Since its inception in 1804, the Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation has embodied a simple yet powerful motto: "If we make good sake, people will support it". This philosophy has guided the company in its centuries-long journey, positioning it as a leading name in the world of Japanese sake. Today, we take you through the incredible story of this esteemed brewery, unravelling its history, uniqueness, philosophy, and brewing techniques.
Rich History Rooted in the Heart of Fukui Prefecture
Nestled in the mountains of Fukui, amidst the snowy peaks and the Sea of Japan, lies the Kokuryu Sake Brewery. The region's ancient lands and brewing traditions make it an ideal setting for creating exceptional sake. Despite the challenges faced by many regional sake breweries, Kokuryu stands as one of the few survivors, a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality and tradition.
The Essence of Kokuryu: High-Quality Ingredients and Brewing Techniques
The essence of Kokuryu's sake lies in the pure, mellow flavours derived from its high-quality ingredients and meticulous brewing processes. It all starts with water sourced from the Hakusan mountains, filtered naturally through rocky layers and becoming the subterranean flow of the Kuzuryu, or the River of the Nine-Headed Dragon.
In addition to water, the selection and polishing of high-grade sake rice is crucial to Kokuryu's brewing practice. The brewery uses the prized Yamadanishiki from Hyogo prefecture's Tojo region and Fukui's own Gohyakumangoku rice, both of which contribute to the exceptional quality of Kokuryu's sake.
A Philosophy Rooted in Balance and Elegance
In line with Fukui's culinary tradition of letting the flavour of ingredients shine, Kokuryu's sakes are designed to accentuate the flavours of food without overpowering them. This has led to a unique focus on balance and delicacy, a philosophy inspired by the methods of wine maturation found in France. The brewery's chairman, Masato Mizuno, sought this inspiration and applied it to sake, resulting in premium sakes rich in elegant flavour and a silky feel.
State-of-the-Art Bottling Techniques
While Kokuryu retains its traditional methods for brewing sake, it has embraced state-of-the-art bottling techniques. Since 2008, the brewery's bottling plant has featured cutting-edge automated bottling lines. Ensuring the safety and quality of their products is paramount at Kokuryu, and these advanced techniques allow for the secure production of their delicious sake.
The Pride of Kokuryu: The Ryu Daiginjo Sake
Among Kokuryu's exceptional offerings, the Ryu Daiginjo stands out. This sake was the first to incorporate French wine maturation techniques into its brewing process, marking a breakthrough in the world of sake. Well-rounded, gently aromatic, and surprisingly incisive, the Ryu Daiginjo is a testament to Kokuryu's commitment to innovation and quality.
The Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation, under the leadership of President Naoto Mizuno and Master Brewer Hiroshi Hatayama, continues to uphold its mission: sustaining a fulfilling lifestyle and culture in harmony with people and nature. Join us on this journey through time and tradition, and discover the unique flavours and stories of Kokuryu sake.