With a rice merchant’s passion for quality,
developing new sakes to impress drinkers

The city of Yamaga grew as a post town along the historical Bunzen Kaido route. The city is famous for its hot springs, traditional arts, and paper lanterns, and a walk down some of the streets will transport you back in time. Chiyonosono Shuzo Co., Ltd. is located in the Somon neighborhood, an area near the Kikuchi River that was once where rice was collected for transport. The founding Honda family were originally rice wholesalers, but they decided to get into sake brewing in 1896 and the Honda Brewery eventually became today’s Chiyonosono Shuzo Co., Ltd. The historic brewery’s towering chimney is its main symbol.

Because the brewery started as a rice wholesaler, Chiyonosono has always paid extra attention to the quality of rice they use. They have even cultivated their own variety of rice—Kyushu Shinriki—from an older variety of rice called Shinriki that was used in the early to mid-1900s. Also, after WWII when ordinary quality sake was the norm around Japan, Chiyonosono made waves as one of the first breweries to start making junmai sake. The brewery is always changing with the times, such as making cork-stoppered bottles for their daiginjo sake, but they have always stuck to their roots by using 100% in-house rice for their sake.

“In the sake industry, we don’t “grind” or “mill” the rice—we polish it. Polishing rice is a very important step in making the sake we want to make. Every single step is important for the flavor of the sake, from the polishing ratio and the mash amounts, to finding the best temperatures for the groundwater we use for mashing, so you always have to be on your toes,” states head brewer Nakashima.

“Our mission is to make the sake that our customers want. We also want to try making new sakes that go well with food. Every day we learn something new,” remarks Yuri Honda, the future 5th-generation Honda brewer. Yuri’s new perspectives on sake making are sure to impress scores of sake drinkers.

Chiyonosono Shuzo Co., Ltd.

Yamaga 1782, Yamaga-shi, Kumamoto-ken 861-0501 
TEL 0968-43-2161 FAX 0968-44-7300

Founded: 1896
Representative: Masaharu Honda

Rice: Yamadanishiki, Shinriki, etc.; Yeast: Kumamoto Yeast, etc.; Water: 100% spring water

Kan Sake Awards 2015 – Shuhai, Gold, Atsukan Group; 2016 National Research Institute of Brewing Award; The Fine Sake Awards 2016 – Gold for Excel, and Golds for Tsukigasa Junmai Daiginjo and Kumamoto Shinriki Junmai Ginjo in Premium Atsukan Group.

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