kidoizumi shuzo

Most of the Chiba prefecture lies on the hilly Boso Peninsula, a rice farming region, the east coast of which is known as the Ninety-Nine League Plain, an especially productive area. The Kuroshio [black salt] Current flows around Chiba’s shores, which keeps it relatively warmer in winter and cooler in summer than neighboring Tokyo. Kidoizumi was founded in 1897 and is the only brewery in Japan that uses the Hot-Yamahai method. Traditionally Yamahai is thought to be suitable only for cold places, as during the time it takes the natural ‘lactobacillus’ to create enough lactic acid, the Moto [starter] may have already been invaded by harmful bacteria. Cold conditions reduce the danger of contamination. 

However, Kidoizumi developed a method where large amounts of ‘lactobacillus’ cultivated on the premises are added to a starter kept at very high temperature. The result is a unique full bodied, multi-layered taste. Their Nama [unpasteurized Sake] has a unique combination of acidity and sweetness, and very few breweries can match their experience with Koshu [aged Sake]---hopefully coming to the US in 2012!

Kidoizumi are proud to use locally grown rice that meets their standards of “natural”––rice grown without chemical fertilizers. They were one of the first pioneers for the “organic” movement in Japan, even having to buy quality rice on the “black market” during the decades when the government controlled all rice sales and production methods. We like their rebellious spirit, and are glad they applied it to sake making!

Hakugyokko is a Muroka Nama Genshu [no charcoal filtration, unpasteurized and undiluted] made using the traditional Hot Yamahai fermentation method. It has a ripe fruit-driven nose an a deep-layered complex taste. Honeydew melon and lychee on the palate which finishes with a robust dryness.

The letters “AFS” stand for Adachi, Furukawa, Shoji, the three people who helped Kidoizumi develop the hot yamahai method. AFS is a unique sake as it does not go through multiple parallel fermentation, but is rather a one phase fermentation, or “ichidan shikomi.” In multiple parallel fermentation the brewing sake rice is added at various multiple times throughout the fermentation process. In one phase fermentation the koji rice (kojimai) and the sake brewing rice (sakamai) are put into the starter mash all at once. In other words what you have here is a concentrated version of nihonshu straight and unpasteurized from the starter tank. Like the english name “Quintessence” this sake is the pure and concentrated essence of sake!

Visit the japanese website for the brewery for added info: Link to a story in the Japan Times:  And a great web article (in japanese only, but great photos):  Or, take a virtual tour of the brewery via our slideshow, below!

Hakugyokko “Fragrant Jewel”

Yamahai Muroka Nama Genshu

500ml & 1800ml

Rice type: Yamada Nishiki

Rice polishing: 60%

Alcohol: 18.5%   SMV: –5

Acidity: +2.1  Serve: Chilled

specs & images:

hakugyokko spec sheet.pdf

Kidoizumi SM JPEG.jpg

kidoizumi front label.jpg

AFS “Quintessence”

Yamahai Junmai Nama

500ml only

Rice type: Yamada Nishiki

Rice polishing: 65%

Alcohol: 13.7%   SMV: –33

Acidity: +6.8  Serve: Chilled

specs & images:

AFS spec:sales sheet.pdf