Kondo Shuzo is a Gunma Prefecture sake brewery with over 140 years of history. It is known across Japan for its Akagisan brand of sake that has garnered numerous local and national awards since the mid-2000s.
The brewery’s sake is made with exquisite care. All rice washing is done by hand and brewing water is brought from nearby Mt. Akagi. The temperature of the fermenting sake is checked every two hours by Kondo Shuzo’s toji master brewer, even during the night. The result of this effort and attention is a well-defined dry sake that is fruity and easy to drink.
But there is more to this reputable brewery than just traditional techniques. An example is its revolutionary use of a centrifuge to separate the moromi (sake mash) into sake and sake lees. Traditionally, this process is performed either by pressing the sake (for most grades) or using gravity filtration (known as shizuku-shu) for the highest-quality natural sake. Kondo Shuzo uses its centrifuge technique to replicate the process of gravity filtration, making only small amounts of sake from carefully selected and polished rice.
The brewery’s sake pairs wonderfully with both Japanese and Western cuisine. They brew a wide range of sake made with various strains of sake rice and brewing techniques, including light sake, an excellent starting point for those new to the drink, as well as junmai (sake brewed with only rice, water, yeast, and koji mold), and daiginjo (the highest sake grade).
Kondo Shuzo believes that good local sake must come from an attractive local area. That is certainly true of the brewery’s environs, which feature the picturesque Watarase Keikoku Railway, Takatsudo Gorge, and the Iwajuku archaeological remains.
The brewery also believes in the principle of “local production for local consumption.” They actively working to protect the local environment, particularly its rice-growing heritage. To that end, they have set up a local Sake Rice Promotion Council and grow rice locally to process and use in their own sake-making. This includes a local heritage sake rice strain called “maikaze” (“dancing breeze”). With the help of local residents, organizations, and companies, this has led to the revival of fallow rice-fields, helping to protect local agriculture for future generations.
1002 Omama, Omama-machi, Midori City, Gunma Prefecture
Business Hours 9:00-17:00
Closed on weekends and national holidays