Introduction of IICHIKO SHOCHU by Sanwa Shurui
I, Masahiko Noguchi, "The Producer" here at SushiTrainer.com traveled to Usashi in the Ooita Prefecture on a visit to the Sanwa Shurui plant which produces Iichiko: Japan's best selling Shochu. I have had the privilege of sampling many different kinds of Japanese wine and visiting many factories of alcoholic beverage factories in Japan, but this visit was extraordinary.
On our visit to Sanwa Shurui, we were allowed to see many different facets of their production process. I sensed the confidence and pride that Sanwa Shurui takes in making their Shochu, and were very impressed. We were also inspired by the company-wide leadership exhibited, including the actual plant floor which is well known for being kept in pristine condition.
Indeed when we saw it, it was immaculately clean. Over the last decade, Iichiko Shochu has climbed to earn its position as the world's top Shochu producer. The only regrettable thing about our trip was us not having enough time to visit their Sanwa Shurui Ajimu Winery.
We were, however, able to meet the CEO, Mr. Kenichiro Akamatsu, and see his passion for brewing firsthand. He has a certain aura about him and a confidence that is edifying to everyone around him, including his staff.
Nowadays, coming into contact with this kind of person leading a company in Japan is very rare. All of the SushiTrainer team members who were there will never forget the encounter and the experience we had at Sanwa Shurui. I will now introduce to you Sanwa Shurui and their Mugi (barley) Shochu.