Japanese Sake Series: Asama Sake Brewery
Asama Brewery sake barrels
Japanese sake brewery Asama Shuzo has strong ties to Gunma prefecture and is committed to bringing out the best of the region’s sake and other products.
Asama Brewery Co., Ltd. was founded in the Kansei era (1789 -1801), after the eruption of Mt. Asama in the 3rd year of Tenmei.
It is a brewery in the western area of Gunma prefecture, located in a region where cold air blows over from the Sea of Japan.
In addition to the brewery, the company created a sightseeing drive-in called "Asama Brewing Tourism Centre", located in Naganohara Town; the gateway to the famous hot spring Kusatsu Onsen. It has multiple functions: a shop for local liquor and homemade confectionery, a restaurant, and Gunma travel station.
The brewery’s background and essential ingredients
A brewery that uses the uniqueness of the land
Asama Brewery is located in the lush green Naganohara town, 80% of which is surrounded by mountains.
At an altitude of about 600 meters, they are pursuing the one and only sake that can be brewed in this area. It is made by taking advantage of the soft water flowing from the mountains and the dry environment that brings out the flavor of ‘koji’ (a sake starter).
Asama’s sake rice
Just as wine makers grow their grapes, they also wanted to cultivate "true local sake" from local rice.
With that in mind, Asama Brewery started cultivating sake rice in 2011. Kairyo Shinko is the sake rice that was ultimately selected from a variety of strains. The 5th generation owner fell in love with the appearance of these rice fields, now familiar to the land of Naganohara.
Each year, more are planted in order to deliver the "true local sake" of Asama Brewery to everyone.
Liquor that goes well with the best vegetables in Japan
Asama brewery sake
Asama Brewery’s base of operations, Gunma Prefecture, is one of the few inland prefectures in the island country of Japan.
Instead of produce from the sea, there are many delicious vegetables such as summer vegetables and autumn mushrooms. Boiled, roasted, steamed, pickled ... Vegetables that can be arranged in any way with various cooking methods and all seasonings are the staple foods of the region. As a Gunma brewery, Asama’s product concept is "Liquor that goes well with the best vegetables in Japan".
They are aiming for a liquor that compliments everyday meals and will leave a positive and lasting impression; something that you will never get tired of drinking.
*In August 2020 , Asama Brewery's sake acquired vegan certification.
(Domestic = NPO corporation Veggie Project Japan, overseas = The Vegan Society)
From start to finish
Even after production, the company’s brewers believe that delicious liquor can only be made if the people involved in brewing also take responsibility for storage and shipping management. Asama Brewery's commitment is to consistently carry out every step of the supply process, from rice production and preparation, to storage, shipping management, and delivery to customers.
The history of sake brewing that has been passed down from generation to generation, the vegetables that are the blessings of the mountains of Gunma, and the liquor that is alive with the traditional culture of local brewers...
Asama’s brewers feel that each of their products comes with a story and is coloured by the culture of Gunma, and hope this will make you enjoy it even more.