Shimaoka Shuzo

Gunma, Ota-shi Prefecture – Brewer: Tokutaro Fuse – Founded 1863


Located in the eastern region of the Gunma Prefecture, between the Tone and Watarase rivers, this traditional brewery prides itself on producing sake in small batches to maintain taste and quality. Because of the years of traditional sake making that goes into the sake at this brewery, the Toji only sources the most experienced employees.

The most important ingredient that goes into this sake is the water, which is from a local well in Akagiyama. The content of this local water is high in minerals that give these sakes a round rich mouthfeel that pairs well with food. They age all their sake anywhere from 1-3 years, which adds the depth and color for which this brewery is known. This sakagura is famous for using a traditional style of brewing called Yamahai, using only the natural yeast that has built up in the brewery over many generations. Part of the brewery was severely damaged by fire at the turn of the century. Because of the importance of the sakagura to the community, the local townspeople came together to rebuild and keep their beloved brewery.