Brewers Invade Sakaya!

tentaka.jpgApril has seen an influx of very interesting sake brewers visiting Sakaya. This is always really exciting! The brewers are my Superstars – they are as close to the brewing process as you can get and they make the magic happen. Here are some highlights.

Mr. Munenorei Ozaki is President of Tentaka Shuzo Co. Ltd in Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. Ozaki-san was at Sakaya presenting two of his signature sakes. First, Tentaka Kuni “Hawk in the Heavens” Junmai. This sake is rich and on the dry side with hints of earthiness and fullness of flavor that I imagine would pair well with lots of types of food. Ozaki-san also presented the delicious “Silent Stream” Junmai Daiginjo. Wow, this stuff is good. it made me think that there was a magical sake stream of Junmai Daiginjo somewhere in Tochigi prefecture and Tentaka and discovered it and bottled it! This brew is expensive but I think worth every penny. It’s luscious, smooth and dreamy.

Imada_san.jpgAnother brewer to visit Sakaya was Ms. Miho Imada of Imada Sake Brewery Co. Ltd. Ms. Imada is well known as one of the few female Master Brewers or Toji in Japan. Meeting Imada-san again was a big thrill for me. I have a great respect for her and her obvious dedication to making fantastic sake. She was presenting her signature sake Fukucho Biho “Moon On the Water” Junmai Ginjo. This sake really stayed with me and offered a long finish with just some mild hints of fruit. I really enjoyed this sake. Easy drinking and very easy to enjoy.

sudo_san.jpgNext, it was an honor to meet Mr. Yoshiyasu Sudo, President of the famous Sudo Honke Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture. Why so famous? Sudo Honke is recognized as the oldest brewery in Japan! Sudo-san is the 55th generation of his family to be making sake at this brewery… I feel this is kind of staggering as I can only trace my family back 3 generations at most. From my point of view, keeping a sake brewery going for that long in one family is an accomplishment to be proud of. Not surprisingly, Sado-san was pouring a wonderful brew called Sato no Homare “Pride of the Village” Junmai Ginjo. I found this sake to be aromatic and quite the classic example of a fantastically well-crafted Junmai Ginjo. The pictures I saw of Sudo Honke brewery were gorgeous and it makes perfect sense to me that such a beautiful place would inspire such a beautiful sake. 55 generations in the family business don’t hurt either.

Sakaya is just abuzz with activity these days! A great chance to try sake and meet brewers and importers and all kinds of sake people. I really enjoyed meeting all the brewers in town in town this month and I am really looking forward to what next month has to offer. same sake time, same sake channel!