Niizawa Brewery, Hakurakusei Junmai Ginjo Sake



Soft, pleasing aromas of banana and melon coincide with flavors of fresh pineapple. This sake has a long gently sweet and refreshingly acidic finish.

Slightly fuller and chewier than the Hakurakusei Tokubetsu Junmai, it shares the house style: clean and zippy and remarkably food friendly. Enjoying this out of glassware with plenty of room to breathe can really unlock its nuances, once you catch a touch of grapefruit or melon it disappears. Just full enough to stand up to richer and sweeter foods like simmered Japanese nimono dishes or to cut through chicken liver mouse. And if you’ve never tried the heavenly combination of sake and caviar, this is the place to start. Made from lesser known varietal Kura no Hana rice milled to 55%.

Established in the sixth year of Meiji, 1873. We have been brewing Atagonomatsu since our founding, and it continues to be loved by our local community. Atagonomatsu was also famously the subject of an ode written by the Japanese poet Bansui Doi.

The current president, fifth-generation Iwao Niizawa, became Miyagi Prefecture's youngest brewmaster in 2000 and created the Hakurakusei brand in 2001. In a time where there were only words in the Japanese lexicon for a pre-meal or post-meal drink, Niizawa, through Hakurakusei, pioneered the idea that there should also be a food-pairing sake(shokuchushu in Japanese), a sake that intensifies the flavors in the dishes it is paired with. Hakurakusei, brewed under the concept of the ultimate food-pairing sake, can now be enjoyed in Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan and around the world.

Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, we were forced to move our brewery from our home of Sanbongi in Northern Miyagi to Kawasaki in the southwest of the prefecture close to the border with Yamagata. We started brewing in our new brewery in November of the same year and rebuilt our home office in August of 2013. In 2018, the role of head brewmaster was passed from President Niizawa to Nanami Watanabe, who at 22 years old, became Japan's youngest ever brewmaster. Niizawa, though no longer involved in the day-to-day brewing, continues to teach and give guidance with the goal of brewing ever better sake for our customers to enjoy.

Along with our two sake brands Hakurakusei and Atagonomatsu, we also brew sake-based umeshus and yuzu, earl grey tea, and yogurt liqueurs. All of our products, from our most everyday cup sakes to our most top of the line products, are stored at minus five degrees Celsius to preserve their freshness, so that when they reach our customers they can be enjoyed at peak condition. While carefully shipping around Japan, we also export our sake to 17 countries around the world.

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