Sake means a lot of different things to different people. Hangovers, the perfect complement to fine Japanese dining, celebration are among the many things that come to mind when you think of Japan's booze of choice, but to one family, sake or nihonshu(日本酒) in Japanese, the drink is nothing short of traditional art. While that may seem like a bit of a stretch, the family at Sudo Honke has been brewing sake for over 870 years, covering 55 generations as Japan's oldest sake brewery.


Source: YouTube

Recently, Great Big Story visited the current proprietors of Sudo Honke, including Genuemon Sudo, who speaks about the impact of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear meltdown on his family's time-honored tradition and business. The brewery in Obara, Japan is surrounded by a forest of trees, one of which is at least 900 years old. The trees, which are tied to the brewing of the sake itself, helped absorb much of the impact of the initial earthquake.


Source: YouTube

Fearing that the water they relied on their sake for was contaminated, Sudo Honke was prepared to end their long line of sake brewing. Fortunately after immediate analysis, they received word that no such contamination was present, and could continue their tradition of sake brewing. But as Genuemon says himself, there is more at stake than a brand of sake. "Sake is rooted in our daily life in Japanese culture. The aspects of our heritage are reflected in it...we don't just want to sell sake, we also want to communicate to the world what's good about Japanese culture."

Take a minute and watch their short introduction to a sake brewery with great tradition and fortune.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.