Originally established in 1717, artisan brewers Aoki Shuzo have been brewing their trademark Kakurei sake for twelve generations. Aoki Shuzo is located in the city of Uonuma, in Niigata prefecture. The soft water derived from the heavy snowfall in this area is believed to be 'a gift from the land', and its inclusion in Kakurei sake is what gives it its light and tasty flavour.
Wago (harmonization) is valued the most when brewing sake at AOKI SHUZO. It is thought that wago among “producers” including the chief brewer, young brewers and the rice farmers, “sellers” such as liquor shops and restaurants and “drinkers” who love drinking Kakurei, brings forth the finest sake. What is behind this wago is the “spirit of enduring” and “spirit of cooperation” unique to the people of Niigata. Wago comes into power only when people are considerate of others, which sometimes include sharing patience, encouragement and pleasure.
BOKUSHI SUZUKI was a merchant and an author, who is the ancestor of our brewery, born in Shiozawa, Meiwa 7 (1770). It is said KAKUREI was named by him. He wrote “Hokuetsu Seppu (Snow stories of North Etsu Province)” to describe the snowy Uonuma life. It was published after 30 years of planning, and became a bestseller of late Edo period presenting snow country’s culture, dialects, customs, traditions, Chijimi textiles, and their lifestyle. Our second signature brand YUKIOTOKO (snow Yeti), is named after the hairy strange beast that appears in the book.