The Nagai Brewery Philosophy - Learning from the Land and Sake that Enriches Life -

Noriyoshi Nagai

1st September, 2022

Brewing water and its source in the forest
In 1886, Shoji Nagai fell in love with the water flowing in Kawaba, a village of 3300 souls in Gunma prefecture. He soon opened a sake brewery. Today, the house owns a 50-hectare forest in order to supply itself with spring water. The sacred forest has been passed on and protected from generation to generation. The motto "Expressing the beauty of nature in Kawaba through our sake" defines the essence of sake in its water.  
The brewing water is slowly filtered through the soil of Kawaba village over a period of several decades. It is a medium soft water (hardness 50 mg/l P H6.8), and slightly sweet, with a mineral aftertaste.

Transforming using the power of the earth
I studied architecture at university and loved the creativity of creating something out of nothing. Architecture is the fusion of art and technology. When I was a student, I helped design a sake brewery, and when I looked at the family business, I realised that the creative work in architecture and the work in brewing sake are exactly the same.
When I designed the brewery, I was interested in our forest. There is the forest, there is the water and there is the land, the village of Kawaba. 

A new challenge in search of the ultimate originality
We knew we absolutely had to have an authentic sparkling sake. We started developing it in 2003. Our goal was to create a clear sparkling sake with secondary fermentation and a pressure of 5 bar, a challenge unheard of in the world. It took 700 unsuccessful attempts over a five-year period, but we finally completed it in 2008.
We put a lot of effort into the texture of the foam. We wanted it to have the flavour of rice and water.
MIZUBASHO PURE has been on the market since 2008 and has had a successful debut. It was served at the Tokyo International Film Festival immediately after its launch, and in 2009 at El Bulli, the restaurant in Spain with the longest waiting list in the world. It won first prize from the jury, of which a renowned French sommelier is a member, in the sparkling SAKE category of the 2020 Kura Master.

Sake connects people, places and cultures for world peace
I want to transcend race, culture and nationality and bring our Japanese food and drink to the same table. I believe that eating good food, drinking good drink and understanding each other will contribute to world peace. I think sake has a role to play in connecting people, places and cultures. It can also connect the world and Japanese culture.
Our mission is to continue to create to contribute to sake culture through our brewing traditions and innovations true to our hearts. We want to work towards a sustainable society and connect to the future for the sake of our children and the environment.

Original text

土地から学び 人生を豊かにする日本酒の形 ~永井酒造の哲学~



仕込み水は数十年の刻をかけ川場村の大地でゆっくり濾過され生まれます。中軟水(硬度 50mg/l P H6.8)で柔らかかくほのかに甘みがあり、後味はミネラルを感じます。







2008年から販売を開始したMIZUBASHO PURE は、販売直後に東京国際映画祭、2009年には“世界一予約が取れない”レストラン「エル・ブリ」で採用されるなど輝かしいスタートを切った。フランスの人間国宝クラスのソムリエが審査する日本酒コンテスト「Kura Master2020」スパークリングSAKE部門では、トップの審査員賞を受賞しました。




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Noriyoshi Nagai

Nagai Sake Inc. CEO, 6th generation brewer