Focus on production
Koji-making that does not rely on machinery
In their careful shochu-making process, MIYATAHONTEN uses techniques passed down over generations and well-used tools.
Koji (rice malt) is made using the so-called“Bed” koji method. Firstly, rice is steamed in a rice steamer called a “koshiki” then spread out on large tables (beds) in the koji room (muro) and sprinkled with koji mold, then left for three days to make the rice malt. Although many distilleries use koji-making machines nowadays, MIYATAHONTEN washes, steams, seeds, and maintains the rice entirely by hand.
Moromi calls out during pot mashing
The shochu is made from Kogane Sengan sweet potatoes, which are steamed quickly in a pressure cooker. Unlike when the potatoes are steamed with steam, the delicious umami flavor of the sweet potatoes is concentrated.
For both the first and second mashings, pots made in Japan and passed down over generations are used. Paying close attention to temperature management, the brewers watch over the moromi (yeast mash) as it ferments, stirring as necessary.
Distillery representative Chikako Miyata says that she loves to watch the second mash fermenting. She could watch it all day and never get bored. Laughing, Chikako explains that: “When I approach the pots, the moromi calls out to me, saying, ‘Welcome!’ When the temperature rises, I can hear it saying, ‘It’s getting hot, please come!’” Her expression as she says this is truly that of a mother watching over her child.
Atmospheric distillation bringing out the flavor of the ingredients
MIYATAHONTEN is adamant about using atmospheric distillation to make their shochu. Following distillation, the shochu is carefully filtered and aged to produce the distillery’s main product, HINAMUSUME, which has a gentle sweet potato aroma, light sweetness, and firm flavor. This soft shochu is also an easy-to-drink shochu for women.
GIN NO HOSHI—a shochu made from peeled sweet potatoes with mashing and storage both carried out in pots—was a prizewinner for two consecutive years (2012–2013) in the South Kyushu Sake and Shochu Awards (Kumamoto Tax Office). The distillery also makes MIYATAYA, a rice shochu with a cool taste and rice aroma that fills the mouth.
|MIYATAHONTEN CO., LTD.（株式会社宮田本店）
|4-1-8, Odotsu, Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
|Tour of a Warehouse
|Brewery/distillery tours are not available.