SAKE | 東一 (Azumaichi) and 鍋島 (Nabeshima)

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Sake buddy JM’s special arrangements brought us a blitz visit to Saga’s top two breweries and what a contrast. At Azumaichi we were walked through in details every single step of their process at this very traditional maker, echoing a lot what LG had recently seen in that NHK mini series ‘Liquid’, and was lucky enough to even witness the planting of their new batch of Yamada Nishiki by their contracted rice farmer. At Nabeshima, on the other hand, it was the modern architecture at the entrance that caught our eye, which was said to be commissioned to some local architectural students to bring out the ‘new face’ of Saga sake to go international, and fittingly so being the first from the region to have won the IWC Champion award and was even presented as the featured sake at the recent Michelin Guide launch. Of course, nothing beats the ultra fresh sake straight from the tank that we were offered to taste. Simply unforgettable. Together with the renowned Saga beef, Kinboshi pork, adding on top Hakata chicken and of course seafood from Genkai-nada, Saga is just well situated as an ideal place to breed some great sake to make it complete. Again, our heartfelt thanks to Seto-san at Gochouda and Katafuchi-san at Fukuchiyo for some amazing hospitality. We very much look forward to returning the favour when you guys will be in town.

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