Suzuki Brewery NagaizoDaisuke Suzuki


How to enjoy IKKON,
2nd Suzuki Brewery Nagaizo Daisuke Suzuki

This is the second of a three-part series where IKKON and Japanese sake are discussed from a brewery perspective.

Please enjoy the profound story of sake and utensils by Daisuke Suzuki, who is the representative director of the Nagaizo Suzuki brewery and brews sake as Mr. Tsuji.



―How about the color of the vessel and the color of sake? There are only three types of IKKON, white, celadon and black.


To see the color of sake, it ’s better to be whitish. Sake may not have the image of enjoying the color itself like wine, but for example, in the case of Ginjo, there are sparkling “shine” and “shine”. In addition, sake will turn from a pale blue color of new sake to an amber color upon aging. Sake information can be obtained from color. I would like you to pour the liquor into a white porcelain or glass liquor and enjoy it visually.





―it’s interesting! What is the difference between metal types? Speaking of rice cakes, unlike in the past, it was normal to drink sake with rice cakes.


Yeah. I remember when I was a kid, when my relatives gathered for legal affairs, etc., I helped put dozens of sake bottles in a huge pot and put them into a bowl.



―Should I care about the material of the sake bottle?


it’s interesting! What is the difference between metal types? Speaking of rice cakes, unlike in the past, it was normal to drink sake with rice cakes.



―At that time, I remember that there was also an image of “a man is dry”.


The dryness of sake is a delusion (laughs). In general, alcohol is strong, but it feels “spicy”, but even dry liquor feels sweetness derived from the raw rice. A long time ago, a restaurant with a high degree of formality had a number one. When customers start drinking sake, they start with the same sake first and gradually heat it up. It is good liquor to have a sharpness at the time of this hot drink, and it is a slightly special closed space called a bar where men gather, and the sharpness at the time of hot drink has been established as an expression of “ dry ” and changed its shape and has been worshiped I think it was.





―But is it “spicy” if the “sake degree” is high?


The plus or minus of the degree of sake represents the specific gravity of sake. Starch turns into sugar by the action of koji enzymes, and yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Sake Moromi is characterized by the fact that saccharification and alcohol fermentation occur at the same time, and its temperature control is delicate.At first, saccharification is dominant and the specific gravity is heavy, and alcohol fermentation gradually becomes active as yeast grows. Specific gravity becomes lighter. In other words, the specific gravity of sake is light = the higher the sake degree, the more alcohol there is and the less extractables, that is, the less sweet ingredients, so it is expressed as “spicy” in sake degree. However, this is different from alcohol content.


You know that taste is not only sweet and salty, but also a combination of sourness, bitterness, and umami. For example, if the acidity is strong, the sweetness will be canceled and it will be hard. Conversely, bitterness can be counteracted by sweetness.



―Indeed, it’s not a simple story of spicy and sweet. But I don’t know if my tongue is dull …


Recently, I feel that the taste of modern people has been simplified. Perhaps it’s because they eat only seasoned food. I was born and raised in the port town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, but it was all light except for salted products. Any ingredients were fresh, so the seasoning was minimal.



―That is the best luxury. Although taste can be trained to some extent even after adulthood, it seems that the influence of the environment where you were born and raised is great.





Suzuki Sake Brewery

The double-baking used by IKKON is also a feature of the traditional crafts of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Soma-yaki Ohori. The Suzuki Sake Brewery (Honzo), located in the Ume district of Namie-cho, was closed due to the subsequent nuclear accident. The Suzuki family moved to Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture, acquired all the shares of Toyo Sake Brewery, which has a long history in the region. The main brands are “Hagi Castle Pass”, which has been loved in Namie Town for a long time, and “Lifetime Happiness” inherited from Toyo Sake Brewery.