Asabiraki has been brewing high quality sake in the northern Iwate Prefecture since the Meiji Restoration period of the late 19th century. The brewery was founded by Genzo Murai, a samurai and member of the Nanbu Clan. “Asabiraki” originates from a poet’s blessing of the departure of a ship. This blessing is found in the Manyoshu, the oldest surviving collection of classical Japanese poetry. The large prefecture of Iwate is home to a guild of renowned brew-masters called the Nanbu Toji. These craftsman have been perfecting their art of brewing for over 300 years. Still today, many are recruited from Iwate to brew all over the country. The Nanbu Toji are known for creating sake with an especially clean and clear taste.  Due to its Northern positioning, in Iwate the temperature is colder. This has naturally led the Nanbu Toji to develop brewing techniques centered around longer fermentations at colder temperatures, which are particularly favorable to ginjo grade sakes. Asabiraki uses locally grown Miyamanishiki rice as well as Gingiga sake rice, a varietal they themselves developed to naturally suit the region’s enviroment. This, combined with the use of their own proprietary strain of yeast, helps create sakes of distinction, complexity and serenity.

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