At Saké Nomi, we’ve organized and grouped our saké products by the regions in which they were brewed. It is our hope that this will encourage our customers to explore the wide variety of styles brewed in regions throughout Japan whose names might not be immediately recognizable.
While the brewing capitals of Kobe and Kyoto feature delicious saké from the world’s biggest and best-selling brewing companies, we particularly enjoy the discovery of smaller, family owned and operated breweries often located in more rural areas. Saké produced by these smaller operations is referred to as jizake, or “local/country saké,” and we think of them as being roughly equivalent to a microbrewery or boutique winery.
Many saké brewing styles and flavors have developed as a direct result of regional influences such as naturally occurring water sources and locally cultivated rice. Before the development of sophisticated distribution methods, the local cuisine also played a major role in determining the prevalent flavor profiles of the area’s saké. It’s a bit of a gross generalization, but the style of saké drunk in seaside towns where fresh seafood is a staple of the local diet tended to be light and dry, whereas saké in more remote or mountainous regions tended to be more robust and full-bodied to complement the saltier preserved foods found in those areas.
While an argument can be made that technology and improved transportation has made the Japanese saké drinking and brewing world smaller, resulting in more homogeneous saké styles, we believe there are still many interesting regional characteristics to be found, and we love and respect the local pride that these brewers express through their craft.