Founded in 1791, Matsumoto Brewery is located in the heart of Kyoto’s sake making district of Fushimi. Their current brewery building dates to the late 19th century, a beautiful surviving example of Meiji-era manufacturing, with much of the equipment and techniques remaining unchanged since then. They draw on the legendary “Gokosui” water source of Kyoto, soft water that makes for delicate sake with a gentle texture and subtle sweetness.
Until recently their sake stayed fiercely local, rarely straying beyond the shelves and menus of Kyoto sake shops and restaurants they have done business with for ages, but in 2016 a new generation of the Matsumoto family took over in 2016 and quickly put their stamp on the storied brewery. They introduced the “Shuhari” series that retains their brewery’s classic soft and restrained flavor while adding unconventional touches like a mild fizzy effervescence and a prickly dryness. Shuhari refers to the classic Japanese practice of absorbing the influence of your teachers while breaking away from them to carve a new path, a fitting name for this sake with one foot planted firmly in Kyoto traditions and another striding forward to the future.