Mukai Brewery

Japan's Closest Brewery to the Sea

Mukai Brewery was founded in 1754 in Ine-cho, Tango, Kyoto Prefecture. The brewery is located about 30 minutes by car from Amanohashidate, designated as a national park, in an area with 230 boathouses, a rarity in Japan.

Amanohashidate, Miyazu Bay, Kyoto Prefecture

Amanohashidate, Miyazu Bay, Kyoto Prefecture

The boathouse looks like a house garage turned into a landing place and has existed for nearly 300 years. The building takes advantage of the geographical advantage of calm waves. Because the warehouse is also a boathouse, it is the closest of the many warehouses to the sea, with the ocean immediately in front of it.

The exterior of the storehouse is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, and changes to the exterior are not permitted, so the storehouse is used precisely as it was built in the Edo period.

Row of boathouses

Row of boathouses

Because the site cannot be expanded, the warehouses are small, and sake brewing is carried out by maximizing vertical space within the existing space. The area gets a lot of snow, so when it piles up to one meter high, the brewery has to start shoveling snow before brewing sake.

"We try everything."

Mukai Sake Brewery is run by a sister and brother team. The older sister has a spirit of challenge, being the toji (master brewer), and the younger brother is the president and brewer.

From left to right: President Mukai and Toji MukaiFrom left to right: President Mukai and Toji Mukai
One of the brewery's specialties is to brew all of its sake with junmai (pure rice). This is because the sake is often paired with fresh local ingredients, as the ocean is right in front of the brewery, and junmai sake goes well with dishes that make the most of the ingredients.
Sake paired with sashimi

The other is to utilize the yeast and sake rice characteristics obtained in various sake challenges to improve sake quality. Mukai Shuzo's popular product, "Ine Mankai," is a sake developed 20 years ago to encourage women and the younger generation to enjoy sake. It is a rare sake made from ancient rice, red rice.

Another example is the now phantom "Ine Burimaru," which used an unusual method of preparing sake by frying and roasting sake rice. The taste notes were good, like a Guinness version of sake. Still, the smoke from roasting the rice in a wok was so strong that it hurt the eyes, and since a squeezer was not available, the process had to be done by hand. They also use yeast from pine trees and beer yeast and brew with whole koji and germinated brown rice.



The knowledge gained from these various trials and errors helped improve the quality of Kyo-no-Haru, a product for the local market. It established the current taste notes, such as using only a particular yeast for Kyo-no-Haru. He is determined to apply all his experience to sake brewing to deliver even better-tasting sake.

The toji is a cheerful man with a spirit of challenge, and the president is a man with a quiet passion for sake. Seafood Night" is a sake that is perfect for any occasion, whether it is a leisurely dinner at home or a home party. Please savor it while thinking of the sea.

Seafood Night by Mukai Brewery, paired with sashimi

Seafood Night by Mukai Brewery

Enjoy the robust taste notes that are the true appeal of sake that has not been heat treated. Chilled, it goes well with tuna, salmon, and spicy western food such as curry because of its mild taste. If you find a pairing you like, please let us know!