A Visit to Suigei Brewing Co.
After visiting Kameizumi Shuzo in the morning, we were off to Suigei Brewing Co.'s Tosa facility that was about 20 minutes away. It was a relief to have such a short commute between destinations for a change. When I set up all of these brewery visits, I didn't anticipate how far apart everything was in Kochi Prefecture. Lesson learned!
Suigei's Tokubetsu Junmai is very popular at our store. I'd say it's probably our number one best seller since we started selling sake. The label features an illustration of a whale which is memorable, the price is right, and the sake itself is food-friendly and dry which has people coming back for more.
So I was especially excited to visit Suigei because it's such a staple at Umami Mart.
Still recovering from a hangover, we met up with Kazuyoshi Miura of Suigei for lunch. I had a much needed oily meal of chicken karaage teishoku. On the way to the brewery, Miura-san explained to me that they built this new facility knowing that there will be an earthquake and subsequent tsunami any day now, that may wipe out their first location in Nagahama, which is closer to Kochi City.
Their second location looked brand new indeed, complete with an outdoor craft brewery vibe including a pizza oven!
Right outside the new facility, the toji Makoto Myoujin was waiting.
In addition to having the coolest last name ever, he had a great, calm zen-like energy.
The grounds are very modern reminded me of the facility in Cabin in the Woods.
Myoujin-san shows me the different rice grains they use for their sake.
The rice room.
A fully automated rice washing machine. Kurabito are programing the settings and cycles.
Feeding the rice.
Beep, bop, beep.
Precision washing and soaking.
This is the rice steamer.
After the koji is made, it goes to this room.
Myoujin-san give us a peek at the shubo.
Panel to evaluate and control the fermentation tanks.
I am featuring their U.S. release only Harmony Junmai Daiginjo for Sake Gumi's Discovering Kochi month so it was a pleasant surprise that they were pressing Harmony that day. We got to try freshly pressed Harmony!
Myoujin-san points out the bolts keeping the tanks on the ground in case of an earthquake.
We proceed to the gift shop and tasting room.
I wish I had asked why there was a dress in there...
...but I got sidetracked by the amazake and sakekasu soft serve.
Selections at the cafe.
A big thank you to Miura-san and Myoujin-san. It was very interesting to see such a modern facility after going to Mutemuka and Kameizumi. Suigei was clearly the big whale in the Kochi sake community.