Nara Prefecture

Teruaki Hashimoto was raised in a sake-brewing family, and attended the nation’s top brewing college, but he says his philosophy didn’t start forming until he interned with a team renowned for making sake with natural yeasts.

“I was in the muro (koji room) and looking at the thermometers. The temperature was much higher than the teacher at college taught us to use,” he says. “My brain was telling me it was wrong, but my palate was telling me it was right.”

He knew then that he should forget the textbooks and follow his instinct… and he’s done that with astonishing success. The Hanataomoe range of sakes he produces are consistently the most innovative brews around.

Hashimoto-san only works with natural yeasts, and he works with the ambient temperature far more than any other brewer we know. Traditionally, a brewer will tinker with temperatures to control which microorganisms are active. Hashimoto-san works as much as possible with what nature gives him, and adjusts his brewing method to suit it. He works with nature, not against it.

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