Dewatsuru Brewing

The founding family, originally from western Japan, moved to the Tohoku Region in the 17th century. The Itô family estab-lished themselves in Akita as landowners and village heads. In 1865, the 12th generation head of the family, Jûshirô Itô, opened Yamato Brewery as a family business in Daisen City. Jûshirô harvested the locally cultivated quality rice, built a kura on his compound, and began brewing saké.
The following generation head, Kyônosuke Itô, turned the brewery into a corporation in 1913. The new name of the brewery and the name for its saké, DEWATSURU (“the crane of Dewa Province”), embodies the vision of making local saké as fine, elegant, and beautiful as a crane’s wings. At the same time, Kyônosuke was also breeding horses, which were a necessary commodity during that period. Even today, stables and pastures are located in the compound. Kyôno-suke also contributed to the region by cultivating the wil-derness, creating new fields, and improving the arable land, thereby increasing rice production.
Dewatsuru Brewery is located in the southern part of Akita Prefecture between several large mountains. This location provides an abundance of fresh water, and the soil contains a wealth of nutrients for crops, thus giving the rice pro-duced in the area a particular tastefulness. This area is one of the best agricultural zones in Akita, and it has cold, snowy winters that are suitable for the Akita style of low-temperature, long-term brewing.
The process of making great saké begins by using quality rice. Consequently, the brewers at Dewatsuru are involved with cultivating rice in addition to saké brewing. In particu-lar, the brewers collaborate with local farmers to develop farming techniques that produce higher-quality saké rice. The brewery also uses natural groundwater from snowmelts. The mountains in the region have a large amount of foliage, and as the snow melts, water descends and makes its way underground. The many layers of the soil act as a filtering mechanism, creating pure, soft water. The distinguishing characteristic of the saké born from this pure water is its refined quality.
The name of Yamato Brewery is represented in one of its prod-ucts, YAMATO SHIZUKU, which is made using the brewing style of the mid-19th century. YAMATO SHIZUKU is a distinctively local saké made with saké rice (“Miyamanishiki” rice or “Akita Saké Komachi” rice) grown within 10 kilometers of the brewery by the brewery’s members and contracted farmers. The 12 types of saké (seven types available throughout the year and five available seasonally) in the YAMATO SHIZUKU series are all junmaishu, and they can be shipped directly from the brewery to liquor shops.