Last weekend, I visited the ”Hanagaki" sake brewery because it was the special open-day. On the Shichiken Street, where the sake brewery is located, "Mountain vegetable market" was also opened and many local foods of spring were sold.
On the special open-day, you can see inside of the brewery and attend the guided tour of the brewery, also they hold sake tasting workshops. I actually participated in the workshop for the first time. In the workshop, a woman who is a great fan of Hanagaki came all the way from Tokyo.
At the workshop, the participants taste five kinds of sake. I tasted them and realized that taste and flavor change depending on temperature and drinking vessel. At any rate, how hard it is to express such a subtle flavor in words. I was impressed that a participant expressed the aroma of a sake, "like moist moss". According to the chief sake brewer who lectured at the workshop, the only way to become able to express itself well is practicing. I would like to practice and try it again.
And, next to their shop, the special "Brewery BAR" was opened only at the weekend. In the bar, you can taste many kinds of Hanagaki's sake while talking with sake brewers of Hanagaki. Their talk was literally an eye-opener for me, such as defining difference between wind and sake, why wine has vintage years but sake does not, and about rice and soil etc.. I learned the true greatness of sake brewers, and the depth of sake amazed me. (H.S)
In front of the shop, special sake that you can buy only during the event and bottled directly from the barrel were sold.
I bought the special sake "Chanokiya", which is a non-filtered raw unprocessed sake. You can drink it chilled, warmed or even mixed with water.
On the right of the shop door, the entrance of the old tea room remains. Also, I heard that in the shop, there is a colored glass plate that you can see their inner garden. There is a cherry blossom tree in the garden, so I would like visit at the time of bloom again.
The special "Brewery BAR" was popular, too.
The menu of the BAR
The daiginjo-shu is not for sale, which was made with everything in power of the brewery for a sake exhibition. The sake was named "Ultimate Hanagaki".
Three men who Hanagaki is proud of. (From left, the general manager and brewer, the next president, the master brewer)