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Akishika Shuzō

prefecture: Osaka

Nestled in the mountains between Kyoto and Osaka in Japan's Kansai region, Akishika Brewery, established in 1886, is renowned for its exceptional sake with a robust and distinctive character. The brewery, a land of terraced rice paddies and lush bamboo forests, is currently under the stewardship of Hiroaki Oku, its 12th-generation owner. Oku is not only committed to producing top-quality sake but is also a pioneer in sustainable and natural rice farming methods.

At Akishika, all rice is locally grown, sourced from farmers dedicated to eco-friendly practices. The brewery's approach includes innovative seasonal composting and field flooding techniques, allowing for natural, chemical-free rice cultivation. Their dedication to purity extends to their brewing process as well. Since 2004, Akishika has exclusively produced Junmai sake, opting out of charcoal filtration (Muroka) to retain the full flavor of their rice. This decision highlights the rich umami, structure, and depth of their sake.

A notable aspect of Akishika's production is the aging process. Most of their sake is aged before release, a practice not commonly seen in the sake industry. This aging process, sometimes lasting between 5 to 10 years, allows the sake to develop a firm, well-structured, and deep flavor profile, and can even be aged further after purchase. With about two years' worth of production aging at any given time, Akishika's commitment to quality and tradition is evident, ensuring that each bottle released is at its optimum maturity and reflects their unique brewing heritage."