Yachiyoden Shuzou (八千代伝酒造): a shochu brewery

March 2nd, 2010 in Photos

I had an opportunity to visit this family run brewery located in Tarumizu last weekend. I was given a private tour of the facility with one of my teachers who lives nearby. Originally, I was told the name was Yagi Shuzou, but apparently it changed to Yachiyoden one or two years ago. In any case, NHK ran a 30 minute feature on them a year ago which was really interesting to watch. This is a really interesting company, placing stock in their employees and passing traditions to a younger generation. For example, the owner’s son knows the entire brewing process and is highly valued as he can notice subtle differences in taste and smell that diminish with age. Another employee was hand-picked from his job at a local convenience store because of his work-ethic and attitude. I have a lot of respect for this style of management and it certainly helps weave a story for the brand in the public’s eye.

Satsuma-imo (sweet potatoes) boiling in a stage of the brewing process.

The special wooden room where rice “rests” to collect moisture so it does not crack when boiled.

The massive 1000+ liter clay drums in the storeroom. Apparently the clay allows the finished shochu to breathe while aging.

A limited run of 8,000 bottles brewed under the observation of Yoshiyuki Masami, an official “master brewer of shochu”, all of which have been reserved.

More information on Yachiyoden here and here.

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