Hatsumago Brewery (Yamagata )
“Hatsumago,” located in Sakata in the Yamagata prefecture, was a prosperous port in Sakata in the Edo period. Hatsumago founder, Sato, was a merchant who operated a shipping business in Sakata during those times. He studied brewing technology with the then industry celebrity 酒井悌一郞氏of the Sakai clan. From there, he started his career in sake. In 1893, he officially opened and named his sake “Kinkyu.” After the birth of his first grandchild, with love and respect for the brewery, he changed the name from “Kinkyu” to “Hatsumago.”
To this day, all Hatsumago is brewed based on traditional brewing techniques, and making kimotoshubo takes double the time of making sokujoshubo. The fragrant, full-bodied sake brewed in this manner not only wins the approval of those from the Yamagata prefecture, but is sought after all across Japan. Hatsumago is top in the Yamagata prefecture for production, and although output is high and investments were previously made into computer technology and R&D laboratory equipment, manpower is incomparable to technology. Though Hatsumago sake is made at a high yield, it still possesses a powerful, rich body with distinct layers and clear personality. The brewery’s sake brewer, Hideyuki Goto, was bestowed the highest level of technical certification from the 2010 Japan National Selection Sake Council.
Hatsumago is massive, boasting more than double the production space of other breweries with the same production, facilitating the brewing process. The brewery also has a museum suitable for group visits.
Murahigashiyama-125-3 Jūrizuka, Sakata, Yamagata prefecture 998-0114, Japan