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Mii no Kotobuki

prefecture: Fukuoka

Established in 1922, Mii no Kotobuki is a distinguished sake brewery located along the Koishiwara river, set against the picturesque backdrop of rice fields and the Mino mountain range. Their Toji (Master Brewer), Tadatsugu Inoue, has been at the helm since 2002, having been involved in sake-making alongside his father since 1996. Historically, Mii no Kotobuki, like many small breweries, operated as subcontractors for larger sake producers. However, a transformative visit to France by Inoue-san’s father led to a pivotal shift towards prioritizing quality over quantity. This decision has been fruitful, as today, Mii no Kotobuki is celebrated for its exquisite sake, enjoying a dedicated local following and recognition among sake connoisseurs throughout Japan.

The brewery is renowned for using select rice varieties, including ‘Itoshima’ Yamada Nishiki, Gin no Sato, and the locally grown Yumeikon. Additionally, they have exclusive contracts with local farmers to cultivate two specific rice types, Kokuryo Miyako and Mii-Shinriki, the latter being a unique variety used only by Mii no Kotobuki.

Mii no Kotobuki is not just committed to preserving the tradition of sake brewing; they also embrace scientific research, natural understanding, and human studies in their processes. Each Kyushu brewery, despite using similar rice and yeast, achieves a distinct taste through their unique blending and fermentation techniques. Mii no Kotobuki, with a deep passion for sake brewing, excels in this art.

Their dedication to local resources is evident in their use of Yamadanishiki rice from Fukuoka Prefecture, aligning with their values of locality, quality, and originality. This commitment has led to significant recognition, with Mii no Kotobuki being the only Kyushu brewery to have achieved a remarkable 90.5% success rate in the National New Sake Competition.

Tadatsugu Inoue, born in 1970 in Tachiarai-cho, Mii County, Fukuoka Prefecture, and a former employee of Haagen-Dazs Japan Co., returned to the brewery in 1997 at the age of 27. Since becoming the head brewer in 2002, Inoue has brought a unique blend of science, sense, and passion to the craft. His dedication to learning and refining his skills has included visiting esteemed breweries across Japan. His expertise as a master brewer has been recognized with numerous victories in the National New Sake Competition, marking a 20-1 win record.