In 1886, there were eight breweries in Yokote City. One of them, Shiragiku Hompo, located in Kaji Town, was owned by Harukichi Tamba. It was an old brewery established in the Edo era. In 1918, Sukewemon Maeda took over the business and established it as Azakura Shuzo Co., Ltd. with a capital of 150,000 yen. The company’s name is derived from the symbol of the city, Yokote Castle (also known as “Azakura” Castle). Eventually, the Maeda family handed its business over to Magozaemon Ishikawa, who was related to them by marriage, because the Ishikawa family had been running the Ishimago Miso-Soy Sauce Brewery in Yuzawa since 1855 and the two families had much in common based on their respective levels of expertise in the brewing industry. Since then, Azakura Brewery has continued its development. In 1971, Azakura Brewery absorbed Yokote Meijo Co., Ltd. and its saké brand of Akita-Zakari, which is still being provided to consumers.
As stated earlier, Azakura Brewery is located in Yokote City, which is known for heavy snow and kamakura (Japanese igloos). Its saké is made using Akita’s famous long-term, low-temperature fertilization method under the exquisite skills of Sannai Tôji (highly skilled brewers from the Sannai District in Yokote City). The excellent balance of the rich aroma and delicious flavor gives a mellow touch to all Azakura Brewery’s brands, thus realizing the brewery’s aim to make high-quality saké in which people can taste the locality in each sip.
Pure, clear water is supplied by the melted snows of the Ou Mountains. The excellent rice provided by farmers in Akita include “Misato Nishiki” rice and “Gin-no-Sei” rice, with “Kame-no-O” rice provided by contracted farmers in Ogata Village. In addition, the brewery uses “Akita Saké Komachi” rice, revived “Fukuhibiki” rice,” and other types of rice. The brewery’s pursuit of making top-quality saké does not stop here. They polish the rice within their own company, while most other breweries consign this process to other factories or farms.