A Voice from Toji(Master Brewer), Shiragiku Shuzo


History & Tradition

Founded in the year Meiji 19 (1886), the brewery celebrates its 130th year this year (2017).

About Bitchu Brewmasters

Most of the breweries in Okayama Prefecture are under the leadership of Bitchu brewmasters1. The sake made by the Bitchu brewmasters is made using methods knows as Bitchu-style2 brewing.

  • 1 Bitchu brewmasters: group of skilled sake makers in the Bitchu region
  • 2 Bitchu style: a style of sake making used by the Bitchu brewmasters

About Omachi Rice

Because Omachi Rice is used in sake production in Okayama Prefecture, sake with a soft, spreading ‘umami’ flavour can be produced.

Characteristics of Okayama Sake

As a feature of sake made in Okayama Prefecture, it has been said since long ago that this sake is slightly sweet with an ‘umami’ flavour. A variety of food items including fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, agricultural products, and fruit are produced in the area. In order to pair with local food items, the local people have come to like sake with a little flavour. I want to produce a deeply flavoured sake that integrates well with the meal.

About the Sake Breweries in Okayama Prefecture

As for breweries in Okayama Prefecture, there is much good quality rice such as Omachi rice and other varieties, and there is a group of highly skilled brewmasters known as Bitchu brewmasters. As for water used in sake brewing, there are three main rivers3 that provide water. Okayama Prefecture has all of the perfect conditions for making sake, and one of our goals is to be a brewery that puts Okayama Prefecture up front.

  • 3 Three main rivers: the three large rivers flowing through Okayama Prefecture (Yoshii River, Asahi River, Takahashi River)

Traditional Sake Brewing

We tried Kimoto-zukuri4, which is an old-fashioned production method. As this was the first time for us to try this, I was worried about what kind of sake would be made; trying it, a unique acid was produced, and it had ‘umami’ flavor, and I thought it was interesting. Each year, we have a different quality of sake, and I find this interesting.

  • 4 Kimoto-zukuri : a sake production method from the old days

Points for Consumers to Enjoy when Drinking Sake

The best point about sake is that it has synergy. When paired with food, the sake actually tastes more delicious. The wonderful synergy of drinking delicious sake, which makes one want to also eat delicious food, can be enjoyed. It’s best, I think, to make your own sake and food pairings and situations when drinking sake.

What Kind of Work is Sake Brewing?

The work of sake brewing is a kind of culture that is peculiar to Japan, which has been continued for hundreds of years, nearly a thousand years in history. Sake brewing is continued generation to generation, and must be relayed to succeeding generations; one of tasks of the brewery owner is to meet the goal of relaying the traditions of sake brewing to future generations. I think this this is a proposition for brewery owners.

Shiragiku Shuzo

Brewer Detail

< Fuminobu Itano

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