As we mentioned in our last posting, there are two sake breweries near Narita, the other being Terada Honke Brewery, which is within walking distance—about five minutes—of Nabedana Kouzaki Brewery. We stopped in and purchased a bottle of their sparkling sake, Daigo no Awa, which we tasted well chilled that evening. There are few people, foods, and beverages deserving of the label “sui generis.” In the first two categories most people would apply the adjective to the French performer Joseph Pujol—alias Le Pétomane—and casu marzu, the maggot cheese of Sardinia, respectively. In the third-mentioned category would fall the beverage that we tasted. This one-of-a-kind sparkling sake has a bouquet redolent of cottage cheese, extremely high sweetness and acidity levels, medium (+) carbonation, a fairly low ABV of 7%, and yogurt-like elements. The work of wild yeasts is evident here. The method of brewing is the ancient bodaimoto, where rice is placed in water allowing lactic acid to form naturally.
Though we did not find it appealing, largely owing to the aggressive nature of the sweetness and acidity, we pay homage to the originality of the product and its creators and remind our readers that Monsieur Pujol had many fans and casu marzu has many devotees. Much of the sake from this brewery has a distinct yellow hue owing to the lack of carbon or other kinds of filtration. For those of you who are interested in natural, old-fashioned sake, this brewery is highly recommended.
Recommendation level (out of five stars):
There were no tastings. However, the clerk was very kind and informative.
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