Kazuno Meishu Brewing

Due to the brewery’s strenuous efforts to improve brewing tech-niques since its foundation in 1872, it received nationwide formal recognition in 1938 when its saké won an honorary prize at the national biennial competitive fair. The brewery kept up its steady progress after World War II as a local brewery of Kazuno with priority given to quality. Subsequently, it earned high distinctions, including a grand prize at the competitive fair in Akita Prefecture. The company aims to become a local brewery with strong bonds with the regional people. Therefore, since 1991, the brewery has used the name Kazuno Meishu Brewing Co., Ltd., to represent Ka-zuno City. Mosuke Tamura, the founder of the brewery, named its main saké brand CHITOSE (“1000 years”) with a prayer for eternal youth and longevity. In 1922, the name was modified to CHITOSE-ZAKARI (“prosperity for 1000 years”) to signify prosperity in the world and people’s lon-gevity.
Kazuno City, the home of the brewery, is located in the northeastern part of Akita Prefecture. The area includes many tourist attractions, such as the Towada Hachimantai National Park (which includes untouched, primitive nature and has earned the nickname “volcano museum” due to its plentiful volcanic landforms and phenomena) and Yuze On-senkyô (Yuze Hot Spring Village; “Yuze” meaning a rapid stream of hot water); Oyu Onsenkyô (Oyu Hot Spring Vil-lage), which was designated by the Nambu domain (which ruled the area during the Edo era) as a recuperative hot spring location; and the Oyu Stone Circle, which comprises precious ruins from the Neolithic era. The area also offers traditional folk performing arts such as the “Hanawa Bayashi” Festival (Hanawa Music Festival). Kazuno City and its neighboring Kosaka Town have also enjoyed prosperity since early modern times due to the Osarizawa and Kosaka mines. Many engineers and their families moved into the area, after which cultural facilities, such as swimming pools and meeting places, were constructed, thus making the area one of first in the prefecture to enjoy modern civilization.
The advantages of the brewery’s surrounding environment include a brisk climate and fresh water during severe win-ters, which enable the brewery to practice kanzukuri (brew-ing in the cold). In addition to Kazuno City’s climate, which is the coldest in Akita Prefecture due to its location in a deep mountain basin, the semi-basement structure of the brewery facilitates the maintenance of low temperatures without air conditioning throughout the year. The water used for brew-ing comes from underground aquifer in the Shirasu Plateau, which is part of the Ou Mountains. Furthermore, the water is rich in substances that help fermentation, such as phos-phoric acid and chloride. The brewers are grateful for the advantages of this location, which is suitable for saké brew-ing.
The brewery’s philosophy is that the virtue of saké brewing is to slowly take care of saké through significant efforts. The brewery uses small equipment so the brewers can easily manage and focus on the smallest details. The room for kôji is located upstairs, and it has good humidity control. It is also perfect for growing tsukihaze kôji (a type of fermented rice covered with spots of mold). Since the room for moromi is in a semi-basement made with clay, the brewer can adjust the temperature of the fermenting rice without it being af-fected by the outside air. While the basic taste for this brew-ery should be fresh and dry, the brewery’s goal is to allow each saké to have unique characteristics.