Winter in Japan is Sake brewing season so KWT head out to the prestigious Kano Sake Brewery in Kaga Onsen. We are greeted by Hiromichi Kano(pictured above), the president and 7th generation in this traditional brewery.
So what's the secret to your brew?
Hiromichi tells us straight off that for generations the same well has produced the purest water that gives Jokigen Sake its unique taste. It's all about the water he tells us.
Can you tell us a little about the process?
The majority of the rice used is grown onsite in the field opposite the factory. The manufacturing process can only be done during the winter months for optimal fermentation. For generations is has been from October to early March but recently it has pushed out to November as the weather is gradually getting warmer.
The rice is fermented in the large vats for 30 days then pumped through various filter systems, depending on the type of Sake they are producing. KWT get to sample the sake as it comes directly from the filter, it's cold but delicious! The Sake is then stored in large vats to mature for up to 5 years onsite.
The hard physical labour we witness is incredible, it's cold and wet but these hardy gents power through it.
The guys from KWT can only watch in awe as the brew meister, stopwatch in hand, barks orders at his colleagues, timing the soaking of each basket of rice to the second.
The aroma produced by these fermenting vats is sweet and full of flavour, Hiromichi obliges us with a tasting session in the back office, we get to sample some of the hard work we just witnessed.
It's a beautiful sunny winter day and we step out to inspect the well that makes this Sake what it is. It certainly is a picturesque and tranquil place. The water looks mystical in the sunlight. We buy a bottle of our favourite tipple and hit the road. Thank you Hiromichi, we will be seeing you again soon.
A special thank you to Daisuke-San ( 辻大輔 ) for helping to organise this day for us.
Contacts for Kano Brewery