All Sake brewing starts from Tsugaru and finishes in Tsugaru in Rokkashuzo.
Rokka Sake Brewery was established in 1972, when it merged 3 local breweries: Takashimaya Brewery, Shiraume Brewery and Kawamura Brewery.
We have been brewing Japanese sake for over 300 years since the foundation of Takashimaya Brewery in Hirosaki in the Tsugaru region.
The name Rokka refers to a crystal of snow that symbolizes sake making in the snowy region.
The main brand Joppari which means stubborn or obstinate in the Tsugaru dialect is made from locally grown sake rice and underground water from the Shirakami mountains. Joppari’s trademark, a red daruma doll, catches your eyes.
IWC International Wine Challenge
Keeping tradition of dry sake, our sake was awarded a ‘gold prize’ by the National New Sake Awards (the National Research Institute of Brewing), and we are a four-time gold medal winner in IWC International Wine Challenge. We are recognized domestically and internationally.
Traditional manual brewing
Our policy is keeping traditional manual brewing.
While other sake breweries tend to pursue effectiveness by introducing computer systems, our policy might be thought to be outdated.
We would like more and more people to feel and enjoy our exclusive sake.
For those who are familiar with sake, we provide a nostalgic taste.
For those who usually do not drink sake very often, we provide a taste that can renew an image of sake.
Having those thoughts, we are stubbornly brewing sake in the traditional manual brewing.
The water we use for brewing is typical soft water in the north Tohoku region. It produces sophisticated crispiness of Joppari different from from other dry sake such as one made in Nada in Hyogo Prefecture on the Inland Sea and one in the Hokuriku region on the sea of Japan side in the middle of Honsyu Island.
Natural water from Shirakami Mountains
Underground water from Shirakami Mountains is made in the beech forest so called natural dam which keeps water in the forest effectively.
The beech tree forest in the Shirakami mountains is thought to be born in the Jomon period (12000 to 3000 years ago).
The rainwater fallen on the forest was kept in the soil made of beech leaves.
Then it filters slowly through the ground of the forest, and clear water comes out to the surface again. We use that clear water for brewing liquors.
Natural water from the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait is soft.
So, sake made with Tappi Water tastes mellow, and that makes suitable sake for sake beginners.
Special sake rice
Hanaomoi (Sake Rice produced in Aomori prefecture)
Generally, to brew Ginjo-shu and Daiginjo-shu which need to use rice polished by 40% or more and 50% or more,respectively, local sake brewers have been choosing rice produced outside Aomori prefecture, especially Yamada-Nishiki produced in Hyogo prefecture.
Under these circumstances, sake-rice ‘Hanaomoi’ became a recommended variety as a local variety for high-class sake in 2002. Hanaomoi has as good brewing aptitudes as Yamada-nishiki, such as it can be polished well, but it is less resistant to diseases. So, its growing field is limited only in the Hirosaki area with good growing conditions.
In addition, Hanaomoi is produced 100% by the farmers contracting with Aomori sake makers association, and is supplied exclusively to breweries in Aomori prefecture.
What is rice suitable for sake brewing?
Sake rice need to be polished (or milled) to brew sake, so rice grain tends to be bigger than food rice. Furthermore, the central part of the grain called ‘shinpaku’ is big.
The central part of rice appears cloudy and is called shinpaku.
It has a rough structure of starch and wide gaps.
Shinpaku plays a great roll for making koji.
Sake rice is a rice for sake making that has been improved to have a larger shinpaku.