Fukugen Saké Brewery is one of only 2 saké breweries located in Ikeda Town, Azumino City in Nagano Prefecture. Ikeda Town has a small population of around 10,000 and is surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes with the majestic Northern Alps mountain range in the backdrop. The pristine quality of the snow melt water from the Alps ultimately spruces up from underground into fresh spring water in the lower plains and is used for rice cultivation and is excellent for brewing saké.
Fukugen Saké Brewery prides itself for being a small artisanal saké producer, refusing to brew in bulk quantities. It still practices the traditional process of employing people to brew saké in the winter months while the Toji (master brewer) and Kurabito (brewery workers) are also involved in agricultural activities like planting rice tomato, sesame etc, in the spring, summer and autumn. While the brewery has its own rice fields, it also buy rice from local farmers. Fukugen actively promotes and encourage organic farming practices with low to no pesticides usage such as using ducks to control pests in the rice fields. With the constant interaction and good relationship with the local rice farmers, Fukugen is supplied with high quality sake rice for its brewing needs.
Fukugen uses brewing recipes and traditional techniques that has been passed down through the generations for the last 360 years developing its own unique style and flavour profile. Ms Seiko Hirabayashi, the current 18th generation owner hopes that Fukugen's artisanal sakés will be enjoyed by saké connoiseurs around the world.
The Saké Place will soon be making Fukugen sakés available to sake lovers in Malaysia!
The towering Northern Alps above Ikeda Town and Azumino City
Fukugen Brewery works closely with local farmers to promote organic farming practices.
An undated picture of the Hirabayashi Family and brewery workers
A lovely picture taken of 17th Generation owner Mr Atsuo Hirabayahi together with daughter and 18th Generation Kuramoto, Ms Seiko Hirabayashi.
Fukugen Sake Brewery
Fukugen prides itself with producing traditional "hand made" sakes in small batches
Toji Tatsuya Suzuki listening to the sound of bubbles popping and fermentation activity to gauge the fermentation stage in the tank.
Some of the many awards received by Fukugen Sake Brewery