Miyashita Sake Brewery is a multifaceted alcoholic beverage maker, which makes and sells a variety of alcoholic beverages, including sake (Japanese rice wine), beer, shochu (distilled spirit), ume (Japanese apricot) liqueur and whisky.
SAKE – Kiwami Hijiri
Excellent rice grown in Okayama, abundant good water and traditional skills of the master sake brewers in Bicchu region make our sake brewing special.
Rice is the most important ingredient in sake brewing. We use “Omachi rice”, a famous rice brand best suited for sake brewing and other brands, including “Yamada Nishiki”, “Asahi rice” and “Akebono”, which are all grown in the wonderful natural settings with warm and mild climate and fertile land.
We particularly focus on “Takashima Omachi rice”, which is considered to be the pure ancestor of normal Omachi rice and is grown in Takashima district nearby our brewery. The two types of sake brewed from this special rice in our selection, Tokubetsu Junmai-shu (a high-quality variety of sake brewed with rice milled down to 60% or less of the original grain without any alcohol) and Junmai Daiginjo-shu (the top-class variety of sake brewed with rice milled down to 50% or less of the original grain without any alcohol), are becoming increasingly popular.
One of the characteristics of Omachi rice that makes it shuzo kotekimai (rice suitable for brewing sake) is its shinpaku, the center white part. Different from other strains, the shinpaku of Omachi rice is round, large and soft, creating sake with mellow and refined flavor. The reason Omachi rice is called “rare brewer’s rice” is because despite its high quality, this is a very scarce brewer’s rice due to difficulty in growing it. Omachi rice tends to collapse more easily as it grows to greater height and is prone to sickness as well, making it difficult to obtain and thus is called “rare brewer’s rice”. Due to excellence of its quality, this rice is said to be the root of shuzo kotekimai (rice suitable for brewing sake) used all around the country, such as Yamada Nishiki and Gohyakumangoku.
The water for our products comes from the underground water running 80 to 100m below Asahi River bed. Similar to the famous “Omachi no Reisen” water running nearby our brewery for its quality awarded by Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 famed mineral waters in Japan, the underground water of Asahi River bed is soft and suitable for sake brewing.
In sake brewing, there is a common saying “first koji, second moto (the yeast starter) and third tsukuri (the main mash)”, which refers to the brewing processes with the order of importance of their impacts on the quality of sake. Because the koji making is the most important process, we take extra time and care using Koji buta (a special wooden tray) by hand to prepare excellent koji, when we brew the top quality sake varieties such as Daiginjo-shu and Junmai Daiginjo-shu.
Because this process involves all-night temperature controlling, less and less breweries follow the traditional method. However, the process of dividing the pile of koji into several trays produces excellent quality of Koji called “Tsuki-haze koji” which has a strong saccharifying power. For other sake varieties than Daiginjo-shu and Junmai Daiginjo-shu, we adopt more efficient and laborsaving method using “Rotational koji-making machines”.
We use the high-quality kobo varieties selected from the Brewing Society’s lineup to best suit our sake varieties.
Tsukuri (the main mash) and Hakko (fermentation):
Once rice is steamed, it is cooled down in a cooling equipment. Then the cooled rice is placed into small portions to optimize its water content before the actual preparation process for brewing starts.
The slow fermentation process at rigorously-controlled low temperature allows to attain gorgeous aroma and mild taste in sake.
Shibori (squeezing) and Joso (pressing):
Although a typical sake brewing process involves squeezing and pressing, we have special sake varieties of Daiginjo-shu and Junmai Daiginjo-shu that are not squeezed or pressed; they are collected by dripping from the fermentation mash in Sakabukuro (a dedicated bag) to a small 18L bottle called “To-bin”. Enjoy the distinguished aroma and taste of the special sake with no pressure applied.
Our proud sake brand “Daiginjo Kiwami Hijiri”, made in the traditional brewing method of Bicchu master sake brewer, was awarded the gold prize at the annual Japan Sake Awards for 4 years in a row from 2011 to 2014. Miyashita Sake Brewery has won the gold prize 17 times and stands out among breweries in Okayama Prefecture. Under the guidance of well-respected master sake brewer (and former chairperson of the master sake brewers union in Bicchu region) Akio Nakahama, who developed his skills for 40 years with the progress of Miyashita Sake Brewery and recognized as a “Contemporary Master Craftsman” by the government, young master sake brewers now carry on the skills and are devoted to sake brewing. Miyashita Sake Brewery is fueled mostly by the young power of our staff ranging from 20s to 30s who are all striving toward the best sake brewing.
BEER – Doppo
“Doppo” is a live-yeast-added beer brewed in the warm and mild climate of Okayama Prefecture. With the ingredients of tasty soft water, which is also suited for sake brewing, the choicest high-class malt, hop, and yeast from Germany and Czech, and high-grade “Omachi rice” grown in Okayama, the beer is brewed by our staff who have been provided technical guidance by a brewmaster named Wolfgang Rajal.
Doppo is a craft beer brewed fully using our beer brewing skills and experiences that have been developed for 20 years since 1995 when we introduced then current beer-brewing facility from Germany. Currently, we offer 14 varieties of beer.
