Owner and brewmaster Norio Onda is the fifth generation of his family to steward Onda Shuzo, which has been in continuous operation since 1875. They are a tiny family operation with Norio and his wife doing the bulk of the work with just one assistant to help. The brewery is located right where the foothills of the Echigo mountains meet the Shinano river.
Most of what they produce is a great inexpensive sake made for local production, but for a small run of sake bearing the Onda name, they put in a ton of extra effort. Onda-san has one hectare of land he grows rice on, and that small amount of rice is used for their signature Onda sake, of which only a few hundred cases a year are produced. It is sold exclusively around the brewery and a small amount that we are lucky enough to see in the US.