A visit to Katsuyama Brewery and learn the “Modern Shudo”


For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that I am an avid lover of good food and good Sake. Modernizing the business is very positive, and one of the companies doing a great deal of modernizing here is the Katsuyama Brewery, owned by the Isawa family. The Isawa family has been doing this for more than 300 years, which makes them one of the oldest companies in existence.



The brewery uses centrifuge for filtering Sake, and they are doing some serious modern Sake making and pairing of food with different types of Sake.



I visited Katstuyama Sake Brewery with one of my important clients, the importer from Singapore.



“Modern Shudo” or “Modern way of sake enjoyment” is their catch copy – it’s a very revolutionary thing in the Sake Industry.



During my stay in Sendai and with Jihei Isawa, my host showed me around the brewery, Sendai area and invited me along for a ”Modern Shudo” taste round with Sake.


This is the water resource that Katsuyama uses for their sake making.



Apart from being incredibly tasty, they use 35% polished rice (a very, very rare thing) for their Modern Shudo Sake.



This lineup consists of “Katsuyama ‘Ken’ Junmai Ginjo,” “Katsuyama ‘Akatsuki’ (Centrifuge Dripped) Junmai Daiginjo” and “Katsuyama ‘Gen’ Junmai Daiginjo Genroku.”



All of these Sake are extremely well-made and tasty, especially combined with the correct ranges of food.



Sakes ability to bring out ”Umami” in food – the savory taste – is both well-known and unique. The logic is simple. Unlike Wine, which has acidity that can cut food flavors in certain cases, rice harmonizes with every type of food flavor, which technically makes it a much better drink for enjoying food – any type of food – than wine.


It is my hope that through my own travels and marketing, I will be able to instill this logic and understanding in other cultures – one at a time.



Try this experiment yourself. Get really good Sake – even Sake from Katsuyama would be better – then swirl the Sake around in your mouth to get the taste of rice on your palate, and then taste the food.




My experiences at the Katsuyama brewery and with Jihei Isawa showed me several things. First of all, it showed me how the Isawa family and their brewery during the period of Sake recession not only fought against the trend, but completely turned it around for them. They are revolutionary, driven and with ambitious goals. In 2008, the brewery set out on a quality-increasing mission wherein they cut the original thirty-five products down to only four.


The usage of a centrifugal separator not only adds to this, it revolutionizes Sake-making. Reviewers all of the word laud the Sake from the Isawa family. I myself find their Sake absolutely awe-inspiring – it comes a great distance towards the perfection of Sake.



Be sure to contact me for more information regarding how you can import Katsuyama Sake and find this out for yourself.


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