Mizuho Distillery Co., Ltd.

Common name: 
Mizuho Distillery
4-5-16 Shuri Sueyoshi Town, Naha City
Mizuho Distillery Co., Ltd.
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The Mizuho Distillery, with a 154-year history, has the prefecture's largest underground storage tank to mature high quality kusu.

Since its foundation in 1848, this old establishment has been preserving its traditional techniques that date back to the Ryukyu Kingdom. The distillery is based in Shuri, which was the capital of the kingdom. During World War II, it engaged in the manufacture of awamori in Burma for two years, according to orders from the War Department. In 1949, just after the war, it built a factory capable of producing 180,000 liters of awamori. Three years later, to further establish itself as an enterprise, the distillery became a limited company.
Its main brand, Mizuho, has a flamboyant and rich aroma, as well as a refreshing and mild flavor. The distillery also produces a unique awamori called Suiten, which is matured to background music to further refine its taste. While liquor and processed foods are being matured, music is modified into musical vibrations using a 'bodysonic transducer' and then sent to the tanks. The distiller says that the organic sound waves of classical music nurture a tastier awamori.
The fourth generation owner, Yusho Tamanaha, says the distinctive features of different types of koji define the taste of the distilled liquor. The distillery decides whether the awamori should be sold as new or matured liquor after seeing how the mash turns out. The awamori is also tasted to determine whether it should be placed in earthenware pots, tanks or barrels for maturing.
The distillery has an underground tank in Shuri that can hold up to 640,000 liters of awamori. It's the largest underground facility in Okinawa. The distillery, with its history of more than 150 years, has also kept up the old 'shitsugi' technique to produce kusu.
The Mizuho Distillery is now also an interesting tourist spot. With its policy of continuing to produce only high quality liquor, it welcomes visitors with real hospitality. They are taken to see the storage rooms and invited to taste the awamori in a special tasting room.