Our Sake Brewing
Brewing Sake Begins with Growing Rice.
A sake brewer once said, "The quality of sake can never exceed the quality of its ingredients."
The rice used to brew sake has an enormous influence on its fragrance and taste. To improve the quality of sake-brewing rice and promote cultivation and research of new strains of rice, Asahi-Shuzo founded Asahi Noken, Ltd.
Working closely with local farmers, Asahi Noken pursues the development of rice with the perfect qualities for sake brewing.
The Accomplishments of Asahi Noken
Asahi Noken is an agricultural production corporation established in 1990 with a mission to preserve Japan’s regional agriculture and produce even better varieties of sake-brewing rice. With its sights set on producing the ideal sake-brewing rice for Asahi-Shuzo, Asahi Noken plays a vital role as a test-field for experiments to reduce fertilizer use and protect the environment.
In 1996 Asahi Noken began research on a rice strain called Senshuraku, which had to be revived after disappearing for 30 years. Asahi Noken worked with Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) and other partners to establish techniques for cultivating this strain. A number of valuable products have arisen from these rice-cultivating efforts, including our product ESSHU with Senshuraku rice, SENSHIN by using Takanenishiki rice.
The principal sake-brewing rice of Niigata Prefecture.
Gohyakumangoku is especially amenable to the growth of tsukihaze-koji, a strain of rice mold that makes sake taste clean, light and our ideal dry and crisp finish.
Characterized by slightly finer grains than Gohyakumangoku, Takanenishiki holds its quality well after polishing, producing a high-quality sake with a clean, satisfying finish.
Senshuraku means "the closing day of a sumo tournament". Senshuraku grows later than that of the other kinds. It’s almost closing time for rice-harvesting term of the year. This flavorful rice creates sake with a light bouquet and mellow flavor.