Gekkeikan now brings the newest technologies to a brewing process that is nearly 2,000 years old and continues to strengthen its marketing position in the wake of growing demand for sake worldwide.
Gekkeikan established its Folsom sake brewery as part of its strategy to reach new markets. It is the company's first brewing facility in North America and is the sixth brewery to bear the Gekkeikan name.
Why was Folsom selected? Just as Fushimi was "discovered" centuries ago, Folsom was found to offer just the right conditions: high quality water and an abundance of rice- the perfect setting for a skilled brewmaster backed by over three and a half centuries of experience.
The introduction of the waterwheel in the 17th century, which eliminated the need for the manual polishing of rice grains, allowed Japan to begin producing saké at an industrial level for its greater population. Today Japan remains at the cutting edge of technology in its brewing practices. However, the traditional methods of handcrafted, artisanal saké remain alive in smaller and often family-owned breweries. Many of these showcase local ingredients and focus on microclimates to make what is known as ‘jizake,’ or regional saké.
Saké with the highest milling requirement at 50%, so that 50% of each grain of rice remains unmilled, is called Junmai-Daiginjo. It is, just like Junmai and Junmai-Ginjo, made up solely of water, koji mold, yeast and rice. The categories of saké are established not by rice variety, but by polishing or milling percentages; this category is the highest.