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Japanese Sake Series: Gassan Sake Brewery

Gassan’s sake

The cold weather of Mt Gassan may seem extreme to some, but Gassan brewery have learned how to use it to enhance the taste of their Japanese sake.

Gassan Sake Brewery was founded in 1972 in their current location, Yamagata prefecture.  More specifically, the brewery is located at the foot of Mt. Gassan, a beautiful sacred mountain surrounded by nature. The company slogan is: "The sake brewery with snow, greenery, and famous water". Its flagship brand is ‘Ginrei Gassan’.

Gassan Brewery’s essential ingredients

Area surrounding Gassan


Gassan, the main peak of Mt. Dewa, is one of the areas in the prefecture with the heaviest snowfall. With snow that appears even in the middle of summer, winter sees everything become buried in snow that reaches up to the roofs of houses. This dignified and severe cold that covers the sake brewery enhances the aroma of its sake, bringing out a clear yet deep taste.


With the vast virgin beech forest in the background, you can see pretty alpine plants up close at Gassan. Rich rice fields spread out at the foot of the mountain. The brewers also work on rice cultivation, and the highly refined sake rice that is grown here is the origin of their beautiful sake.

Famous water

Gassan's icecap meltwater is the "famous water" that travels underground and springs up at the foot of the mountain after about 400 years. "Gassan's underground water", one of the 100 best waters in Japan, is used to brew their sake.

Gassan brewery

The brewery uses the afore-mentioned high quality rice and clean water to brew "Ginrei Gassan". In this dignified and harsh cold where the winter snows cover the sake brewery, the brewers focus their minds and bodies to perfect sake brewing.

By adding new technology to traditional hands-on techniques, they aim to deliver delicious sake that everyone can enjoy.


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