Kiuchi's 190 years of Brewing History
The beginning The Kiuchi Brewery was established in 1823 by Kiuchi Gihei, the headman of Kounosu village. His family was collecting rice from farmers as land taxes for the Mito Tokugawa family. He began his brewery with the idea of using the remaining rice stocks in the warehouse. At this time in Japan a new political movement began to reform the Tokugawa regime. Fujita Toko, one of the movement's activists, advocated an ideology to build a new organizational government with a reverence of the emperor, and his thought led to the Meiji Restoration.
Fujita was a close friend of Kiuchi, who named one of his sakes "KIKUSAKARI" as a respect to the emperor. KIKU (chrysanthemum) is a crest of the imperial household, and SAKARI means 'property'.
1950's Mikio Kiuchi inherited the brewery legacy in 1950. It was the time when the sake industry flourished as the rapid growth of Japan's economy after the World War II. Although many sake breweries started mass producing low quality sake due to increased demand, Kiuchi Brewery maintained their policy of pursuing the best quality of sake with the optimum ingredients and craftsman-ship.
Hitachino Beer In autumn 1996, Kiuchi started beer brewing business, named the brand "HITACHINO NEST BEER" with unique owl character logo.
Over the years, Kiuchi Brewery has gained Japan and worldwide attention by winning awards at numerous world beer competitions.
In 2000, Brew on Premises facilities has opened to enjoy brewing original ale to the public.
Shochu Kiuchi Kiuchi built a Distillation facility in March, 2003. to aid with recycling and reduction of waste, beginning with the production of "Shochu Kiuchi" Distilled liquor made from Sakekasu (Sake lees) which is the by-product of Sake Brewing.
The wine brewing project is the latest challenge of Kiuchi Brewery. Kiuchi bought 4000 square meters of land next to the brewery for the vineyard. The grape seedlings, Merlot and Chardoney were imported from France. The vineyard produced its first crop in 2000.
In 2004, 3 tonnes of grapes were harvested producing 2000 Litres of Wine. This wine is hoped to be able to offer on a market as another prestigious Kiuchi brand in the near future...