What kind of sake brand is 田中六五 Tanaka Rokujugo?
The young 8th generation brews! The appeal of the new brand “Tanaka Rokujugo" created in “Fukuoka"
Do you know a sake called Tanaka Rokujugo?
Tanaka Rokujugo is a sake from Shiraito Sake Brewery in Itoshima City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Kyushu may have a strong image of shochu, but in fact, Itoshima City is the production center of Yamada Nishiki, which is known to those in the know.
It is the young 8th generation of Shiraito Sake Brewery that uses local rice to brew Tanaka Rokujugo by the traditional method of squeezing honey wood. Kyushu is sure to become one of the leading sake breweries in Japan, and we are passionate about making sake.
This time, We would like to introduce you to Tanaka Rokujugo!
What kind of liquor is Tanaka Rokujugo?
What kind of brewery is Shiraito Sake Brewery?
What kind of liquor is Tanaka Rokujugo?
A new brand created by a young kuramoto
Shiraito Sake Brewery is a brewery that has traditionally brewed sake under brands such as “Shiraito". On the other hand, “Tanaka Rokujugo" is a new brand launched after the 8th generation Katsunori Tanaka returned to the brewery.
Mr. Tanaka graduated from the Department of Brewing Science, Tokyo Agriculture University in 2007. After working at the Liquor Research Institute, He studied sake brewing at Gomachida Sake Brewery in Saga Prefecture, which boasts “Azumachi", and returned to the brewery in the summer of 2009.
He experienced a year of training under Mr. Katsuki of Gomachida Sake Brewery, but when he actually tried to do it, He couldn’t get the gist. He called Mr. Katsuki almost every day and proceeded with sake brewing while receiving guidance.
Mr. Tanaka wanted to make sake that was as good as Azumaichi’s favorite pure rice sake, and the brand he finally launched was “Tanaka Rokujugo."
What is the origin of the name?
The name “Tanaka Rokujugo" of the brand means not only that the surname of the kuramoto is Tanaka, but also that it is sake that was born from the “middle" of the “ta" of Yamada Nishiki. Sixty-five means that the rice polishing rate is 65%. Tanaka Rokujugo is only 65% polished pure rice sake, and there are only two types, raw and fired. It’s a sake whose name really represents the body.
Commitment to local ingredients
Yamada Nishiki and Yumeichisen from Fukuoka Prefecture are used as the raw materials for sake brewed by Shiraito Sake Brewery (Yamada Nishiki is the raw material for Tanaka Rokujugo). In the future, he hopes that all of them will be made from Yamada Nishiki from Itoshima.
In addition, they use spring water from Shiraito Waterfall on Mt. Sefuri on the border between Fukuoka and Saga prefectures. Medium hard water is characterized by containing a moderate amount of minerals. Sake made from local rice and water can be said to have a taste rooted in Kyushu and Fukuoka.
Sake gently squeezed with honey wood
At Shiraito Sake Brewery, sake is gently squeezed by a method called honey wood squeezing.
It is a traditional method of squeezing, and now only a few breweries make sake by squeezing all the wood. The method is to arrange the mash packed in sake bags in a large frame called a tank. A lid is put on it, and the weight of a huge tree (honey tree) hung from the ceiling and the principle of leverage are used to squeeze it while gradually placing heavy stones on it.
As you can see from the actual photos, it is a fairly large and primitive facility. While many breweries use self-operated squeezers, I feel that sake brewing is particular about squeezing with a laborious and time-consuming method.
What kind of place is Shiraito Sake Brewery?
History of Shiraito Sake Brewery
Shiraito Sake Brewery, located in Shiraito, the production center of Yamada Nishiki in Fukuoka Prefecture, was founded in 1855. It is a sake brewery that continues for 7 generations now. They are brewing sake using local Yamada Nishiki.
At the time of the birth of Yamada Nishiki, a rice suitable for sake brewing, trial cultivation was carried out in prefectures all over the country. As a result of trial cultivation in Itoshima, high quality rice was harvested, so it seems that Yamada Nishiki has started to be cultivated here.
The first Kansaburo, who was in the soy sauce industry, tried to enter the brewing industry by taking advantage of the locality, but he fell ill and gave up. The following Mr. Kizo started brewing sake again. The brand “Kizo", which was launched as the 150th anniversary of its founding, is derived from the name of this kuramoto.
Katsunori Tanaka, the 8th generation of the brewery with such a background, newly created “Tanaka Rokujugo". Although it is still a new brand, there is no doubt that this sake will be the future of Shiraito Sake Brewery and Fukuoka’s sake industry.
Coexistence of tradition and the latest technology
Speaking of sake breweries, The thought of them created the traditional Japanese architecture.
Shiraito Sake Brewery, on the other hand, is a concrete brewery with a modern appearance. The reason is that we want you to know the splendor of Japanese architecture by making it a modern sake brewery.
The appearance is modern while retaining the old-fashioned techniques such as the above-mentioned squeezing of honey wood. Furthermore, they have introduced the latest technology to quantify the taste and digitize the brewing process.
Shiraito Sake Brewery is working on sake brewing with a flexible attitude, “We will make full use of available technologies so as not to dull the taste of delicious sake" without being obsessed with tradition.
To the sake that represents Fukuoka
Mr. Tanaka thinks that there is no major sake company in Fukuoka. When asked about the sake that represents Fukuoka, thinking that there is no such thing as this sake.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tanaka seems to be making Tananka Rokujugo with the aim of making sake that will become a staple of Fukuoka, which can be drunk alone or as sake during meals.
One day, you may be told, “Fukuoka is Tanaka Rokujugo, isn’t it?"