Tochigi, Shioya-Gun Prefecture – Brewer: Nobutaka Matsui – Founded 1865
The founder of this brewery was Master Brewer Shioya-Gun, for which this town is named. Shioya-Gun learned how to make sake in Niigata Prefecture. In 1865 he was determined to find the best water for brewing sake in all of Japan – this quest led him away from Niigata to his final destination in the Black Mountains, in Tochigi Prefecture, just north of Tokyo, where there is an abundance of clean, soft water. Tucked away in the middle of a pine forest, the mountain stream literally flows down the hillside and is channeled directly into the brewery. The quality of the water gives their sake a clean, soft mouthfeel. Matsuno Kotobuki is a taste you will never forget once you have it.
Matsui Shuzoten is a very small brewery, and once was considered “under the radar”, but now in Japan and the USA, it receives the recognition it deserves and is highly allocated as a result. Motojiro Matsui, Toji and owner, feels proud of his workers from the local community who have a passion for Japanese food and work with the soul of a “samurai”. One of the most well-known brand they produce, “Matsu no Kotobuki”, has a meaning of “Best Happiness” hidden behind its Japanese context and expresses the passion of the brewers to deliver sake that will make people “happy”.