A picture of the Narai Black bottle resting on a mossy forest floor.

beyond brewing

At suginomori brewery, our mission is to pass down Japanese sake culture to future generations. To achieve this, we reexamine conventional practices of the sake industry and experiment with new endeavors. We aim to go beyond brewing – exploring sake with a free and creative approach, to help spread the beauty of sake to the world.

about suginomori brewery:

In 2021, we restored Suginomori Shuzo, a sake brewery nestled in the historic town of Narai-juku, established in 1793 but closed down in 2012. After upgrading the facilities and optimizing the space to a third of its original size, it was reborn as suginomori brewery.

In the process of the renewal, we sought to confront some of the challenges faced by the sake industry in recent years: a decline in domestic demand for sake, the subsequent closing down of many local sake breweries and rise in abandoned farmland, and unstable employment due to sake typically being produced only in the winter months.

We listened to the voices of farmers. We visited the rice paddies, and took part in the rice cultivation process. We incorporated a year-round production method called “shiki-jozo,” or “four-seasons brewing,” to ensure a more stable production environment. Although seemingly small steps, we believe that these are some of the building blocks for a more promising future.

Additionally, as part of our endeavor, we sought to transform the brewery into what we call an “open brewery.” suginomori brewery is adjoined to the restaurant of BYAKU Narai, an accommodation facility renovated from part of the former Suginomori Shuzo. Visitors can look into the brewery from a large glass window in the restaurant, providing them with a rare up-close view of the sake brewing process. Through opening and showcasing our brewery, we hope to inspire more people to take an interest in sake. Finally, our brand name “narai” is derived from the town of Narai-juku – chosen from our hope to introduce this charming town to the world through our sake. If you ever find yourself in Narai-juku, we would be delighted to welcome you to suginomori brewery.

A picture of the forest tree tops.