Locals in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, are used to pouring doburoku for each other during the town’s doburoku matsuri (どぶくろ祭り, doburoku festival) and will soon be able to keep on doing so in the new Kōji Cafe Kamoshimaru opening on 9 June 2018.
Unlike pasteurised doburoku, nama doburoku has a fizzy mouthfeel and and sweet-and-sour taste. Marui Itō Shoten use only ingredients from the surrounding Shinshu region, including sake-specific rice grown in Kohigashi Sasahara and “Alpine” yeast strains originally isolated in Nagano Prefecture. (The mountains running through the prefecture are known as the Japan Alps.) The water used for brewing comes from the foothills of Mount Yatsugatake. Itō points out that he can be choosy about his ingredients because the production is very small scale.
Brewing has already started in preparation for the June opening, and the aim is to get 14% abv. A 720 ml bottle will sell at the cafe for around JPY 1,400. The cafe will be inside a renovated wooden two-storey early Showa period house that had recently fallen into disuse. The location is already open and serving food such as yakionigiri (焼きおにぎり, grilled rice balls) and grilled pork marinated in miso (豚肉のみそ焼き, butaniku no misoyaki). Part of the running costs will be covered by a crowdfunding campaign. While the town draws crowds for its festivals, such as a traditional yearly soba festival, Itō thinks it can feel a little deserted at times and hopes to revitalise the town centre so it’s always lively.
- Original article (Japanese, Hokuritsu Shinkansen Navi, 11 May 2018)