The founder of this brewery was Master Brewer Shioya-Gun, afer which the town where the brewery is located was named. As a young man, Shioya-Gun learned how to make sake in Niigata Prefecture. In 1865, he left Niigata determined to find the best water for brewing sake in Japan, which led him to his final destination in the Black Mountains of Tochigi Prefecture—just north of Tokyo—where there is an abundance of soft, clean water. Tucked away in the middle of a pine forest, a mountain stream flows down the hillside and is channeled directly into the brewery. The quality of water gives the sake a clean, soft mouthfeel and pristine expression.
Matsuno Kotobuki is known to be a distinct and memorable sake. The brewery itself is very small, and was once considered under the radar. With presence now in Japan and the United States, it receives the recognition it deserves and is highly allocated as a result. Motojiro Matsui, Toji and owner, is proud of his workers from the local community, admiring their passion for Japanese food and work. He likes to say they have the “souls of samurais”. Matsu no Kotobuki means “best happiness”; it expresses the passion the brewers put into crafting a sake that will ultimately make people happy— and mirrors the joviality with which it was made.