Taikoku Distillery Co., Ltd.

Common name: 
Taikoku Distillery
90, Tairagawa, Gushikawa City
Taikoku Distillery Co., Ltd.
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Japan's southernmost refined sake maker has made full use of its brewing techniques to reflect the benefits of the A and B classes of shochu in the taste of awamori.

This distillery, located in the central area of the Okinawan main island, specializes in the awamori brand Hantabaru. It is also Japan's southernmost sake brewery. Because refined sake calls for cold temperatures, the tradition of sake-making did not develop in the southern island of Okinawa. Instead, it nurtured its local distilled liquor called awamori. But the brewery founder, Shigeshi Yasuda, who studied agricultural chemistry at the present Iwate University, decided to challenge the limits of brewing technology in Okinawa.
Since the brewery was founded in 1952, Mr. Yasuda has acquired licenses to manufacture A Class shochu, awamori, whiskey, liqueurs and refined sake. In making refined sake, he joined hands with the Reimei Brewery in Nagasaki to create its rich, dry sake, Reimei. The skills nurtured through producing different kinds of alcoholic beverages were put to use to make traditional awamori distilled liquor. Hantabaru is a blend of B Class awamori shochu with A Class shochu and matured to produce awamori that does not have the typically strong smell associated with awamori. The easy-to-drink texture and rich sweetness were made possible through these procedures. The brand is also said to be a healthy drink that does not induce hangovers. This was achieved by removing all impurities.
The brand takes its name from the local place in Gushikawa City which is the brewery's domicile. 'Hantabaru' is the title of a local folksong. The awamori was named in memory of the old days, when simplicity dominated and the people were rich in spirit. The brewery has also engaged in efforts to preserve the natural environment. The present owner, Yasuharu Yasuda, says that recycling is a natural effort. The brewery reuses bottles after thorough washing and still uses tanks and machinery that were in use before the Okinawa reversion in 1972. One step into the brewery takes us straight back to the old days; it's unique in its blend of traditions and innovations.