Shimomura brewery

Back to the basics - Focus on the depth of the sake rather than innovation

Founded in 1884, Shimomura Brewery is located in Hyogo Prefecture, the main production area for Yamadanishiki. In addition to the abundance of Yamada-Nishiki available, the area is surrounded by mountains, and the temperature drops in winter, making it an ideal environment for sake brewing. The area where the brewery is located is called "Harima," and it has received the Geographical Indication (GI) designation, which allows sake brewed by breweries in Harima using rice, koji rice, and water from this area to be labeled as「 "GI Harima. 」

shimomura shuzoten_hyogo

Hyogo・Shimomura Brewery

The rice used is Hyogo Yamada-Nishiki and Yume-Nishiki, which is the grandchild of Yamada-Nishiki. The brewery also has a partnership with the local farmers in the area. Because the rice is grown using the same water, the local rice is said to be ideal for sake making.

Shimomura Sake Brewery_rice fields

Yume Nishiki grown by Shimomura Brewery and contract farmers/span>

Sake quality derived from pursuing individuality

“Homecoming" is a sake that stands for more being worth drinking than easy drinkability, and more character than lightness. The Shimomura Brewery's shift to a more individualistic sake style began in the early 1990s with the previous brewmaster. The Toji (brewmaster) who came to the brewery at that time specialized in brewing sake with bolder flavors, and his brewing style worked well with the local rice and water, resulting in this sake quality.

He started at a time when clean, light sake was popular among the public, and he was able to clearly distinguish himself from the rest of the pack with a robust flavor profile that also was well suited for aging, which at that time was the exact opposite of “normal” sake. This sake was born from a series of coincidences.

Shimomura Brewery_inside of brewery

inside Shimomura Brewery

After an encounter with a certain brewery, the brewery decided in 2008 to switch to producing only Junmai sake (no alcohol-added products) in all of its production. Leaving the cheaper-priced sake with added alcohol that they had been producing before behind, led to a new focus on quality and improved their brewing and quality control techniques.

Shimomura Sake Brewery_making koji

making koji

One of the main factors for the sake’s heavier flavor profile is the "koji" making process. Another important factor is the application of the traditional "Yamahai fermentation starter" method. This method results in a thick, appetizing acidity that is easy to pair with fatty foods such as meat.

Inheriting and deepening traditions

shimomura shuzoten_shimomura motoki

President motoki shimoyama

President Motoki Shimomura, who took over the brewery from the previous generation, also places importance on maintaining the traditional taste. He says that he is constantly searching for ways to improve the quality of his sake without changing the brewing process. "I want to increase the depth of the sake rather than to evolve the sake.” He believes that especially after his experience of working at other breweries before taking over the family business, there is a lot to learn from brewing at the brewery, and he values the sensation of brewing.

In addition, the Shimomura Brewery adheres to the family motto left by the first brewer, Kurobei Shimomura: "There is no skill that excels in handcrafting”. Handmade sake is essential for crafting sake with character, and rather than increasing the production volume, the brewery continues to brew sake on a small scale but within reach.

shimomura shuzoten_motto of brewery

motto of the brewery

"Homecoming" can be enjoyed at a variety of temperatures, from chilled to warm. Its robust flavor and acidity make it an easy match even for Western cuisine. Perfect for those who are looking for a drink that can be effortlessly sipped.

From the brewery

Recommended pairing options are steak or BBQ, especially heavier meats like beef and pork. The acidity of the sake helps to balance the fattiness and thus makes the food more enjoyable. Once opened and stored at room temperature, the taste does not change easily, so you can sip it little by little every day. We are happy if the sake brings you peace of mind together with your daily dinner.