Fukushima Sake Story

FUKUSHIMA SAKE ACADEMY

How did Fukushima achieve the most gold medals for 7 consecutive years at the Annual Japan Sake Awards? It is all thanks to the abundant water, fresh air, and unique differences in temperature due to the climate. The traditional techniques passed down from one generation to the next, and the strong belief in sake are all what makes Fukushima sake distinctive. Seven students led by the God of Sake talk about their thoughts on Sake. The relationship between Sake brewing and the locals of Fukushima is depicted clearly. The brewers work hard to create Sake that is recognized by the world.

FOUNDER

Dr. Kenji Suzuki
Fukushima Technology Centre
Aizu wakamatsu Technology Support Center
Vice Chief

introduction page

The God of Sake

There is a renowned contest called the “Annual Japan Sake Awards”, and it is famous even within the community of people who do not drink sake. Brewers compete for the highest quality Sake of the year in this national competition. Fukushima has maintained the top prefecture in Japan for the large number of gold award-winning Sake since 2012.
There is a man named “The God of Sake” in Fukushima.
Dr. Kenji Suzuki is a staff member of the prefectural laboratory, which promotes the industries of Fukushima and provides technical support.

During the 1990’s, there was at least one year where Fukushima Sake did not win any prizes in the competition. Fukushima Sake changed in the year 2000 due to the creation of “Yume no Kaori”, the prefecture's first original rice suitable for Sake Brewering.
Fukushima began to achieve many victories down the road thanks to the “Sake Brewing Manual”, a guide to making award-winning Sake created by “The God of Sake” Dr. Suzuki.

ABOUT ACADEMY

Dr. Suzuki has also focused on training sake masters from a variety of Sake breweries. The Sake Academy was established in 1992, and it gave the opportunity for sake masters, who should be rivals against each other, to come together and learn from Dr. Suzuki. Many of the sake masters at the academy are diverse in age and gender, and they learn more about Fukushima Sake together. After a 3 year course, the sake masters return to their breweries, and devote themselves to brew better sake.
The strength of Fukushima Sake is in the relationship between each Sake Master.
Strong bonds have been created among sake masters who exchange information with each other, because they are not only rivals, but classmates as well. The exchange of information among sake masters is what makes Fukushima Sake stronger. Because of this, Fukushima Sake is recognized domestically and internationally.

STORIES
from the Academy

STORY 01

A Recipe for Success

The “Sake Brewing Manual” was compiled together by the Sake Academy to equalize the variations of sake quality in each sake brewery. The manual has been in use for a while, and each brewery improved its contents over time, making the delicious flavor of Sake stand out, which permeated throughout the entire prefecture.

STORY 02

A Masterclass in Sake

“To make original Sake by knowing the best ingredients, and the best Sake” is one of the main teachings at the Sake Academy. This is essentially the essence of Sake brewing.

STORY 03

The Strength of the Academy Creating a Sake Network

The main goal of the Sake Academy is not just about teaching Sake brewing. Making connections between breweries and sake masters throughout Fukushima is also an important part of the Academy. This connection is what has helped Fukushima win the most gold medals for 7 consecutive years.

STUDENTS

Rie Hoshi
23rd Gen

Kitanohana Sakebrewery Limited Partnership

Interview
Close

STUDENTS Interview

Rie Hoshi
23rd Gen

The Existence of the Manual
“We can only deepen our understanding of sake breweing when we work together. Having a Sake Brewing Manual makes me feel safe that it can immediatley be used at our brewey.”

Academy
“If I had not attended the brewery, I could not brew the sake I do today. The members of the Academy are associates that help develop each others skills, without thinking about being rivals. The Academy is a place to share important information among each other.”

Brewery
Kitanohana Sake Brewery Limited Partnership

View Site

Saori Kobari
24th Gen

Daitengu Sakebrewery

Interview
Close

STUDENTS Interview

Saori Kobari
24th Gen

The Existence of the Manual
“The first thing I learned at the academy is that technique improves with each generation. I am steadily incorporating these techniques into my process.”

Academy
“All the brewers are wonderful people. I think that’s reflected in the taste of the sake.”

Brewery
Daitengu Sakebrewery

View Site

Daiki Shinjo
27th Gen

Suehiro Sake Brewery Co,Ltd

Interview
Close

STUDENTS Interview

Daiki Shinjo
27th Gen

The Existence of the Manual
“Fukushima Sake is flavorful and of high quality because of the existence of the ‘Sake Brewing Manual’.”

Academy
“Every time we meet at the Academy, we deepen our relationship with each other. This is the only place where we get to exchange information, which is great for making Fukushima Sake more known.”

Brewery
Suehiro Sake Brewery CO., Ltd

View Site

Kenshin Sato
19th Gen

Minenoyuki Sake Brewery

Interview
Close

STUDENTS Interview

Kenshin Sato
19th Gen

The Existence of the Manual
”I think Sake brewing is the same as science. We analyze numbers and make Sake. The Sake Brewing Manual plays an important role in making Sake.”

Academy
“The members of the Academy contantly polish each others skills, and from that comes awareness of how Fukushima sake is improved together so that it taste delicious.”

Brewery
Minenoyuki Sake Brewery

View Site

Kazuya Matsumoto
28th Gen

Nagurayama Sake Brewery

Interview
Close

STUDENTS Interview

Kazuya Matsumoto
28th Gen

The Existence of the Manual
”The academy teaches the important fundamentals of brewing. It’s an essential base for creating better sake.”

Academy
“All of us speak with honesty when talking to each other. These are people I can count on.”

Brewery
Nagurayama Sake Brewery

View Site

Kotaro Iwata
26th Gen

Sasamasamune Brewery Co.,Ltd

Close

STUDENTS Interview

Kotaro Iwata
23rd Gen

Yujiro Iwata
23rd Gen

The Existence of the Manual
“The recipe for Sake at our brewery is created by the Sake Brewing Manual. We are able to make delicious sake with it.”

Academy
“We created our current method of brewing because were able to meet with a variety of different people at the Academy. We created strong bonds with our friends at the Academy, and these bonds are the advantages we have when compared to other regions.”

Brewery
Sasamasamune Brewery CO., Ltd

View Site

Yujiro Iwata
23rd Gen

Sasamasamune Brewery Co.,Ltd

VIDEO