In order to brew our own sake, we obtained the “Brewing license for other liquors” in July of 2018. From there, we launched the “WAKAZE Sangenjaya Brewery” in Setagaya, Tokyo.
With the production of doburoku and the botanical sakes, making use of the changing weather of the four seasons and the natural production method using microbiotics, we are continuing to challenge the possibilities of sake-making.
We produce 30 different kinds of craft sake annually by always striving to create unique sake from incorporating new recipes.
Although the brewery is only 14㎡, we have a professional sake-making setup with four 200L thermal tanks, an analysing machine, a compressor, and even a kamidana, a Shinto altar, within the small space.
Moreover, at the adjacent restaurant, “Whim SAKE & TAPAS”, not only can anyone enjoy the freshly made sake, but one can fully enjoy the various pairings of sake and international dishes from all over the world.
SAKE produced at the Sangenjaya Brewery
Doburoku is the most recognised beverage from the Sangenjaya Brewery.
The Sangenjaya Brewery is known for its production of doburoku.
Doburoku is “an alcoholic beverage in which the production method is the same as traditional Japanese sake but instead of wringing out the moromi, which is the raw, unfiltered sake, and it is to be enjoyed with the remaining rice grains.
At the Sangenjaya Brewery, we add ingredients such as herbs, spices, and fruits produced in Yamagata into the moromi , which is made from natural production methods such as the kimoto and mizumoto preparation methods, creating a one-of-a-kind doburoku.
Our most famous doburoku is the “Sangenjaya Doburoku ~honey~” in which honey is added during the fermentation period.
For our botanical SAKE, ingredients such as tea, flowers, and salt are added during the fermentation period. This type of sake is created by filtering out the moromi and only using the clear liquid that remains.
This botanical sake results in a rich, flavorful taste from incorporating the fragrant aromas and minerals. Our most beloved botanical SAKE is the “FONIA TEA prototype ~white tea~” in which high-quality white tea is added to the moromi of the kimoto (sake mash).
We also have a unique sake called “SANCHA SAKE PORTER” in which we use roasted rice, inspired from production method of porter beer, which is a kind of dark beer. We always try to incorporate creative ideas into our production of sake.
Shoya Imai, first generation brewer
After graduating from the Faculty of Agriculture of Tokyo University, Imai joined the Oisix Inc., a food EC company, and met the now representative Inagawa and thus founded WAKAZE. After leaving the company, Imai has gone through various apprenticeships in many different breweries from all over Japan, such as the Shinsei Brewery from Akita, the Masuda Brewery in Toyama, the Abe Brewery from Niigata, and Hijiri Brewery from Gunma, and has therefore accumulated the knowledge and skills of sake-making.
Imai comes from a family with roots deep of sake brewing. Hijri Brewery in Gumna, created in 1841 is where his father's side of the family runs the sake business. While his father is the chief brewer and his older brother is the CEO of the brewery itself, his second brother is also a brewer in Maruishi Brewery in Aichi. (His mother’s side of the family is from Gifu Chiyogiku)
Responsible as the sake producer, he has supported the creation of ORBIA and FONIA, and is the leader of sake-production at the WAKAZE Sangenjaya Brewery.