Powerhouses of Akita Sake
Est 1865, Akita, Japan.
11th generation Jyushiro Ito, Shoya or mayor of the village, started brewing sake in the Edo period from 1865. He built the brewery in a corner of his estate and started brewing with local Akita sake rice.
Akita prefecture is located in northern Japan, blessed with a snowy climate and long winters, mountains and sea. It’s bitterly cold winters are the ideal environment for sake brewing in the low temperature slow fermentation method called kanzukuri.
We have not come across a company with as such a diverse flavour portfolio of sake as Akita Seishu before. Hard water and soft water from different water wells are used to produce completely different sake styles in their 2 breweries.
Akita Seishu live and breathe sake. For 6 months of the year the Toji and Kurabito farm the rice fields of the sake they produce. And after rice harvest they return to Akita Seishu to focus on brewing.
Akita Seishu were original producers of organic sake called Dewatsuru Matsukura, decades before organic was “in”. They also produce Dewatsura Sakura Emaki - sake produced from 1000 year old purple rice strains from the UNESCO ancient ruins of Hotta No Saku.
Their accomplished portfolio is a genuine reflection of the talent of the Toji, kurabito and the leadership of the Akita Seishu team.
Akita Seishu is headed by Tatsuro Ito (chairman) and his son and president, 17th generation Yohei Ito.
Dewatsuru translate as “Crane of the Dewa Region”, a symbol of the elegance of the Dewatsuru label.
Dewatsuru’s soft waters are sourced from the subsoil waters of the Dewa Mountains surrounding the brewery. This water contributes to the soft mouthfeel and broadness of flavour of Dewatsuru sake.
Dewatsuru produces some sake in traditional Kimoto style, which gives a fine grained texture and smoothness of its Kimoto sake.
There are 12 Dewatsuru brewery staff including Toji. Dewatsuru produces 360kL or 2000 koku a year.
Kariho is the Ito family’s second brewery. In comparison with Dewatsuru the water used by Kariho is medium - hard water containing a lot of minerals extracted from a multi layered geological stratum. The hard water promotes vigorous fermentation to produce dry sake, rich in umami.
Kariho translates as harvested grain, named after a poem by Emperor Tenchi as a symbol of respect for the farmers who work so hard cultivating the rice fields. Kariho is a very special brewery, one of the few to press all of their sake in a traditional "fune".
Pressing in the traditional fune takes 2 days and is an integral step in making the well balanced, mature sake that Kariho is famous for.
There are 12 Kariho brewery staff including Toji, completely separate to the Dewatsuru brewery. Kariho produces 324kL or 1800 koku a year.
Akita Seishu sake can found at specialist sake shops in Tokyo, Ibaraki and Akita as well as Isetan department stores.
Dewatsuru sake is exported to the US, HK, Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden and the UK.
Kariho sake is also exported to the US, HK, Taiwan, South Korea, UK and Italy.
Australia - Chef's Armoury are very privileged to represent Akita Seishu's Dewatsuru and Kariho brands as exclusive agent for the following lines of sake Australia:
Dewatsuru Sake Online
- Dewatsuru Sakura Emaki Ancient Rice Sake
- Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai
- Dewatsuru Junmai Matsuri Cup
Kariho Sake Online
- Kariho Junkei Karakuchi
- Kariho Rokushu Sparkling Sake