When you have the chance to visit Aomori Prefecture, ask any local residents about sakés produced in the prefecture and they will gladly mention the brand Mutsu Hassen by Hachinohe Shuzo as one of the local favourites. Today the eigth generation owner Mr Komai Shozaburo is assisted by his two sons to produce sakés that are environmentally friendly, using rice grown in Aomori, the finest yeast and clear spring water from Kanisawa district in Hachinohe. Besides the Mutsu Hassen brand the brewery also produces a clean and dryer style saké (in sake terms we call it tanrei karakuchi) under the brand name Otokoyama that is mainly sold locally. Hachinohe Shuzo was recently ranked 2nd Place at the 2020 World Sakagura Ranking, where saké breweries are ranked according to the number of awards and medals they have won in different international and domestic competitions.
The origin of the Mutsu Hassen brand :
The legend of the Eight Immortals (the Eight Drunken Immortals), or Hassen in Japanese originated in ancient China and has passed down to the present day. Stories about the Eight Immortals and their earthly exploits often detail the delightful ways in which they enjoyed drinking their favourite wine and spirits. The saké, Mutsu Hassen was named after this legend with the hope that saké lovers can savour and enjoy this rich flavoured saké just like how the Eight Immortals enjoyed their alcoholic drinks.
Hachinohe Saké Brewery is located along the Niida River
The Taisho era (1912-1926) styled buildings of the brewery have been designated as "Tangible Cultural Properties" and "Important Landscape Structures of Hachinohe City" by the government of Japan.
President Komai Shozaburo (pictured in the middle) together with the staff of the brewery.