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Our Achivement 120th Anniversary Sake

We made our 120th Anniversary Sake
based on the spirit of Kosuke Kuji,
the 5th Generation producer at Nanbu Bijin Brewery,
fusing “past,” “present,” and “future”.

– Past –

The late Hajime Yamaguchi (d. 20xx) created the foundation of what Nanbu Bijin is today. He was a mentor to the current 5th generation producer, Kosuke Kuji. Mr. Tamura, Production Director, Mr. Matsumori, a master brewer (toji) at Nanbu Bijin, and other staff learned the core philosophy of Nanbu Bijin’s style of sake brewing from him. He was the greatest master brewer, and his legacy continues.

Sakes brewed by Mr. Yamaguchi have been preserved at a low-temperature and held at the Nanbu Bijin Brewery. To create our 120th Anniversary Sake, we used Mr. Yamaguchi’s sake, which won first prize both in the 83rd (2001) and 84th (2002) Nanbu Toji National Sake Competitions. It is also the last sake he brewed for the competition.

– Present –

Carrying the techniques and spirit instilled in them by the great brewer Hajime Yamaguchi, Mr. Tamura and our brewery staff created our 120th Anniversary Sake. They utilized our own AWA sake and secondary in-bottle fermentation production methods.

– Future –

Nanbu Bijin Brewery has been working on its SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) while considering the negative environmental impacts of sake production. We recognize that brewing sake requires a substantial amount of water for washing rice, and we have proactively begun using a rice called Yui no Ka. This rice was developed by Iwate Prefecture and does not require washing.

Our 120th Anniversary Nanbu Bijin is produced with a 40% RPR (Rice Polishing Ratio) using the non-washed rice, “Yui no Ka.” This means that 60% of the surface of the rice is polished away. We ferment the polished rice at a low temperature and then separate the sake liquid from the mash using our AWA production method. We then add Mr. Yamaguchi’s last batch of sake using the assemblage (*) method, and allow secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle, making it sparkling.

This was our first experience in employing assemblage to make sake for in-bottle fermentation. We conducted a trial, but we knew we really had only one chance to get it right. We expected to struggle, but the process went tremendously well, and we are pleased with the result. We believe that “Father Yamaguchi” was on our side and watching over us during production. The 120th Anniversary Nanbu Bijin brings our past, present, and future together in one sake. We truly hope you will enjoy it!

*Assemblage – A French term that refers to assembling. In the wine world, “assemblage” is the art of blending different base wines to create a unique final blend.