Founded in 1849, Nishiyama is a classically modern brewery, respecting its history while forging ahead with new styles for the future. They are located deep in the heart of Hyogo, one of the great sake regions of the country, and blessed with the best conditions to grow premium sake rice. While breweries from around the country will do their best to secure a little Hyogo sake rice for their most premium batches, Nishyama is able to estate grow their own rice in the areas surrounding the brewery.
They use the pristine and soft-water from their on-site wells to make sake of purity, power, and elegance. Nishiyama Shuzo strives to make sake that is made only from water from their own wells, locally grown heirloom rice, the majority of which comes from their own estate paddies, and an exclusive yeast strain. They also limit production to remain sustainable and to maintain their resources and outstanding quality.
The name of their signature brand of sake comes from a poem whose nuances are somewhat lost in the translation. Hakuun Nishiyama, who was the third generation of the family to helm the brewery in the early 20th century, was also a haiku poet. In 1915, he was drinking with the renowned poet Kyoshi Takahama who penned the haiku that gave Kotsuzumi its name. The poem compares the experience of the sake to the vibrations of a little drum, a kotsuzumi.
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