The long-established brewery Katoukichibee Shouten is located in Fukui prefecture in the historic city of Sabae. The city flourished as a temple town in the 13th century, and it became a castle town in the 18th century. Now it’s known as a city of craftsmanship that is filled with artisans who produce traditional crafts including lacquer, ceramics, and cutlery. In a town rich with craftsmen DNA, Katoukichibee Shouten established itself 150 years ago and is now in its 11th generation.
Sake fans in the U.S. probably identify the brewery with the name BORN rather than remembering the brewer’s name itself. In Sanskrit “BORN” means “purity” and “striking truth,” as well as stands for “birth to the future” and “creativity.” This word represents the brewery’s strong belief that “a bright future awaits those who put in the effort and as long as one is alive, one can always reset their life no matter how many mistakes he/she makes.” With this encouraging and uplifting spirit, Katoukichibee Shouten produces only junmai type sake and has amassed more than 50 kinds. They use underground water from the local Hakusan Mountain range pumped from a well 184 meters (about 604 feet) deep. They also employ the best sake rice, Yamadanishiki and Gohyakumangoku, as well as their original house kobo yeast. The average milling rate of the sake rice is less than 40%, which means that their sake is extremely high quality, and it goes through a long-term fermentation stage at freezing point to receive a sophisticated flavor.