Kodama Brewing

This brewery, internationally known for its award-winning, pure-rice, super-premium saké TAIHEIZAN- TENKÔ (太平山 天巧), is located north of Akita City in Katagami City. The founder and owner, the Kodama family, has been conduct-ing its brewing business at the same site since 1879. Good rice, clean mountain water, and the ideal climate give TAI-HEIZAN saké its unique quality. Recognized at international competitions, such as the prestigious London International Wine Challenge (IWC), TAIHEIZAN is available and enjoyed by consumers in 10 countries around the world.
The Kodama family first began its business in 1879 as a soy sauce and miso manufacturer for local consumers. Soy sauce and miso are traditionally basic, essential seasonings in Jap-anese cuisine. At that time, there was a great potential for business to develop in Akita. Tomokichi, the eldest son of the founder of Kodama Brewery, was sent to the traditional soy sauce producing areas, Choshi and Noda, to learn brewing techniques.
As its soy sauce and miso business developed, the Kodama family started making saké in 1913. The brand name TAI-HEIZAN comes from the symbolic mountain of Akita City, Mt. Taihei (“Grand Mountain”), which has long been wor-shipped by the people of Akita. Soon after its debut, TAI-HEIZAN became popular with local consumers.
Always searching for improvements and higher quality, the Kodama Brewery introduced Japan’s first chilled saké, TAI-HEIZAN- REIRÔ (太平山 玲琅), in 1933. REIRÔ became a big hit in Tokyo, and after taking first place at the 14th Annual Na-tional Sake Competition in 1934, TAIHEIZAN achieved na-tional recognition and popularity.
The unique characteristic of TAIHEIZAN saké is its deep uma-mi taste with a sharp finish. One of the secrets behind this brand is the creation of moto (yeast starter) before the main fermentation occurs. Kodama Brewery developed an origi-nal technique, known as the “Akita Kimoto Method,” which is an Akita version of the traditional pole-rammed kimoto method of creating moto. The traditional kimoto method is very labor intensive and time consuming, and during the Meiji period (1868–1912), many breweries switched from the traditional yeast-starter creation method to a faster, simpler version of kimoto, called sokujômoto. However, Kodama Brewery believed in the qualities of saké made by the tradi-tional kimoto method and passed down its original Akita Kimoto Method to the next generations in the brewery.