Hasegawa Shuzo Brewery Entrance in Nagaoka, Niigata

Hasegawa Shuzo

長谷川酒造

Nagaoka, Niigata

While sake brewing is traditionally a man's world, at the heart of Hasegawa Shuzo is a team composed of a mother and her daughters. With yeast from their native Nagano (the next province over) and collaborations with local artists (for their labels), Hasegawa Shuzo has a unique and delicious take on the local, dry "Tanrei Karakuchi" style of brewing.

Main Brand Echigo Sekkobai
Founded 1842
Generation 7
No of Employees 14
Website www.sekkobai.jp

People

People behind the scenes

Hiroaki Suzuki

Yoko Hasegawa

Biography
Hiroaki Suzuki moved to Niigata with a strong desire to start brewing sake. After working at Hasegawa Brewery for seven years, he became Toji in 2021. Having graduated at the top of his class at the Niigata Sake School, his goal is to continue the sake brewing philosophy that he inherited from the previous master brewer.
Yoko Hasegawa took over the brewery's operations at 43, when her husband decided to follow his father's footsteps into politics. Since then she's persevered alone through tough times, including a disastrous earthquake in 2004, but was joined recently by her three daughters in running the brewery.
Interview with the Toji

(Coming soon)

History

Hasegawa Shuzo Entrance at Night

The roots of Hasegawa Shuzo date back to 1842, when the founder of Hasegawa Shuzo settled in Niigata after escaping Nagano due to the ongoing strife in the Sengoku period. Initially allowed to brew 12’600 litres, the next two generations built on this foundation and established Hasegawa Shuzo’s legacy.

The main brewery building, established in 1886, was made an important tangible cultural property in 2012. The brewery sits in the picturesque town of Nagaoka and can be visited, with prior appointment, through a walking tour together with four other breweries.

Hasegawa Shuzo Family Crest

More recently, the story of Hasegawa Shuzo is a touching tale of daughters banding together to save their family heritage. After their father decided to follow his father’s footsteps into politics, their mother and current manager of the brewery, Yoko Hasegawa, took over. When their three daughters decided to leave Niigata to pursue their own dreams, their mother didn’t stop them, she knew the hard work that running a brewery required.

Difficult times after the 2004 Niigata earthquake, in which a major warehouse of theirs collapsed, and the thought that none of their children was interested in continuing the brewery convinced Yoko Hasegawa to close down the brewery. But as fate would have it, their youngest daughter, who was abroad studying in the US, suddenly decided to take over the brewery after all. Not only that, both other daughters then decided to join as well. Currently the brewery is still family run and everything looks set for it to continue to the eighth generation and further.

Visit

Nagaoka Walking Tour

Nagaoka Walking Tour (醸造の町)

Brewery Access from Brewery: 0 min.

A leisurely route through Nagaoka leads along breweries, miso and soy makers and local ice cream makers.

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Yamakoshi Village (山古志村)

Village Access from Brewery: 20 min. by car

Visiting beautiful rice fields, special carps and even bullfighting are just some of the activities that can be found here.

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Echigo Hillside Park

Echigo Hillside Park (国営丘陵公園)

Park Access from Brewery: 25 min. by car

A large park with an array of activities: seasonal flower viewing, huge kids playground and local crafts.

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Nagaoka Fireworks

Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (長岡花火)

Brewery Access from Brewery: 10 min. by car

Held in the first few days of August, this firework spectacle spans 2km of the Shinano River and is one of the biggest firework festivals in Japan.

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