In addition to traditional European beers such as Pilsner, Dunkel and Schwarz, our unique lager beer brewed from Omachi rice and beers brewed from fruits such as Muscat grapes or peach grown in Okayama are becoming popular.
We also offer seasonal products including chocolate beer for the Valentine’s Day and Sakura Ryojo (a sparkling rose wine made from cherry juice) for spring months.
Lately, we started selling Imperial Ale, which has a higher alcohol content of 7.5% and gives a high level of satisfaction after drinking.
We have a long history of producing shochu, particularly rice shochu, since 1983. In addition, we offer a wide selection of shochu that are distilled from local vegetables, such as two-row barley, dedicated sweat potato with white flesh called “Kogane Sengan” grown by Okayama University and buckwheat grown in Misaki town, Okayama.
We also promote unblended shochu with alcohol content of 44% and shochu in a ceramic bottle as a gift for Father’s Day, Ochugen (summer greeting) and other occasions.
LIQUEUR, SPIRITS and WHISKY
Using shochu and sake we made, we make liqueur by infusing fruits, such as Muscat grape, peach and Pione grape grown in Okayama. We also make “Beer Spirits” which is distilled from Doppo beer.
We offer a wide selection of liqueur varieties added flavors that are derived from ume, yuzu (Japanese citron), flat lemon or strawberry. The Beer Spirits gives a rich aroma and mild taste that are created during 10 years of aging period in barrel.
As a new approach, we started producing whisky at the end of 2011 and its production is scheduled to be increased with an introduction of German pot stills in summer 2015. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary, we are planning to sell 3-year aged whiskey at the end of 2015.
Evolvement of Miyashita Sake Brewery
History of its foundation – Sake brewery established by brothers
Kamezo Miyashita and Motosaburo Miyashita, the brothers that founded Miyashita Sake Brewery were born in Akaiwa County (now Akaiwa City). As the brothers lost their father at young age, they were left in the care of a relative. During that time the brothers gained experience in brewery, as this relative managed a brewery business. Taking the opportunity of Uno Port’s harbor construction in 1909, they started brewing sake anew in 1915, at city of Tamano, in Okayama Prefecture. This was the start of Miyashita Sake Brewery.
In search of good water
In 1967, the Brewery was relocated to its current location (Nishigawara, Naka-ku Okayama-shi) by Asahigawa River, one of the three major rivers in Okayama. The underground water of Asahigawa River, drawn from 100 meter beneath, is used for our brewing. The location is exceptionally blessed for brewing – nearby is Korakuen, one of the three famous gardens of Japan, and also cold spring of Omachi, chosen as one of the 100 Best Waters of Japan.
Renowned sake of Okayama – Kiwami Hijiri
The name of the representative sake, Hijiri, comes from ancient Japanese poem by Otomo no Tabito, poet of Manyo(*), who recited poem “in ancient times, code word for sake was said to be saint (hijiri). How wonderful are the words of great saint that named sake as such.” In Okayama, where sweet sake is the mainstream, Hijiri has been brewed since 1974 as sake that appeals for its dry taste. Taking daiginjo (**) as meaning the highest quality, it was capped with letter of “kiwami” (means “to attain the ultimate goal”) and was named “Kiwami Hijiri”. The number of times it won gold prize in Annual Japan Sake Awards is highest in Okayama Prefecture. Currently, the representative sake has been changed over to Kiwami Hijiri.
*Manyo is the collection of oldest Japanese poems put together from late 7th century to end of 8th century
** Daiginjo is top-quality sake brewed from rice grains milled to 50% or less of their weight
Craft Beer – Doppo
In 1994, beer production quantity regulation was moderated from 2000 kl to 60 kl. Taking advantage of this, production of Doppo, the first craft beer in Chugoku region and ninth in the country, was started in July 1995. This “Doppo” was named from our ambition that “as a Japanese microbrewer, we shall make unique beer independently (dokuritu-doppo) and with conviction.” In addition to the traditional beer, we are engaged in research and development for variety of beers with seasonal and regional characteristics.
Aspiring to become comprehensive liquor manufacturer
Miyashita Sake Brewery is aspiring to become a comprehensive liquor manufacturer that produces all types of liquors, such as shochu, liqueur, low-malt beer, spirits and whisky as well as sake and beer. Currently, in addition to selling at the greater metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka, we are also expanding our liquor export to US, Europe and Asian countries such as China.
"Stand tall in the Sake industry"
Never stop challenging
Serve before profit (those who place service before profit will prosper)
Continuing small efforts will bring a great success
Consistent efforts of doing the ordinary in a thorough manner will transform it into the extraordinary.
Think globally, act locally
Through “sake brewing”, Miyashita Sake Brewery delivers the wonder of our sake culture and local history to many customers and aims for bringing them healthy and joyful life with “sake”.
To play an active role in the community and to ensure well-being of our employees and corporate growth through manufacture and sales of excellent alcohol beverages as an Okayama-based alcohol beverage maker.
|Company Name||Miyashita Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.|
|Address||184 Nishigawara, Naka-ku, Okayama city, Okayama, Japan 703-8258|
|Incorporation||October 20, 1922|
|Capital||30 million yen|
|Number of Employees||30|