I`m going to start off with the oldest brewery in Fukuoka. Established in 1673 way back when Fukuoka was known as Hakata, a little trade port, and Tenjin was the stronghold of the samurai in Fukuoka castle under the Kuroda lords.
Chikushino City, a little to the south of Fukuoka city was blessed with a natural environment with about half of its area covered by mountains and forests, and Futsukaichi was a still is the gateway to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, which is associated with Sugawara no Michizane. For those who do not know about the oxen story. It is believed that the oxen pulling the cart precession of Sugawara stopped at the base of a tree refusing to move any further. This became the final resting place for the nobleman and the temple was built right there to enshrine Sugawara.
The Oga family had a relationship with the Dazaifu Government Office, which was known as the “Imperial Court of the Far East” in ancient times, and even today the oxen in the cattle carts that appear at the “Shinko-shiki Grand Festival” held every autumn at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine are owned by the family.
In the Edo period, the Kuroda clan used Futsukaichi as a post town, and when the lord of the clan went to Nagasaki or Hita to guard the territory, the lord and his presession always went through Futsukaichi. At that time, the Oga family was the head of the local clans and was allowed by the lord to wear a katana with his name and surname on it, as well as having a post stop gate as a resting place for the lord. On the premises there is a well with subterranean water from Mount Hozan, Dazaifu sits at the foot of this mountain, and the feudal lords were very fond of tea made from the well water.
Found this Oga Shuzo nihonshu in my local supermarket the other day. Junmai Ginjo, 55% polished, 15% alcohol, Yume-Ikkon rice from Fukuoka. Good quality and reasonable price. Oga Shuzo has been brewing since 1673! Located in Futsukaichi, Fukuoka.
This is the lower ranked Junmai shu. 65% polishing, 15% alcohol. A little dry.
Last of this series I have had is the top range Junmai Daiginjo. Still a reasonable price compared to some other brands. 50% polishing, 15% alcohol.
This series is nice and has been my go to nihonshu recently. Firstly, the taste of each is very nice and refreshing, secondly, it is easy available at my local supermarket and lastly it is priced very well. The red label is about 850 yen and the black label about 1600 yen.
Text and photos by Stuart.
Edited, 12th Jan. Finally had time to go to the brewery. 🙂