Kikunosato Brewery

Sake Brewed under a Beautiful Starry Sky

This brewery was founded in 1866 in Otawara City, Tochigi Prefecture. The area is rich in subsoil water flowing from the Nasu Mountains. The water quality is so clean that ayu fish swim in the river, and fireflies inhabit the area.

Fresh water flowing from the Nasu Mountains

Fresh water flowing from the Nasu Mountains

In addition to the quality of the water and soil, the cold weather due to the high altitude creates a delicious taste in the rice, which allows for high-quality rice production. Bracing Dry is produced from this top-quality sake rice.

Contract Farmers Cooperate to Grow Rice with Reduced Pesticides

To produce local sake, Kikunosato Brewery has teamed up with seven local contract farmers to grow sake rice. All the rice used to brew sake is local rice. It is genuinely local sake.

President Akutsu with contract farmers

President Akutsu with contract farmers

The main rice varieties grown are Gohyakumangoku and Miyamanishiki, both resistant to cold weather. The most significant commitment is to grow them with fewer agricultural chemicals.

Since dairy farming is thriving in the area and cows are nearby, organic matter from the cows is completely fermented and used as fertilizer to make compost. Mixing the compost with the rice paddies, the soil is replenished with the nutrients it needs, and pesticides are kept to a minimum because the ground is always nutrient-rich.

Cows making fertilizer

Cows making fertilizer

The Farmer’s Voice

"Sake rice is tough to grow because the ears are very tall, and at first, no one believed that we could make good sake rice, so I did not want to do it. However, I got hooked on sake rice cultivation while giving technical guidance. Rice cultivation is chemistry. The best sake rice is cultivated by using the technique of mixing fertilizers suited to each soil type."


The Brewer Plays a Supporting Role

Kikunosato Brewery brews sake called "Daina."

The brewers, Kikunosato Brewery

The brewers, Kikunosato Brewery

When the toji, Makoto Akutsu, took over the brewery, it was the smallest brewery in the prefecture. It produced only 10,000 bottles (1.8-liter equivalent) annually and started sake brewing with almost no necessary production facilities.

To produce the best sake possible with the facilities available, the brewery believes that the sake brewer plays a supporting role. It is a flexible approach to sake brewing that incorporates what is good and unconventional to bring out the best raw materials.

Since the locals drink a lot of sake, we have sought to create a sake with taste notes that can be enjoyed as a refreshing sake that goes well with meals. Over the past 10 years, the brewery has reached satisfactory taste notes, increased production sevenfold, and become a representative of the local brewery.

The sake's smooth taste reflects the friendly personality of the brewery's toji. Please enjoy Clean & Dry, brought to you by the family and four employees who support the brewer, who always has a smile on his face.

Clean & Dry sake by Kikunosato Brewery

From the Head Brewer

"My hobby is salsa, which I fell in love with while traveling the world, and golf. Our sake is light and pleasant on the palate, emphasizing supple taste notes. It tastes great chilled, but it is also delicious, slightly warmed. We recommend enjoying it with Japanese food or sushi."