Japanese Sake Series: Shata Sake Brewery
Shata Shuzo brewery in winter
Shata Shuzo sake brewery,based in Hakusan city, is famous for the brand ‘Tengumai’. This article covers its history and brewing methods.
About Shata sake brewery
Shata Shuzo was founded in 1823 in Hakusan city, Ishikawa prefecture and their flagship brand is ‘Tengumai’.
The majority of the sake at Shata Shuzo is brewed using the “Yamahai Method” (which involves using a traditional yeast starter). In the 1960s, the seventh generation brewery owner, Toshiro Shata, and the master brewer, Saburo Naka, resurrected Tengumai’s original Yamahai (yeast starter) production method. This tradition has been passed on and careful modifications have been made over the years.
At Shata Shuzo, they aim to brew rich, bold and high quality sake by specialising in the Yamahai method. They pursue the ideal of “making delicious sake that is crafted by skilled brewers, and of passing on the heritage of true sake brewing traditions”.
The master brewer imparts skills to the apprentice brewers. However, the apprentice brewers are also encouraged to create new traditions by closely observing the master brewer’s nuances and decisions.
Sake brewing is complex and it takes several years for brewers to learn the basics. It takes years before they begin to understand the true nature of sake brewing.
Shata Shuzo’s sake is brewed through the partnership of skilled brewers and nature. Tengumai sake is brewed with spring water, from the sacred Mount Haku, and rice from the Kaga plains.
Always remembering the blessings of nature, they want to continue brewing sake by passing on the craft from our ancestors to the next generation.
Shata Shuzo brewer
Shata Shuzo’s company policies are as follows:
- We aim to brew delicious sake and to carry on the hand crafted traditional culture of the Noto-toji Master Brewers Guild. (Note: Noto is one of the four largest brewing guilds in Japan)
- We aim to provide the world with sake that truly expresses the essence of Japanese culture, which includes Japanese food.
- We aim to brew sake in a way that brings pride and joy to our local community.
- We highly value our customers and business partners.
- We collaborate with farmers that provide us with sake rice for the production of high quality sake.
- We treasure the blessings of the spring water from sacred Mount Haku and pass on these blessings to the next generation.
- We aim to create a working environment that can provide happiness to our employees and their families, and that will encourage our employees to embody the spirit of truly handcrafted sake.
- We aim to continue to brew sake close to sacred Mount Haku.