The very best from Akita
Kodama Brewery uses tradition and expert skill to craft a completely localized premium sake.
Surrounded by mountains, including Mount Taihei, Kodama Brewery started as a family business in the northern Akita Prefecture. This area is famous for its sake breweries andfor having the highest consumption of sake in Japan. The Kodama family began making miso and soy sauce in 1887 and by 1913 had expanded to include sake brewing. Thus the proud tradition of Taiheizan-brand sake was born, a legacy that has now expanded to Canada.
In sake, there are three main ingredients: water, rice and koji. Take this combination and add in a variety of different brewing processes and there are limitless possibilities. To make high-quality sake, though, everything must be right. Premium sake only makes up 20 per cent of the market, while super-premium sake (ginjo and daiginjo) is a relatively new phenomenon, encompassing only 7 per cent. In reality, high-end sake with a great flavour, aroma and profile is hard to produce. It re- quires precision, dedication and a lot of hard work.
Such is the beauty of Chogetsu Junmai Ginjo, also known as “Clear Moon.” With a refreshing elegance and fragrance of tropical fruits and flow- ers, this sake starts delicate and finishes rich. From Akita’s fresh water to locally grown Akita Komachi rice to domestic yeast, Chogetsu is a completely localized product of Akita Prefecture.
Best served slightly chilled, ‘Chogetsu’ is characterized by its softness. It’s a smooth and flavourful sake that is initially fresh and light, but ends on a clear note with some sharpness. The experience is similar to the feeling of taking in your first breath of fresh air on a crisp night. So it’s only fitting that the full English meaning of Chogetsu is “clear moon floating over an Akita rice field.” As with all their products, Kodama Brewery takes great care in its craft, producing some of the finest sake available in Ontario.
Evidence of this dedication to quality can be found in the use of the kimoto method. Rare in today’s world of sake making, this is the most traditional method of brewing sake, requiring longer fermentation periods and a labour-intensive process. The end result is sake that is both fuller and more complex. Chogetsu is one of many Taiheizan- brand sakes to utilize the kimoto method.
Chogetsu can be found by the bottle in establish- ments around the GTA, including Inatei Japanese Cuisine in Richmond Hill, Sushi Couture on Bloor Street downtown and Ginko Japanese Restaurant in Etobicoke by Pearson Airport. As of recently, Chogetsu is also offered on the regular menu at the new Guu Izakaya North York location, avail- able by the glass, 300-mL tokkuri (sake flask) or 720-mL bottle.
Gold medal winner at the 2014 Toronto International Sake Challenge!
Taiheizan-brand Chogetsu Junmai Ginjo was the first gold medal category winner for ginjo at the inaugural 2014 Toronto Internationa Sake Challenge (TISC), Canada’s first sake competition. The trophy was presented to Kodama Brewery president and employees on Feb. 21, 2015, the same day the brewery held their annual “Kura Biraki” open house celebration. Thousands of loyal customers came on this day to enjoy great Taiheizan sake.