A Voice from Toji(Master Brewer), Miyashita Sake Brewery


History & Tradition

As of this year (2017) it is the 102nd year since our establishment.

Methods / Characteristics / Specialties in Manufacturing

Sake brewing cannot be carried out alone. By having everyone work in different places (in the brewery), we are able to produce one sake product, and we are very careful about communication with everyone during the brewing process. There are many short-tempered people among the Bitchu1 brewmasters. At any rate the brewing term is short, and there is an atmosphere of vigorous momentum to get the job done. I’ve heard previously that it’s a Bitchu characteristic to build up great momentum to brew during the short term, and I wonder if my temperament is such as well.

  • 1 Bitchu: name of a region

About the Work of a Brewmaster

The concept we start with is to brew a deliciously flavoured sake with a nice fragrance, and these are the characteristics of our sake. Each type of sake that we make is made based on that concept of quality sake. It is my job as the brewmaster to direct each member of the team so that the result is a sake that is extremely well-balanced in fragrance and flavour.

About Omachi Rice

Omachi rice is the “parent” of the Yamada-nishiki2 strain of rice, and is an ancestral species of rice3. It’s characteristic of sake brewing that there are many benefits to using rice suitable for sake brewing4, but the rice is a little soft, and the time that the rice is put into water is severely regulated. However, when making sake, the softness of Omachi rice in turn brings out flavor and has a richness lacking in Yamada-nishiki, and Omachi rice has an “umami” flavour.

  • 2 Yamada-nishiki: the name of a rice used mostly for sake brewing, and is said to be the representative sake of sake suitable for sake brewing.
  • 3 ancestral species of rice: varieties of rice cultivated from ancient times
  • 4 rice suitable for sake brewing: rice that is deemed suitable for brewing Japanese sake

What We Should Enjoy When Drinking Sake

As a generality when drinking sake, you should not drink it right away, but rather breathe in the fragrance of the sake; after enjoying the fragrance, take another breathe and take some sake into your mouth, and I think you can understand the depth of the sake even more.

What Kind of Work is Sake Brewing?

Brewing sake involves handling living organisms, and as such it’s impossible to produce the same product every year. Because it’s not the same every year, sake brewing is extremely deep. Because the sake is different every year, we return to having a beginner’s heart when we start making sake for the year; we face that year’s rice and yeast, and make sake for that year using appropriate methods. Returning every year to being a beginner is the most difficult thing, but it also has fun elements.

Miyashita Sake Brewery

Brewer Detail

< To Kikuchi

John Thomas Wells >