Japan in that they specialize in the kimoto and yamahai styles, which are old fashioned methods of brewing sake, creating sake yeast 100% naturally by hand, a process that takes more than twice as long and is twice as hard to do as modern methods, yet they are able to make it available for an affordable price. This old fashioned method allows the sake to obtain a deeper flavor, full body, roundness, a refreshing quality, and mildness one can never get bored with, meant as an everyday companion. The old fashioned method also allows the sake to be enjoyed at a wide temperature range from chilled to hot due to the richness in umami.
What is available in the U.S. today is, Kasumi Tsuru’s Kimoto Extra Dry, which has won first place in the International Sake Challenge’s Yamahai and Kimoto Division. It is a honjozo that can be enjoyed either chilled, which enhances its ricness, or hot, which makes the sake lighter and refreshing. With a gentle aroma, and a solid flavor, it is slightly high in alcohol content (16%), and is made to pair well with various foods, especially the richer Western foods.
Kasumi Tsuru Co., Ltd.
3 things you should know about Kasumi Tsuru Co., Ltd.
It is an exclusively yamahai and kimoto style brewery. The old fashioned methods allow the sake yeast to develop naturally, and is in sync with the brewery’s policy to use all local and natural ingredients including sake rice such as Gohyakumangoku and Kitanishiki that come from contracted farmers.
The high umami content of Kasumi Tsuru’s all natural sake is delicious when consumed and it may even benefit one’s skin care routine. Kasumi Tsuru makes a soap containing its sake that is sold throughout the local hot springs. Consumers there believe that it is the sake in the soap which enhances the skin’s complexion by increasing the flow of oxygen and circulation without the use of any chemicals.
The high umami content of Kasumi Tsuru sake is made not only to go with their local gourmet foods like matsuba crab sashimi and various forms of Tajima beef, but also with Western foods. The high umami content makes the sake that much more versatile to pair with any food and will always enhance whatever one is pairing with the sake.