Sep 10, 2018 Attraction Hatsukaichi

Shochu, Whiskey and Gin! A Brewery Tour at Sakurao Distillery

#Activity&Experience ,#Alcoholic Beverage ,#Attraction ,#Factory ,#Sake

I heard that Chugoku Jozo, which until now brewed shochu, mirin, sake, and other drinks, has started to make gin and whiskey, so I went to have a look. The gin carefully made by this Hiroshima brewer contains 17 kinds of botanical raw materials, including fresh citrus fruits produced in Hiroshima. I will introduce these to you together with a look of the brewery tour!

From Hiroshima to the World, Through Tradition and Innovation

In 1918, Chugoku Jozo began sake brewing in Hanao district in Hatsukaichi city. Up until now, the distillery has mainly produced shochu, mirin, and sake. In 2017, they created a brewery named SAKURAO DISTILLERY, and introduced German-made hybrid brewing equipment. Accompanying the worldwide craft gin boom, the brewery began using the brewing techniques it had cultivated over more than 100 years since its founding to make gin and whiskey.

Craft Gin, Overflowing with the Charms of Hiroshima

What are the botanical raw materials used to make SAKURAO GIN? Gin at Chugoku Jozo comes in two types, SAKURAO GIN LIMITE and SAKURAO GIN ORIGINAL. Both of them use products from Hiroshima Prefecture. Let me tell you about each of their special traits.

SAKURAO GIN LIMITED

Botanical raw materials (17 types):

Lemon, Nabel orange, Bitter summer orange, Yuzu, Bitter orange, Cypress, Green tea, Red perilla, Ginger, Cherry blossom, Juniper berry, Lindera umbellata, Leaf bud, Oyster(shell), Wasabi, Juniper berry leaf, Blue perilla

Starting with juniper berry, all are botanicals produced in Hiroshima Prefecture. Gin using domestic juniper berry is extremely rare, even when looking at all of the gin produced countrywide in Japan, so it’s gathering lots of attention.

SAKURAO GIN ORIGINAL

Botanical raw materials:

Lemon, Nabel orange, Bitter summer orange, Yuzu, Bitter orange, Cypress, Green tea, Red perilla, Ginger

5 kinds of botanical raw materials, with a juniper berry base. This standard dry gin uses 9 types of citrus produced in Hiroshima Prefecture, and 5 types produced overseas.

Brewery Tour

For the brewery tour, there is a free course and a paid course which includes a tasting. I actually participated in the tour, so I’ll introduce each here.

Free course

A tour where you can see the brewery within the premises of Chugoku Jozo.

Start Time From 3:00pm
Required Time 30 mins

A tour of the brewery inside Chugoku Jozo, and you can learn about how spirits are made. With the paid course, you can see the brewing equipment right up close.

Start Time From 10:30am and 1:30pm
*Up to 5 people per tour
Required Time 60 mins

 

With the paid course, you can also enjoy a tasting that comes with snacks at “Yasuragi-Hakkoubou,” the brewery’s company store after the tour. Here, you can participate in a tasting of SAKURAO GIN LIMITED, SAKURAO GIN ORIGINAL, gin tonic, and freshly distilled whiskey that you can only taste at the brewery tour. Enjoy a relaxing gin while getting a feel for ingredients that are flowing with the essence of Hiroshima. The dip sauce made to compliment the gin is incredible.

The dip sauce that came together with the gin had ray, black porgy (a type of fish), and oyster. Hiroshima is known for oysters, but you may wonder why ray and black porgy were also included as ingredients. There was actually a reason very fitting for Hiroshima, which is famous for oysters. These rays and black porgies eat young oysters, and have greatly increased in numbers in the Seto Inland Sea, causing trouble for oyster fishermen. For that reason, it was decided that it would be a good idea to eat these fish, too. That led to this dip sauce being made.

The gin tonic came in a SAKURAO original glass. This glass can be purchased at the shop inside.

Always Be Sure to Make Reservations Before the Tour

For the tour, you need to make a reservation at least a week in advance. The reservation can be made online, but cannot be made on Mondays, during O-bon, or on New Year holidays. Otherwise reservations are accepted every day. In addition to Japanese, there are also English and Chinese guides.

Online Booking from here: sakuraodistillery.com

Try the Gin Overflowing with the Spirit of Hiroshima

Packed with ingredients that embody the essence of Hiroshima, this gin is perfect as a Hiroshima souvenir for people who like to drink. Please stop by for a tour of Chugoku Jozo’s SAKURAO DISTILLERY when you come to Hiroshima!

Information

SAKURAO DISTILLERY
Address 1-12-1 Sakurao Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima (map)
Closest Station [Train]10mins walk from JR Hatsukaichi station
[Tram]8mins walk from Hiroden Hatsukaichi station
[Bus]Inbound line “Chugoku Jozo mae” bus stop
Outbound line “Hatsukaichi Minato mae” bus stop
Closed Mondays, National holidays, Obon holidays, and the Japanese year-end and New Year holidays
Website Official Website
Price Booking Required
-Free Course Tour
-Paid Course Tour
¥2,000

How to Access to SAKURAO DISTILLERY from Hiroshima City

Price: ¥320 Time: 30mins- Change:None

Hiroshima Sta.

Hatsukaichi Sta.
JR Sanyo-Line
(19mins)
¥320

SAKURAO DISTILLERY
Walk
(11mins)

 

Writer: Minaminami