I should have just said, yes, when she asked me, but I replied honestly that, no, I didn't drink much nihonshu anymore.
Oh, there was a time when I did, when I could polish off an isshô bin, a 1.8ℓ bottle of sake in one sitting, but to do so today would be well-nigh suicidal.
"Nevertheless," I said, "I wouldn't mind trying some of yours."
As it was early spring, the brewery had several versions of recently bottled sake on hand—namazake (unpasteurized sake), genshu (undiluted sake), nigorizake (cloudy, unfiltered sake), and so on.
She poured me a glass of the genshu and I was pleasantly surprised.
While most sake is diluted with water, bringing the alcohol content down to 14-16%, the unadulterated genshu can be rather potent. Toyomura's own genshu has an alcohol content of 19% and goes down like a mellow grappa.
The Toyomura Brewery, located in Tsuyazaki, Fukuoka, was built in the seventh year of Meiji (1874) and flourished throughout the Meiji and Taishô eras, thanks to the role the town used to play as a hub for seafaring traffic.
Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture
Hours: Monday - Saturday 9:00～4:00
Closed Sundays and National Holidays