Saiya Shuzo - sake made with a unique brewing process

04 Oct 2018

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Brewery Introduction

Saiya is a sake brewery based in Akita, northern Japan. Founded in 1903, the Saiya Brewery is one of the most award-winning breweries at the Japanese National Sake Competition. In the past fifteen years of the competition, the brewery has won an astonishing ten gold medals. Mr. Toichi Takahashi, their brew master, has been recognized by the Emperor of Japan as a cherished craftsman. Mr Takahashi has been the brewer master since 1984 and is inarguably the main deviser of Saiya Brewey. He believes in using all local ingredients and does not like to interfere much with the brewing process.

Saiya Brewery doesn’t allow high demand to speed up their production. The brewery has always put a strong focus on using their own in-house yeast and milling rice properly. Saiya Brewery was the first brewery in Akita prefecture to culture its own yeast. By isolating and re-culturing the healthy and hardworking yeast out of moromi (fermenting mash) tanks, the master brewer has discovered a strain of yeast that can survive under a strenuous environment of low temperature and higher alcohol content as the fermentation progresses in the tank.

The sake they brew follows a strict discipline to achieve the finest quality. The brewers do all they can to insure a healthy and clean environment and a strong and consistent effort in brewing. Their sake doesn’t take on a strong aroma, instead it has a strong aftertaste known as fukumi. To achieve this, it takes carefully calculated time and requires brewing at low temperatures without exposure to air. This way the aroma of the yeast blends beautifully into sake.

Saiya Brewery is the first ASAC-approved (an accredited organic certification body in Japan) organic brewery in Japan. The brewery is kept spotlessly clean and is free of chemical disinfectants, which allows the significant inclusion of every living organism in the brewing process. Coupled with Saiya’s unique brewing process, this certification further elevates the brewery’s acclaimed status as a producer of outstanding sake.

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Recommendation

Yuki No Bosha is the most well-known brand from Saiya Brewery. It is known for its pronounced aroma, silky and balanced body, clean acidity, and rich umami and, and it has won the Gold Medal at the Annual New Sake Competition more than anyone else in Akita. Yuki No Bosha which literally means "Cabin in the Snow," is a celebration of the northern, Akita region of Japan. Rustic, rugged and rural Akita prefecture is cherished by the Japanese for its lively festivals, tranquil winter and delicious sake.

Yukinobousha Junmai Ginjo is one of the best products from this brewery. It has beautiful fruity Ginjo fragrance. It is very clean and subtle on your palate with a slightly dry finish. This is the perfect sake if you are seeking the quality fruity Junmai Ginjo.

Bottled without an addition of water, and without filtration with charcoal/micro-paper, Yuki No Bosha sake is highly aromatic, laden with pleasant acidity, clean alcohol and rich umami on palate. It is a superb sake that has ripe fruit tones including strawberries and mangos that dance in a silky and clean flow. The softness of this Junmai Ginjo and the vivid acidity are muted by a fruitiness without being sweet. A tremendous treat for those looking for a fruity experience but don't want too sweet!

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