Saijo, renowned as a leading sake-brewing district in Hiroshima Prefecture, hosts many long-established breweries, among which Kamoizumi Shuzo Co., Ltd. is a relatively new establishment. It is still fairly old,having been founded in 1912, and it marks its 102nd anniversary this year.
In the late 1960s, when sanzoshu (the threefold volume sake made by adding distilled alcohol and other seasoning) constituted the mainstream of Japanese sake for mass production, the Kamoizumi brewery embarked on the rebirth of traditional Japanese sake, made with only rice and koji (malted rice), with the aim of becoming a pioneering sake brewer.
Without any classification systems of Japanese sake, all sake products were known as mutenka-shu (additive-free sake) in those days. Therefore, slightly sour-tasting colorless junmai-shu was not widely recognized and not favorably received by consumers.
However, in 1972, the brewery succeeded in brewing sake made from rice milled to 60%, which was an extraordinary ratio in those days. After the epoch-making sake, which started to be called junmai ginjo-shu in later years, was launched into the market, the Kamoizumi brand became quickly well known throughout the country.
Carbon filtration is not employed in the brewing process of most Kamoizumi sake products. The slightly yellow-colored Kamoizumi Junmai Ginjo Shusen Honjikomi is characterized by a tart, full-bodied, rich flavor. Mr. Shintani, a master brewer of the Kamoizumi brewery, says: “This junmai ginjo-shu wonderfully pairs with all kinds of foods and dishes, so I would like to recommend enjoying it as a daily sake.”
Always being mindful of using high-quality sake rice, the Kamoizumi brewery has made strenuous efforts to gain cooperation from local farmers in growing “Yamada Nishiki,” the most suitable rice for its sake brewing. The brewery has also focused on various initiatives with local residents, so that the production of junmai-shu contributes to increased rice consumption, thereby helping the livelihoods of local rice farmers.
The Kamoizumi brewery, which focused on the rebirth and spreading of traditional junmai-shu for a long period of time, is determined to continue taking special care with the production of rich-tasting sake, that reminds drinkers of what authentic Japanese sake should taste like.
Les grands sakes de Hiroshima