朝日酒造 - 久保田
ASAHI-SHUZO - KUBOTA
BREWERY | 朝日酒造
ASAHI-SHUZO - KUBOTA
Asahi Shuzo was founded in 1830 with the motto, "Quality First." They believe that the quality of rice is the utmost importance in sake brewing; as one of their past Toji put it succinctly: "The quality of sake cannot go beyond the quality of the ingredients." Asahi Shuzo spends a vast amount of energy and time into rice making, they've even founded an agricultural production corporation, Asahi Noken, where they research to preserve Japan's national agriculture and produce better sake rice. Their sakes are made with their ideal sake rice (low in protein, white, opaque core, and large, even-sized grains), data collected through their 200-year history, and the experience of the Toji. Although it is a company with a long history, the presidents of the company has always preserved an entrepreneurial spirit, and Asahi Shuzo has never been afraid to try new types of sake, whether it be sparkling sakes or low-alcohol sakes. In this spirit, they started the Kubota line in 1985. During the time where sake sales were decreasing locally, Asahi looked to the cities, and realized that they needed to make sakes that would go well with the food eaten in the metropolitan areas. The norm in sake at this time was "hojun umakuchi" sake (rich and opulent and full of umami), but Asahi saw that a different kind of sake, "tanrei karakuchi," (light, crisp and dry) would go better with the changing diet, and started brewing sakes toward those tastes. It was a huge hit and more than doubled their sales in 15 years.
Niigata Prefecture is at the northern tip of the mainland, Honshu. It has beautiful coastal and mountain sights and great skiing, but it is most famous for their rice production. Table rice is not suitable for sake making, but Asahi Shuzo spends a considerable amount of time and money into sake rice research, and has even founded an agricultural production corporation.
Head Brewer - Toji
Born 1965, Yamaga started at Asahi Shuzo in 1985 as a seasonal hire, became a full-time employee in 1991, and Toji in 2012. Won Gold in the 2018 the Annual Japan Sake Awards and Grand Prize in the 2019 Kanto Shinetsu Sake Awards.
Awards & Accolades
- Gold Prize Japan Sake Awards (2018)
From this Brewery
Producing sake starts by producing rice.
Quality first, Customers first.
Water and Rice
The "Tanrei Karakuchi" (light, crisp and dry) that Kubota is so famous for requires the lowest amount of protein possible in their rice. Their ideal sake rice is "Nihaku Ichiryu," meaning low in protein, white, opaque center core, and large and even grains. This is difficult to attain given that the fertilizer needed to yield bigger crops also result in more protein. Asahi Shuzo started their own agricultural research corporation, Asahi Noken, for sake rice research, honing their skills and aggregating data and working with local farmers. They use their local underground water, one of the softest water in Niigata Prefecture.