In 2009, Shinshinotsu Village became the second area in Hokkaido to be designated as a Doburoku Special Zone after Naganuma Town. Mr. Toru Kitano, who operates a rice farm in the village, obtained a license to manufacture doburoku (a form of sake) with the hopes of drinking locally brewed sake with friends to mark the 30th anniversary of the Shinshinotsu Aozora Festival. People from the local community volunteered to help Mr. Kitano with the application process, with everything from preparing and submitting the application forms to financing and establishing sales channels. Per the license only Mr. Kitano can brew the sake, but the support of his friends in the local community looking to revitalize the economy play an important role, too.
Today, driven by the success of Mr. Kitano’s doburoku, the villagers still work together on community development activities through the Rantan Association with Mr. Kitano as the Chairman.
This boutique sake can be purchased at Shinshinotsu Onsen Tappu no Yu and at the product market located onsite (from May to early November) as well as at Hokuren Shop Shinshinotsu and Kururu no Mori (Kitahiroshima City).
●Mr. Toru Kitano (producer)
8 Kita Dai 46 Sen, Shinshinotsu-mura, Ishikari-gun, Hokkaido
Nanatsuboshi rice cultivated by Mr. Kitano himself is used as the main ingredient, producing a unique taste that features well-rounded overtures of rice and dryness.
Doburoku is a type of sake that is very difficult to produce the same taste over and over again because subtle changes in temperature and climate based on the season and day influence the taste, even if fermentation and aging is performed at a controlled temperature. This is why the balance of sweetness, dryness, tartness and bitterness differs subtly for each brew, which is part of the draw for its fans.
In addition to regular doburoku, there is also a type with a faint pink color because of the rice malt used, which produces a mild flavor with a slight tartness. Pudding made locally from doburoku is also very popular among villagers.