Category Archives: Sugii Brewery

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Junmai Hatsu Shibori Kimoto Shikomi


Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City is known as the most experiencing sake brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture and one has to be quick to grab all their limited brews!
Their names also make for good reading:
“Hatsu Shibori” means “First Press”. “Kimoto Shikomi・生酛仕込み” is a bit more difficult to translate as it is an old method that many breweries avoid because it is hard work and very risky as it uses natural/wild yeasts.


Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 14~15 degrees
Bottled in December 2013

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Assertive, dry, fruity. Apples, oranges
Body: Fluid
Taste: Very dry attack.
Very light and fruity. Complex, “difficult to catch”.
Apples, dry melon.
Junmai petillant appears on the palate only after swallowing, therefore tends to linger on for a while with lots of dry apples.
As nurukan/lukewarm, reveals totally diffrent facets with a milder attack with hints of dark chocolate and almonds.
marries beautifully with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.

Overall: For the unusual and dry sake lovers!
Definitely not your standard sake in Shizuoka Prefecture or elsewhere for that matter!
A sake obviously conceived to accompany and emphasize food.
Definitely worth a careful tasting away from the norm!


So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Homare Fuji

The beauty of Japanese sake (like wine) is that, regardless of the same methods, same ingredients or same skills, the same brewery will not be able to reproduce exactly the same brew as the precedent year!
And when it comes to making Yamahai it is simply, and luckily to my own mind, impossible!

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has never been afraid to experiment.
Once again they used the Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare rice and brewed it with a yeast not from our Prefecture to produce a very interesting Yamahai!

Sugii Brewery; Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Fuji Homare

Rice: Homare Fuji (100% Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 4.5
Acidity: 1.6
Yeast: Association No 7
Heated only once
Bottled in April 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue (normal for Yamahai)
Aroma: Dry and fruity: custard, macadamia nuts
Body: fluid and slightly syrupy
Taste: Dry fruity attack backed up by strong junmai petillant
Custard, oranges, almonds.
Stays very dry but fruity all along.
Lingers for a short while before leaving with a warm note and dry nuts.
Pleasant, although the final dry note might surprise a few people.
Changes little with food.
Further sips end with a dry note of apricots and oranges.

Overall: A sake conceived to be enjoyed with food, especially heavy izakaya food, the dry note compensating the heaviness of sauces.
Typical sake from Sugii Brewery, a favorite with food!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Soba Restaurant: Soba Sake Kawakatsu

Service: Friendly
Equipment: traditional. Clean. Beautiful toilets
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Very fresh ingredients. Most ingredients not only local but sef-grown or self-raised! Local sake and shochu!
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

Mototsugu Kawabe/河辺基次, after graduating from the celebrated Kyoto University decided to go back to its roots and help with his parents’ soba shop in Fujieda City. But he did so with a remarkable difference!

Mototsugu and his parents.

First of all, like many young people of his generation, he decided to go “local” as much as possible.

Choose you cup for your sake!

But he went one and two steps ahead: The soba served at the their restaurant are all made with buckwheat he grows himself in Fujieda City!

Yamahai Junmai by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City!

He also grows most of the vegetables used at their restaurant and all the chicken served there comes from an average of 240 Ikkoku Shamo Chickens, a very valauble species in the whole of Japan, as they also specialize in chicken served with their soba and also in yakitori. He must be a rarity not only in Shizuoka Prefecture but in the whole of Japan for taking the pains of using so many local ingredients!

Japanese and expats alike will grow fond of the place for its traditional Japanese atmosphere!

A bottle bag from Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City! Soba Sake Kawakatsu serves no les than 6 of their brews!

I’m sure you will get tempted to take the bottle out and ask it to be filled!

As it was my first (and certainly not the last!) visit, I knew what to ask for: Ikkokoku Shamo (Chicken) eiro (chicken in stock with large leeks) Soba!

The soba are made with 100% own buckwheat!

One dips his/her soba in the broth and eats the leeks and chicken in between!

The dashi Tamago Yaki/出し卵焼き is made with the eggs of the same chickens!

Beautiful both in looks and taste!
I know quite a few expat friends who would travel all the way for it!

The restaurant serves not only 6 different sake from Sugii Brewery in Fujieda but also 3 different shochu from the same brewery!
The above shochu was made with buckwheat grown by Mr. Kawabe!

Kawakatsu Buckwheat shochu private label bottle!

蕎麦酒 /sobashyu means buckwheat shochu!

An to appreciate and finish my shochu. a beautiful plate of “okamisan no nuka zuke”/vegetables pickled in rice bran by his Mother!

Next time, see you there for dinner!

Sake Soba Kawakatsu
426-0034, Fujieda Shi, Eki mae, 1-8-4
Tel./Fax: 054-645-1770
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30~22:00
Closed on Mondays, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays

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