Shimaoka Shuzo

Ota shi, Gunma Prefecture

Brewer Tokutaro Fuse

Founded 1863

Located in the eastern region of the Gunma prefecture, between the Tone and Watarase rivers, this traditional brewery prides itself on producing sake in small batches to maintain taste and quality. Because of the years of traditional sake making that goes into the sake at this brewery, the toji (master brewer) only sources the most experienced kurabito (employees).

In addition to excellent sake making artistry, the most important ingredient that goes into this sake is the water which is from a local well in Akagiyama.  The content of this local water is high in minerals that give the Gunma Izumi sakes a round rich mouth feel that pairs well with food.   They also age all their sake anywhere from 1 to 3 years which adds depth and color for which this brewery is known.  This sakagura (brewery) is famous for their traditional style of brewing called Yamahai, using only the natural yeast that has built up in the brewery over many generations.

Part of the brewery was severely damaged by fire at the turn of the century.  Because of the importance of the Sakagura to the community, the local townspeople helped to rebuild that which was lost and keep their beloved brewery.