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Sophisticated Essentials of Shochu Making

Kyoya Shuzo Distiller & Brewer Co., Ltd.

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Behind exquisite dishes there are always high quality ingredients, sophisticated cooking methods and the craftsmanship of chefs, and the same can be said for premium shochu. Kyoya Shuzo Distiller & Brewer Co., Ltd. has them all. Their home ground, Nichinan-shi in Miyazaki Prefecture, has an abundance of nature’s blessings and provides an ideal climate to grow sweet potatoes and rice as well as supplying the high quality water necessary for brewing and distilling shochu. In addition, with over 170 years of distillery practice they know exactly how to communicate with nature, handle the equipment they have traditionally used and produce the best way possible. In particular, the egg-shaped earthenware casks handed down in the kuramoto enable a natural convection in the brewing process, which affects shochu flavor.

This micro-distillery has produced numerous award-winning shochu and among them are three brands available in the U.S.  Kappa no Sasoi Mizu is a light and smooth sweet potato shochu with refreshing citrus flavor, which goes well with white meat dishes.  Heihachiro is also a sweet potato shochu, but it boasts a rich, complex flavor that complements full-bodied dishes of red meat or fatty meat. Hebess Cool is a liqueur made of sweet potato shochu blended with a locally grown citrus, “hebes,” and it has invigorating freshness.  Although they share the same ingredients, each shochu shows unique features. You would be amazed with Kyoya’s techniques of creating such diverse flavors out of the same ingredients.

“In order to consistently create tasty shochu, I believe it is important to have the courage and passion to attempt new flavors while respecting tradition,” says Mr. Shinichiro Watanabe, president of Kyoya Shuzo. 15 years ago, they established Agri Company to grow the ingredients organically by themselves, where they can control every single step of shochu-making to provide high quality and safe products and ultimately contribute to a sustainable society. All the staff members at Kyoya are proud of producing such eco-conscious shochu.

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Three things you should know about KYOYA

1. Kyoya Shuzo’s traditional brewing method requires more attention and care such as listening to the condition of the earthenware casks and boiler and considering the climate and the quality of ingredients, but this enables natural and slow fermentation without forcible external heating. A mass production company cannot do this laborious fine-tuning.

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2. “Producing environment friendly shochu” is Kyoya’s mission.  To accomplish this, they established an in-house agricultural company and started growing the Miyazaki Benikotobuki variety of sweet potato that they use for their shochu. This is unusual compared to the shochu industry standard which commonly uses imported ingredients.

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3. Kyoya’s shochu is widely enjoyed in the US, Europe, and Asian countries. Many of them are highly acclaimed and receive awards in numerous international contests. For example, at this year’s Monde Selection, the esteemed food & drink fair, all of the seven entries from Kyoya Shuzo got awarded either the Grand Gold Medal or Gold Medal.

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Kyoya Shuzo Distiller & Brewer Co., Ltd.
2-3-2 Aburatsu, Nichinan, Miyazaki, 108-0071
TEL: 0987-22-2002
goshitsumon@e-shouchu.com
www.kyo-ya.com

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