Pulling into Sawai terminal, you instantly discover how silent as well as calm this place actually is. The Ozawa Purpose Brewery is a brief 5-minute walk from the station as well as we more than an hour early. So we start to walk the area to see if there is anything interesting to look into.
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One of the most intriguing location we discovered was in fact down by the brewery. Running by the brewery is the Tama River, which was historically the source of their water. On the contrary side of the brewery is a little Kanzan-Ji Temple. There are additionally cherry bloom trees towering over either side of the river, which would no question make a lovely sight in the sakura period.
As the time of booking comes around, we decide to head to the meetup place. Here we register our names off the listing and also we are greeted by one of the staff conducting the excursion in English. Being a weekday, I was stunned by the number of Japanese that appeared to be apart of the scenic tour. However, I quickly realised they were part of the team ensemble. Sure enough, a larger team of immigrants signed up with the team. So this was definitely the English tour we signed up for.
Time to Tour
The trip seems to get off to a somewhat worried begin, especially as the personnel looked attempted to validate every people enrollment. Nonetheless, as soon as total, things started to relocate along a whole lot smoother. Lastly, after being welcomed outside the conference point, we start heading towards the brewery major manufacturing facility. We are led by an additional member of staff who demonstrates a high degree of English in his opening up statements. So we felt we were in secure hands.
He leads us to the entrance of the brewery building as well as reveals us a little temple before the entry. Here all employees pray for a secure and also high quality year of purpose production. Prior to getting in the building, we are presented to the standard prayer ritual.
Just how to Pray in Japan
(or nirei, nihakushu, ichirei) is actually 2, 2, 1. However, it equates into 2 bows, 2 claps and 1 bow, which is rather easy to remember. Everybody is given a chance to practice their prayer ritual prior to going into the factory, and after that we continue right into the building.
Inside the Cellar
As we first roam inside, we are faced with a big range of huge blue casks utilized for the fermentation of purpose (nihonshu). This first area of the cellar is called the Genroku-Gora, which houses all the huge casks. This room has actually thick wall surfaces insulated with mud to keep the light out and keep a continuous temperature level. Whats a lot more, the insulation is so good no additional heating or cooling is needed. A regular temperature level is essential to produce high quality purpose. Or else, any kind of variations in temperature level or exposure to light can have negative impacts on the purpose brewing procedure.
We come by one of the casks, as our overview continues to continue his description. He clarifies that there are over 200 of these 8,000-litre casks in the manufacturing facility. All the barrels are made from stainless-steel and lined with enamel to maintain the sake as pure as feasible.
He after that presents a question to the audience. Along the lines of how long would certainly it consider someone to consume alcohol an entire 8,000-litre storage tank, assuming they consumed only one cup (180ml) of purpose each day. He exclaims it would certainly take an entire 123 years, so why do not we acquire the entire barrel he jokes. Apparently, great worth in the lasting if you can also reach that age.
Numbers as well as Numbers
You may see the numbers on heaven containers too. The top number shows its essential identifier (number # of 200+), while the reduced number suggests the overall capability of the barrel (in litres).
Alongside heaven barrels, you can likewise find instances of the wood barrels traditionally utilized for the fermentation process. They are currently primarily replaced by stainless steel or enamel-lined barrels. However, it is stated that the wood containers were suitable for fermentation as a result of the permeable surface of the timber. This provided the ideal environment for different kinds of yeast development. Therefore providing a range of various, yet smoother flavours.
Next, we go on down a dark corridor to a location showing off some cylindrical machines. Here they have some of the rice brightening makers on display screen. He also hands us some clear containers which show the distinctions between polished rice as well as unfinished rice. There is additionally a difference between edible rice and purpose race.
The rice used to make purpose is extremely different from the rice you consume. In fact, the rice utilized to make purpose requirements to be brightened first to get rid of excess weight. The even more refined the rice, the better the quality of starch that can be extracted from the grains. Moreover, it has a more clear flavour and scent. At a minimum, the rice is polished to 30% of the initial weight, yet the finest quality sake could be polished down to as long as 65%.
We go back to another area of the storage, with lines of shelves loaded with containers of sake. Some going back to as old as the year 2000 (Sydney Olympics yay!). The overview remains to inform us that purpose has no expiry date, and also the aging procedure can just helping with the assimilation of flavours. As you can think, the aged containers are a whole lot much more pricey than those which are not.
Well, Well, Well
Later on, we are led outside to a little cave inlet, a well that was dug over 170 years back. As pointed out in the past, we remained in the location of Sawai, component of Ome city. Sawai suggests stream or well, of the Tama river which runs parallel to the railway. Originally, they utilize to draw water from the close-by river to make their benefit, more than 300 years ago. This proceeded for over 130 years. Nevertheless, after that, a well was dug over 170 years earlier, as well as this continues to provides the majority of the water for the benefit they make today.
The well was actually dug flat, facing north towards the big hillside behind to the storage. The well was dug around 140 metres northward under the hill and still remains to be made use of due to the top quality of the spring water. The water here is significantly rich in minerals, yet really low in iron, manganese as well as organic matter. This kind of high quality makes it ideal for sake brewing. The surrounding natural environment also aids to keep the top quality of the water. Thus, why they remain to resource water from this well.
The Last Tasting
After examining the well, we are finally let right into the tasting space. This is our last stop to finally try the ended up item. Surprisingly, we are lucky adequate to obtain our own Choco or sake tasting cup. We get to lastly try the purpose they have available. Putting ourselves, obviously, we attempt to be as generous as possible. The fragrance is quite powerful, but the preference is extremely refined and almost pleasantly rejuvenating. Most definitely, absolutely nothing like I have ever before tried before. Inevitably, that wraps up the free part of the tour, we complete a quick study and then led into the 2nd sampling room. This is the part of the scenic tour which in fact sets you back cash. Yet, by utilizing the exact same mug, you can save yourself 100 yen off each purpose you wish to try.
Exactly How to Preference Purpose
The sales brochure gives suggests the adhering to 3 actions to attempting benefit:
- Check the top quality and colour of the sake utilizing the inner and outer dark blue circles in our Choco as a reference, you can contrast the colour as well as gloss.
- Smell the fragrance swirl the purpose around gently in the cup to assist launch the fragrance.
- Preference the flavour take a small sip, and spread the benefit over the surface area of your tongue.
There an entire series of sake to try and also taste, the schedule of various containers additionally transforms with the season as well. So, we attempt a couple of different blends as well as are surprised at the broad range of flavours, scents and appearance.
They likewise recommend purpose has actually been health benefits, particularly as it has over 100 nutrients. They claim that it is softer on the liver than other alcohols, they also believe it aids to prevent diseases like cancer and also dementia. In addition, it helps to delay the start of osteoporosis or arteriosclerosis. Either way, we enjoy to delight in the taste as well as refreshing flavours it needs to use.
Inevitably, the scenic tour is a wonderful outing outside the stress of Tokyo. It is a bit of a walk, around an hour and a half or more from Shinjuku by train, yet the incentives deserve it. The excursion is extremely useful and also offers you with your very own complimentary choco to take house. Plus you receive a free fridge magnet to boot. In addition to that, they have a cafe downstairs, plus you can appreciate their wide range of sakes, and even take a few house with you.
You can learn more details concerning Ozawa Purpose Brewery and even publication English tours using their website.
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