Kinginka is a brewery that prides itself on “attracting people who have tried their sake”. Their Daiginjo won the first prize in a blind tasting event held in Hong Kong. We will dive more into the charming selection of sake from Kinginka today.
The History of Kinginka Brewery
It was founded in the Kyōhō era (1716-1736) and has a history of over 280 years. Kinginka brewery is situated in Ichinomiya, Aichi prefecture, which is a city deeply related to the Tokugawa clan.
Sakami Shrine, which is located at Imaisecho Honkanbe, Ichinomiya, Aichi, is a shrine worships the two gods of sake “sakemitsuo”(酒弥豆男命) and “sakemitsume” (酒弥豆女命). It is also rumored to be the birthplace of sake. (Note: several places in Japan claim they are the birthplace of sake, including Mie and Nara prefecture) Sake brewing in Ichinomiya started in the year of 856 for the sacred Ise Grand Shrine.
Kinginka Brewery was also close to the visiting path (sandō; 参道) of Iwato Shrine, where the Tokugawa army passed by when headed to the infamous Battle of Sekigahara. Kinginka value the connection of shrines and their people, during festivals they do not just offer their sake to god, they also sell it with prayers.
The naming of Kinginka
The name of Kinginka is originated from the three ancient symbols of fortune and health: Gold(金), Silver(銀), and Flower(花). The word also appeared in the lyrics of gagaku (a type of Japanese classical music) named Manzairaku. They inherited the technique from Nanbu Toji (Iwate master brewers; among the three largest and most respected brewers group in Japan) and have preserved it until today.
Not just a drink – the trend of Nishonshu beauty
Sato Hiroko, who is a professor in Japanese sake studies and a sake sommelier herself, often organizes events like product introduction through Zoom video conferences and hands-on workshops. They also continue to experiment with new applications including soap and beauty treatment with sake. Historically, master brewers have been known to have soft and smooth hands, and the reason behind this is often attributed to the skincare benefits of sake. Sato-san hence got the idea to experiment with sake-soap and beauty treatments.
“Sake is known as a fermented food product, by taking in a reasonable amount of sake is good for one’s health and skin. Even though we are a small brewery, we are dedicated to creating an unforgettable moment for you. We hope you can find the value for our sake and our method preserved from traditions,” said Sato.
Brands under Kinginka Brewery:
Kinginka Daiginjo: Gives a fruity yet refreshing taste, popular among foreign drinkers especially with ladies. Tastes exceptionally great paired with salmon, Prosciutto e Melon and other Western cuisines.
Kinginka Josen: Gives a rich flavour of rice, just like how they used to make sake in old times. Goes great with Chinese food.
Kinginka Yorokobi: The most luxurious sake of Kinginka. Experience the flavour and after-taste of rice fully, great for presents.
Kinginka En-musubi (fate binding) twin bottle (180mL): the sake was created under the prayers for happiness in shrines. The pink bottle is Daiginjo while the blue bottle is Josen.