Introduction of Sekiya Sake Brewery
Sekiya Brewery was founded in 1864, and is located in Aichi prefecture. Sekiya’s business philosophy is summed up in the word ‘Wajoryoshu’, meaning ‘beautiful sake created by the harmony of people’.
The goal of our company is to brew high quality sake and being flexible in the exploration of the potential of sake. Our brewery is actively implementing machines and does not have the atmosphere of a traditional brewery. In order to preserve traditional brewing techniques in the future, we’ve been proactively mechanizing the labour intensive parts, while keeping a careful eye on the parts that are dependent on work by hand. The machines are tools expertly used by the brewers, gathering precise data that is used to continually improve the following batches. For our products, we continue to search for the best methods of delivery and sales so we can completely manage the product quality up until it reaches the hands of our customers.
We aim to reach the goal of "Wajoryoshu" - beautiful sake created by the harmony of people - , and put effort into cultivating the future of Japanese sake.
Sekiya Brewery’s essentials
The brewing process
At Sekiya Brewery, we consider three things necessary for “sake brewing”; first is to “carefully create the blueprint”, the second is “to perform the process carefully and precisely”, and the third is “the teamwork among the brewers”.
You may think of industrial products when you hear the word “blueprint”. However, we need blueprints for sake brewing too. We start thinking things like “what kind of customer is going to drink this in what situation?” and “what kind of flavor should it have?” Then we have to decide how much rice to polish, select the yeast and Koji, and think about the fermentation process and maturity process in order to express the flavor or the concept. That whole plan is the blueprint of sake brewing.
If we prepare sake without a good blueprint, the sake is merely ‘done’. We think that sake is something to be “created” instead of merely “being done”.
It is needless to explain the second one. Sake brewing starts with rice polishing, and there are many processes. If there are any mistakes or moments of inattentiveness in one of the processes, there will be “deductions” every time. If the possible 100 points that the rice has is deducted by 5 and 10 every time there is a mistake in a process, there may be nothing left in the end. In order to prevent that, we try our best to perform carefully and precisely. However, it is extremely difficult to pay close attention to all of the processes.
We must perform the ingredient processing extremely carefully, from polishing rice to steaming, and we also have to pay close attention to the temperature management during the processes dealing with Koji, Shubo, and Moromi, as well as the filtering and blending before bottling. In order to pay close attention to those processes, we implemented machine processing and computer management to keep track of temperatures.
Also, another advantage of mechanization is that the machines do not work differently depending on the type of sake, whether it is Junmai Daiginjo or Honjozo. If the brewers are measuring the temperature by hand, they cannot perform the perfect temperature management throughout the half year of sake brewing for every Koji, Shubo and Moromi. In order to concentrate on the Daiginjo, it is necessary to do less for the Honjozo. Also, since they are people, they have to sleep and may sometimes not feel well. Although it is natural, the external conditions such as temperature and moisture likely won’t be consistent. In order not to let those factors affect the sake brewing, mechanization is essential.
The third factor, teamwork, is also important. As seen in our company motto, there is a word in sake brewing called “Wajoryoshu” It means that harmony will brew good sake, or good teamwork of the brewers will brew good sake. As you know, sake brewing is a division of labor. Sake is made by many different brewers, such as the brewers in charge of ingredient processing, the brewers in charge of Koji, the brewers in charge of Shubo, the brewers in charge of Moromi and so on. If they all do their jobs completely separately, the flavor of the sake will be disjointed. We believe that we can make wonderful sake that can truly impress people only by sharing the blueprint of sake, the expert processing of the rice, and the various fermentation processes among all brewers.
In order to improve teamwork, it is necessary for each brewer to improve their skills. For that purpose, we built Ginjo Workshop in Toyota city (old Inabucho) to pass down the sake brewer’s skills to the younger brewers. If we do not do that, we cannot improve the team skills or pass down the sake brewing skills to the future generations.
Sekiya also has their own sake bar, ‘Marutani’, in Nagoya
There is another meaning for “Wajoryoshu”. It means “good sake will cultivate harmony”, or it creates harmony when you get together with your friends and drink good sake. What we consider good sake is sake that has a good and sweet flavor of rice and also has a softness and great harmony of scent. We hope that we can keep brewing sake like that.
We also aim to brew sake that only Sekiya Brewery can brew…!