Japanese sake may have been around for 3,000 years, but it’s experiencing a bit of renaissance of late. Though production methods have changed over the centuries, what remains is its smooth taste and, today, we’re see a growing fanbase outside of Japan, particularly in North America and Europe.
Hoping to benefit from this trend is Hayashi Honten, an established sake brewery in Gifu Prefecture that’s celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020. Renowned for producing original, high-quality sake, the brewery dedicates itself to the experimentation and exploration of a vast range of flavors – all while staying true to tradition and striving to share sake culture both in Japan and abroad.
Clean, Healthy Ingredients
Made by expert brewers, each bottle uses fresh ingredients, including water from the Japan Alps. The brewery pulls from a 100m-deep reserve, which means the water is clean, pure and rich in natural minerals. Hayashi Honten also promotes local agriculture by working with organic rice farmers in the area. One thing is for sure, organic rice is a must.
Where Hayashi Honten shines is in its use of lactic acid in the sake production process, a rarity in Japan. This allows the brewery to ditch traditional additives and increase the level of umami with every batch. Incorporating probiotics into your diet, be it through sake or not, can help with the maintenance of good gut health. This is in addition to sake’s natural amino acids, which help promote good digestion.
Hayashi Honten has perfected a controlled brewing method, allowing a stable production year-round. This means sake lovers can get excellent sake no matter the season. Furthermore, the brewery hopes to expand its range to suit a variety of cuisines, believing that this could be the key to sharing the sake tradition with cultures all around the world.
Honoring Japanese Culture
Over its long history, Hayashi Honten has always celebrated Japanese culture. Besides conserving traditional sake production methods, it focuses on highlighting the Japanese arts through different series. The most popular edition is Hyaku Juro (“Hyaku Ju” means 110), inspired by the Gifu-native kabuki actor (and sake fan) of the same name. In honor of his cultural heritage, each colorful label of this range resembles the distinctive designs of kabuki makeup.
Their latest series, Next Generation, is all about sharing Japan’s cultural history with a younger generation of sake lovers. This series encompasses their Tera and Shibuki (golden amber) bottles, both inspired by the Edo Period. Tera is a sweet and easy-to-drink sake, while Shibuki is inspired by Japan’s izakaya cocktail, the highball. Best enjoyed with a dash of soda water for an elevated version of the casual cocktail, this special sake is unique and versatile to suit a range of tastes.
Shop Hayashi Honten’s lineup at hayashihonten.stores.jp