Cool Sake Brewed in the Cold
Hokkaido Muminmura Co., Ltd
Hokkaido Muminmura Co., Ltd. is a rather unique sake producer as compared to standard sake brewers. It was established by nine farmers in Asahikawa City, Hokkaido as an agricultural corporation. The corporation started growing the sake rice Ginpuu in 2002, and the following year they embarked on brewing junmai style sake in collaboration with Takasago Brewery, an esteemed sake brewery from the area. Just five years after they started producing sake, they received an award in the Junmai Sake Category of the National Sake Competition.
Geographically Asahikawa is located in the center of Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, and at the foot of the Daisetsuzan Mountain National Park. The area is rich in well water undercurrent from the Daisetsuzan Mountains, fertile soil, and has the ideal climate for growing rice. The Ginpuu rice used for their sake is produced in the midst of this beautiful nature. With a great appreciation for their natural blessings, they make efforts to provide quality agricultural produce and ultimately contribute to the creation of a healthy and rich food culture. One of their attempts at achieving this is via the production of sake.
The only sake from Hokkaido Muminmura released in the U.S. is a junmai daiginjo sake, iki [Cool]. Using undercurrent water from the Daisetsuzan Mountains and Ginpuu rice grown in Muminmura milled up to 45% of rice remaining, it is brewed slowly in low temperatures to bring out its maximum flavor and aroma. In the sake’s development stage they consulted the James Beard Award winning chef, Christopher Lee, and the result is a craft sake that has a smooth texture and a refined aroma, which complements various types of foods. It exhibits an amazing balance of sweetness and acidity with an elegant and clean impression, and it goes particularly well with the sweet flavors of oysters, scallops and shrimp. Raw oyster cocktails, seared diver scallops and seafood carpaccio are the perfect pairing options. As Chef Lee tailored iki [Cool] to go wonderfully with the Western palate, you don’t have to be shy about pairing this sake with your meals. It is recommended to be enjoyed chilled in a wine glass.
3 things you should know about HOKKAIDO MUMINMURA
Growing Optimal Sake Rice for the Taste ofiki [Cool]
Hokkaido Muminmura’s sake production starts from growing sake rice themselves. In doing so, they value the rice quality rather than its quantity. If fertilizer is used for growing, the rice’s protein content increases, which is not ideal for creating clean flavored sake. They continue to grow the optimal rice for creating the crisp and clean texture and refreshing aftertaste of iki [Cool].
Good Water, Great Rice and Quality Sake Share the Same Origin
Hokkaido Muminmura’s home, Asahikawa, is located in the basin surrounded by the Daisetsuzan Mountains, and four rivers cut through it. The area is rich in high quality undercurrent water gushing out from the sediment, helping to produce good rice and sake.
Muminmura’s Collaborator, Takasago Brewery
Hokkaido Muminmura collaborates with the long-standing, local sake producer, Takasago Brewery. Blessed with the great nature of Asahikawa and keeping their motto of “No end for sake brewing perfection” in mind, the brewery has produced sake since 1899. By managing the whole production process and via quality control, they stick to small-scale production and brew high quality sake full of local characteristics.