Sake Brewing That Deepens Rather than Evolves
Founded in 1884, Shimomura Sake Brewery is located in Hyogo Prefecture, the main production area for Yamadanishiki. In addition to the abundance of Yamada-Nishiki available, the site is surrounded by mountains, and the temperature drops in winter, making it an ideal environment for sake brewing.
The area where the brewery is located is called Harima. It has received the Geographical Indication (GI) designation, which allows sake brewed by breweries in Harima using rice, rice malt, and water from this area to be labeled as GI Harima.
Shimomura Brewery, Hyogo Prefecture
The rice used is Hyogo's Yamada-Nishiki and Hyogo Yume-Nishiki (sake rice that is the grandchild of Yamada-Nishiki). We also have a partnership with local farmers. They use local rice because it is grown using the same water and is a good match for sake brewing.
Yume Nishiki is grown by farmers under contract with Shimomura Sake Brewery.
Sake Quality Is Arrived at by Pursuing Individuality
"Homecoming" is a sake characterized by "more drinkability than ease of drinking, and more presence than clarity." The Shimomura Sake Brewery's shift to a more individualistic taste notes began in the early 1990s when the previous brewer was in charge of the brewery. The toji (master brewer) who came to the brewery then was good at brewing robust and dark taste notes.
This brewing style was well matched with the local rice and water, resulting in this quality of sake. He started out when clean, refreshing sake was popular among the public. He could clearly show the difference between his sake and that of other companies by producing robust taste notes that tasted good even after aging, which could be the opposite of what was popular. This sake was born from a series of coincidences.
Inside Shimomura Brewery
Since 2008, the brewery has switched to producing all of its sake from junmai (pure rice) to junmai sake, thanks to an encounter with a particular brewery. He says that the loss of the cheaper-priced sake with added alcohol that they had been producing before this change has allowed them to focus more on quality and has improved their manufacturing and quality control techniques as a brewery.
Koji (malted rice) production
The strong taste notes are characterized by the "koji" making process, which is one of the factors that determine the taste notes of the sake, but also by the fact that the sake is brewed using the traditional "Yamahai brewing" method. This brewing method produces a thick, appetizing acidity that is easy to pair with oily foods like meat.
Inheriting and Deepening Tradition
President Motoki Shimomura
President Motoki Shimomura, who has taken over the brewery from his predecessor, also emphasizes maintaining the traditional taste of the sake and says that he is constantly seeking to improve the quality of the sake without changing the brewing process, saying, "I would rather deepen than evolve. He believes that one can learn a lot from the brewery's experience, and he values the senses of the brewery's employees.
The Shimomura Sake Brewery also adheres to the family motto of the first brewer, Kurobei Shimomura: "There is no skill that excels in handcrafting." The brewery believes that handcrafting is essential for making sake with character. Rather than increasing production volume, it continues to make sake on a small scale within the scope of its own eyes.
The family motto displayed in the brewery.
Full-Bodied can be enjoyed at various temperatures, from warm to chilled. Its robust flavor and acidity make it an easy match for Western cuisine. It has a strong flavor and acidity, making it an ideal sake for those looking for a strong sake that is also easy to drink with Western food.
From the Brewery
Recommended pairings include yakiniku and BBQ, especially beef and pork. The acidity of the sake helps to wash away the oil and keep the food moving. Once opened and stored at room temperature, the flavor does not change quickly, so you can drink a little every day. We are happy if the sake brings you peace of mind and your daily dinner.