The brewing season for Gonohe’s sake starts when the harsh cold winter descends upon southern Aomori. The breweries in town assemble their raw ingredients: crystal clear water from the Gonohe River, drawn from meters upon meters underground, and good quality, specialty sake brewing rice. These seemingly simple components are the building blocks from which the town’s brewers and master brewer, with his honed senses and sharp eyes, make some of the prefecture’s most amazing sake.
The town of Gonohe is home to two breweries. The Kikukoma Brewery began operation in 1910. The company is named after the Kikukoma spring inside its brewery, the water of which is used in the brewing of its sake.
The Joku Brewery is the other brewery in Gonohe and is owned by the Hachinohe Shuzo Co. It produces a sake that is brewed using the five senses and fermented using the No. 10 brewers’ yeast at a low temperature for a long period. This style of brewing is typical of the brewing style of the Nanbu tradition of sake brewing. The brewery fastidiously strives to make sake that is gracefully pure, rich in umami, and smooth to drink. While sticking to these traditional ideals, the brewery also constantly challenges itself to try and innovate newer and even more delicious sake, a sake that will make people think Gonohe as soon as they hear the word sake.