Bijofu is a sake brewing company, located in Kochi, Japan. We all know that sake is essentially rice wine, but did you know, that the product of a sake, is highly influenced by water? The source of the “mother water” used to brew Bijofu is the subterranean flow of the Nahari River, which originates in the forest of Mount Jinkichigamori in Yanase, the homeland of Yanase cedar, the prefectural tree of Kochi Prefecture. After flowing all the way through the rich nature of green forests, beautiful trees and cool valleys of splashing clear streams, the water finally arrives at Bijofu’s brewery.
The thing about sake, is that unlike the other beverages in the alcoholic drinks line, sake is not prepared through expensive machineries. Instead, it is prepared through manual labor. Especially in the Bijofu breweries, things are done, at this day and age, through proper traditional methods. There are several different criteria that should be taken into consideration when it comes to sake. I’m no sake expert, but based on the knowledge I got, from the sake pairing dinner hosted by tabetomo, I would like to share some of my knowledge, so that our readers, could understand, and comprehend, why sake, is a drink that is loved so much by the Japanese.
Firstly, temperature. The same sake, served on different temperatures, makes a world of a difference when it comes to the taste. Sake is usually served chilled. So, when served, you can now opt to drink it at one go, or, you could sip it slow, and let the chilled sake delight your taste buds. By cupping your palms, hugging the sake glass, you can gradually cradle, and increase the temperature of the sake. Continue doing so, until the glass is roughly your body temperature. Sip it again. Now, the sake has an entirely different taste.
Apart from that, the food you choose to pair your sake with, also influences it’s taste. Like wine, sake has several factors to consider. There’s some sake with stronger after taste, and there are some with milder after taste. There are fruity ones, there are dry ones. These are factors to take into consideration if you truly wish to get the maximum flavor from your sake. Take for example, a fruity aroma, light bodied, Junmai Daiginjo Hina sake from Bijofu, if paired with wagyu aburi sushi, is something that complements each other rather well. The tender meat, served with ponzu, is a suitable mix with the mild aftertaste that this sake has.
For those who are not looking for something rather strong, the Bijofu Yuzu Shuwa is an amazing choice. It’s almost like an orange cocktail. It’s really smooth and easy to drink. This beverage is most suitable to be paired with appetizers (in my opinion) because of it’s fruity aroma, and mild after taste.
Here’s what the representative from Bijofu has to say about their sake:
Very clean water that has flowed through valleys in mountains and forests. Rice from golden ripened crop in fields. Such products of natural grace as these are brought in abundance to the brewers who make sake. Though it is the brewers that toil with a lot of manual labor to make sake from rice and water, all the same, they cannot work to make sake without the natural grace of earth and sky. We want to change these various products of natural grace brought only from this land into sake of good taste, and to bring them back to local people, such as farmers and so on. This hope made us give birth to the brand name “Bijofu”.
Bijofu means “beautiful, strong and kind.” We, as the brewers of Bijofu, simply and exclusively see to it that we must “make good sake.” In doing so, there are an infinite number of things for us to do – we always think so.
Sake, to me is something that is very open ended. The enjoyment you get, drinking sake, is an experience that can both be shared, and yet, completely your own. That’s what makes this drink so special, for me on a personal level.