The history of Akashi Sake Brewery stretches back to the end of the Tokugawa Period (1600-1867), when the company produced soy sauce and traded in rice. The company incorporated in 1918, after which it made the most of a geographic location ideal for making fine sake. Over the years, Akashi Sake Brewery has expanded and modernized its sake-brewing activities, and now produces and sells a wide variety of hand-crafted sakes.
In brewing its select sakes, Akashi Sake Brewery uses only the finest ingredients, which are all produced locally. For example, the company uses the yamada-nishiki variety of rice — a superior strain — grown in the region just north of Akashi City.
The city of Akashi has grown since its humble beginnings as a fishing village. The city is renowned throughout Japan for the delicious fish caught in the fast-moving straits just offshore. In particular, Akashi tai, or sea bream, is esteemed nationwide as the best in Japan. It is this much-lauded fish from which Akashi Sake Brewery’s premium sake takes its name and logo from.
Traditions must be maintained, however, modern innovations have been embraced. At Akashi Sake Brewery we are constantly exploring new ideas and innovative flavours for sake and liqueurs. One such revolution, was Genmai Aged Sake. Japan’s first ever brown rice sake was brewed in 2002 and rolled off the bottling line in 2005. It is a truly novel concept using unpolished (brown) rice for the first time and unlike other styles is aged for several years before being introduced to the market.
The Yonezawa family commenced sake production in 1886 in Akashi,
one of the major fishing towns in western Japan. The region is famous for its quality seafood especially sea breams (tai in Japanese) and octopuses.
The fertile soil is ideal for rice growing and plenty of clean fresh springs supply the region with water. These conditions mean it has become as famous for sake as it is for seafood.
Akashi Sake Brewery had always been a small artisanal brewery producing sake for the local populace using only the finest local ingredients. It was only when the current president, Kimio Yonezawa, took over the reins that Akashi-Tai became a quality kura with a difference.
Yonezawa is obsessed with retaining as much of the character of the high quality rice Akashi-Tai use as possible.
He also puts great emphasis on sensory analysis controlling the quality and consistency of his sake rather than using hi-tech wizardry.
However, modern innovations have been embraced as well and temperature controlled fermentation has been introduced in recent years. The real revolution, however, was Genmai Aged Sake. Japan’s first ever brown rice sake was brewed in 2002 and rolled off the bottling line in 2005. It is a truly novel concept using unpolished (brown) rice for the first time and unlike all other styles is aged for several years before being introduced to the market.
This innovative approach to sake brewing is revolutionary.
To read more on the Akashi Sake Brewerythe enigmatic Mr Yonezawa.