This is truly Japanese sake.
What is the traditional “kimoto-zukuri” brew method?
Clear as water, fruity and sweet: producing such “easy to drink” sake is a popular industry trend. Going against the grain, Kubohonke Shuzo in Uda City is somewhat of a rarity in the sake brewing world. They flipped the “easy to drink” concept on its head and aimed for a “sharp and dry” masculine taste. Using the traditional kimoto-zukuri style of brewing, they make sake with flavor reminiscent of its traditional roots.
Sake, like beer and wine, is a “brewed liquor” made by yeast activity and fermentation. It is the result of multiple processes involving rice and water, but the kimoto-zukuri method employed by the Kubohonke Shuzo is characterized by a particular degree of fermentation.
In contrast to the popular and easy to drink sokujo sake with lower levels of fermentation, kimoto-zukuri brewing uses “complete fermentation.” At Kubohonke Shuzo, sake is brewed to completion over a long period with a small amount of select yeast.
Processes such as motosuri rice grinding (pictured above) and daki yeast warming (pictured below) are all done manually as they were in the past. This laborious process, carried out with patience and loving care, produces a full-bodied sake.
Sake-loving artisans pursue a taste they can be proud of
“We make sake that we want to drink ourselves. While partying!” says 11th generation Junpei Kubo, with a smile on his face. Including Junpei, the sake is brewed by a select staff of five people. They developed their current brewing method about 10 years ago, and have continued to focus on their own unique taste.
Another special point about Kubohonke Shuzo is how they match their sake to food. With the strong umami flavor gained from kimoto-zukuri brewing, the taste of the sake does not get lost with food but instead makes a great pairing. It goes well with Japanese cuisine, but also grilled meat, French cuisine, and any flavor-rich food. Kubo’s ideas for flexible combinations are supported by his encouraging words: “It is precisely because the sake is so carefully prepared that we can recommend these pairings.”
Travel back to the Edo period.
Enjoy a special sake in a former merchant’s mansion.
Although Kubohonke Shuzo’s sake can be bought at the store, the “Shuzo Café” is also worth a visit. It was remodeled from an old mansion and warehouse, with the structure of a 200 to 300-year-old Edo period building emanating the true-to-life atmosphere of a historical archive. Since it is located just next to the brewery, the occasional whiff of sake lees is a treat for the nostrils.
What one really wants to try at the birthplace of this liquor is the “sake tasting set” of the day. Along with three kinds of sake to taste and compare, food is also included. Look forward to tasting a variety of foodstuffs that make the perfect sake matching, such as pickled vegetables and cream cheese pickled in sake lees.
Other specialties include koji mold drink, renowned for its health benefits, and sake lees sweets. For visitors who come by car we recommend the non-alcoholic café menu.
- Kubohonke Shuzou
- Direct sales store 8:00～17:00／ Shuzou cafe 11:00～16:00 ＜Closed＞ Direct sales store : open daily otherwise noticed ／ Shuzou cafe : Monday・Tuesday ※In Winter （Dec～Feb）, it might be changed.
- 1834 Ouda Ideshin, Uda-shi, Nara Pref.
- Shuzou cafe ; sake tasting set” of the day (Large) 800 yen, etc...
- +81(0)745-83-0036（Kubohonke Shuzou）、+81(0)745-83-0010（Shuzou Cafe）