300 Year Old Brewery Keeps Breaking Traditions
IINUMAHONKE CO., LTD
Located in Shisui-machi in Chiba Prefecture, a town known for its local legend about a sake spring well, IINUMAHONKE CO., LTD has produced sake for more than 300 years. This long standing brewery does not just stand on its tradition and solid foundation, but it strives to introduce new ideas.
While staying true to the traditional brewing method, they adjust their flavors to appeal to younger people and even non-Japanese, who are more accustomed to enjoying wine. A team of young brewing and developing staff members are making efforts to produce sake that can be enjoyed just like wine.
The brewery also takes advantage of its locale which is close to the Narita International Airport, the biggest gateway to Japan from overseas. They have established their facility as a tourist destination. Their English speaking staff can guide you on a brewery tour, and before and after the tour, you can unwind at the Magariya (pictured above), an old house renovated into a shop and tasting room. Try their brand, Kinoene Masamune, their traditional taste, and fruit flavored sake, and their new flavors that reflect their innovative spirits.
Three labels of Kinoene Masamune are currently available in the U.S. Junmai Migaki Hachiwari, uses locally grown Fusakogane rice that is only milled 20% to bring out its full rice flavor. Rich and medium dry with a touch of fruity sourness, it boasts a sharp, juicy finish. The best way to enjoy the brew is either hot or chilled. Recommended paired with oysters, beef steak and any dishes that have rich flavors.
Junmai Ginjo Yuga, on the other hand, is just like a white wine. It has a refreshing and mild flavor with a moderately sweet finish, making it perfect with fresh sashimi and light dishes. Not yet available in New York, Junmai Daiginjo Kinoene is the highest end sake among the three. Made with Yamadanishiki rice, premium sake rice variety, the label has a beautiful aroma and clean flavor that you’ll want to appreciate on its own. It is currently available only on the West Coast but coming to the East Coast by the end of this year.
IINUMAHONKE CO., LTD
106 Mabashi, Shisui-machi, Inba-gun, Chiba, 285-0914 JAPAN
TEL: 043-496-1111 | www.iinumahonke.co.jp
3 things you should know about IINUMAHONKE CO., LTD
Grow Ingredients on Their Own Farm
IINUMAHONKE owns a huge farm land called “Kinoene Noen Farm” where they grow rice, peanuts, blueberries and other produce. They believe it is easier to control products’ quality if they manage the whole process of sake making from farming to brewing. Their original plum jelly, peanut butter and other products are also popular among visitors as souvenirs.
Vicinity from Narita Airport
IINUMAHONKE is located just 20 minutes driving distance from the Narita International Airport. Thanks to its location and easy access from Japan’s sky gate, a number of tourists from overseas visit the brewery every year. At the venue, there is an English tour so foreign visitors can fully understand the history and brewing process of their sake and assembly lines.
300 Years Old Original Taste
Blessed with a mild climate and an abundance of natural resources, the brewery has used locally grown rice and the regions clear underground spring water to produce their original taste for over 300 years. Their sake is surprisingly versatile as it goes with traditional Japanese cuisine and Western foods alike.