The Marumoto Brewery was founded in 1867 at the base of the Chikurin-ji Mountains, in Okayama-ken, one of Japan’s most prized agricultural regions. The Brewery was originally called Shimizu-ya, literally meaning “spring water store” because it was built in the site of a great water source.
Now a national cultural landmark, the brewery is managed by the sixth generation son, Niichiro Marumoto. After making the Kamomidori brand for many years, the brewery introduced Chikurin in 1990 as their new, limited release brand. Because of how carefully they make this sake, in Japan, the brewery sells it directly to a small network of qualified retailers they choose themselves.
The Marumoto Brewery is known as nousan sakagura, the “Farmers’ Brewery,” because the people who grow the rice also make the sake. Their passion, care and knowledge go into every step of every bottle. Reflecting the people and place behind this sake, Chikurin also has a distinctive “farm style”—natural, relaxed and fresh.
Large scale breweries buy their rice from large farmers or rice brokers. Small, regional brewers work closely with local farmers, who raise rice for them under contract. But the Marumoto Brewery makes Chikurin from 100% home grown rice, grown on their own land. The rice they grow is 100% yamada nishiki, the most celebrated sake rice. The owner, Marumoto-san, was also the first Japanese brewer/farmer to get USDA Organic certification for the Yamada Nishiki sake rice he grows to produce Chikurin Organic Junmai Ginjo.