Long one of the most prominent breweries in the Niigata region,Ichishima Shuzo has been owned and operated by the Ichishima family since its founding in 1790. This illustrious clan played an important role in the history of the region, at one time operating a pharmaceutical company, shipping agency, and financing business in addition to the brewery. In the 1700's the Ichishimas were one of the five biggest land-holding families in the country,and it is said that one could walk the 40 miles from the brewery to Niigata city without leaving Ichishima property. The brewery continues to draw on its long history and access to local ingredients to produce some of the highest quality sake in a region known for premium production.
Despite its history and tradition, however, the brewery is no stranger to innovation. When the fourth president returned from a trip to Germany, he created the Aumont label in the style of European family crests, a label that Ichishima continues to use in Japan to this day. The brewery is also proud to be one of the first to open its doors to female brewery workers, something that was long resisted by other brewers throughout the country.
By managing to maintain tradition as well as an openmindedness, Ichishima Shuzo has been able to produce consistently high quality sake, as evidenced by its perennial status as a gold medal winner at the National New Sake Competition.
With Kenji Ichishima-san back in March 2015:
Ichishima Shuzo awards
NATIONAL NEW SAKE AWARDS JAPAN
2014 Gold Medal
2011 Gold Medal
2010 Gold Medal
KANTO-SHINETSU REGIONAL SAKE CONTEST JAPAN
2013 Winner / Junmai Class
2012 Winner / Junmai Class
2010 Winner / Ginjo Class
2010 Winner / Junmai Class
INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE LONDON UK
2014 Silver Medal / Daiginjo Class - Ginnoyorokobi Bronze Medal / Junmai Daiginjo Class - Hidematsu "Yamabuki"
2013 Bronze Medal / Ginjokoshu - Aumontnenrin
2012 Silver Medal / Daiginjo Class - Hidematsu "Ai" Bronze Medal / Honjozo Class - Hidematsu "Aka" Bronze Medal / Junmai Daiginjo Class - Hidematsu "Yamabuki"
2011 Trophy & Gold Medal / Honjozo Class - Hidematsu "Aka" Silver Medal / Daiginjo Class - Hidematsu "Ai" Silver Medal / Junmai Daiginjo Class - Hidematsu "Yamabuki"
2010 Bronze Medal - SILK Delux Bronze Medal - Hizoukoshu Aumont Ginjogenshu