Igarashi Shuzo is a brewery rooted in the tradition of the mountains. The founder was raised in Japan’s “Snow Country”, the mountains of southern Niigata prefecture, and in the late 1800s left the area to work as a sake brewmaster for hire 150 miles to the south in the mountain town of Ome, tucked in the pass between Yamanashi hidden in the mountains and Tokyo to the southwest. In 1897 he left to start his own small brewery just over the mountains in the small logging town of Hanno.
Hanno lies just at western edge of the great Kanto plain, where the land starts to ripple and the foothills of the Japanese Alps begin. The logging economy of the area grew along with expansion Tokyo, with locals scouring the mountains for timber and then floating logs down the Iruma river to fuel the expansion of Japan’s capital.
To this day fifth generation president Masanori Igarashi continues the legacy of brewing sake in full bodied “mountain style” particularly suited to the wild game and cured foods beloved by the people of Hanno.
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