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Home » Kanaichi Shoten Co., Ltd. Brewed by honey expert and honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa! “Kyoto Honey Sake Bre wery” starts brewing original domestic honey sake (mead) for the first time.

Kanaichi Shoten Co., Ltd. Brewed by honey expert and honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa! “Kyoto Honey Sake Bre wery” starts brewing original domestic honey sake (mead) for the first time.

[Kanaichi Shoten Co., Ltd.] Brewed by honey expert and honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa! “Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery” starts brewing original domestic honey sake (mead) for the first time.

*View in browser* *Kanaichi Shoten Co., Ltd.*
Press release: March 29, 2024
Brewed by honey expert, honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa! “Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery” starts brewing original domestic honey sake (mead) for the first time.
*Grand opening in March 2024 First lot of Kyoto’s first mead specialty brewery* *
Kaneichi Shoten Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: 21 Nakanocho, Sanjo-dori Tomikoji Nishiri, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City) will open the new brand “Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery” in March 2024, and it will be made by fermenting honey and water. We have started the first brewing of brewed liquor “Mead”. This is the first lot of “TheMEAD”, which aims to create a classic mead that can be confidently said to be “alcohol made from honey”, with the commitment of a honey shop. Honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa, who knows everything about honey, uses carefully selected domestic honeys as raw materials to create a flavor that retains the honey-like flavor with a good balance of aroma and sweetness. “TheMEAD” is a return item from a project that received 1051% of its goal through crowdfunding, and will be shipped to supporters and provided to participants at mead events at Kyoto mead breweries. *
Mead is said to be the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, but it is still relatively unknown in Japan, and opportunities to drink it are limited. Kaneichi Shoten, a honey shop that has been in business for 90 years and a mead pioneer that has been selling mead for over 15 years, has started a new challenge with a strong desire to “spread mead culture from the town of Kyoto.” To do. *

* ○What is mead? *
A brewed liquor made by adding yeast and water to honey and
fermenting it. It has been popular in Europe for a long time, and the number of fans is increasing in Japan as well. It has a sweet honey-like taste, and the alcohol content varies from 5 to 16%. There are a variety of types, from rich and extremely sweet that you want to drink before or after a meal, to refreshing flavors that go well with meals.The taste varies depending on the type of honey and water used, the aging period, and the country. It’s a deep drink.
*〇Honey Hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa’s thoughts *
Since I joined the company, I have been in charge of purchasing and manufacturing honey.
This is because a relationship of trust with beekeepers is most important in order to collect and sell “safe, secure, and high-quality honey.” As a honey hunter, I visit beekeepers all over Japan and around the world, and sometimes collect honey with them, so I can see with my own eyes and tongue how honey is harvested and in what kind of environment. Ta. Because we have been exposed to the charm of honey more than anyone else, we want to share with our customers as much of the unique story of honey as possible.
The main feature of this article, mead, is a very simple alcoholic drink made with honey, water, and yeast. Because it is simple, it is possible to create a wide variety of flavors depending on the characteristics of the raw material honey. It has been 18 years since Kaneichi Shoten started importing mead. We import a variety of mead from overseas and also handle a variety of domestic mead. We also collaborated with universities and sake breweries to develop original mead through contract brewing. It was fun to come across unique meads, but at the same time, as a honey maker, I wanted to create mead that brought out even more of the unique characteristics of honey. However, the barriers to home brewing in Japan are extremely high, and mead was mostly produced by sake makers who originally had a brewing license. Because I have encountered the fascinating honey over the years, I want to make my own alcohol that retains the honey flavor and that I can confidently say is “honey wine.” I spent many days trying to find a way to make this happen.
Meanwhile, an unprecedented craft beer boom was taking place in Japan, and the situation in which alcoholic beverages were handled was changing rapidly.
Although mead has different regulations than craft beer, the path to mead will open up in an unexpected moment through encounters and interactions with various people. “This chance should not be missed.” A theme park-like place where many people can learn about and enjoy mead, exciting things to do, and delicious mead. Our thoughts revolved around “Let’s create a sacred place for mead!!” With that momentum, we opened “Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery” on March 10, 2024. And this time, we were finally able to make our first brew using carefully selected domestic honey. It’s the start of a new challenge.

* 〇 Mead making process *

1. Mix hot water and honey to make the liquid that is the base of mead (*must* ). The honey is pre-warmed at a low temperature so that it easily dissolves in hot water, so holding a hot can filled with 24kg of honey is quite hard work. Repeat this several times to mix the honey and hot water.
2. Send the mixed must to the fermentation tank using a pump. At that time, we accurately measure the temperature, sugar content, amount of water, etc., and record them so that we can recreate the same taste the next time.

3. The must transferred to the fermentation tank is cooled down to a certain temperature using a machine in order to add yeast.
4. The next thing to prepare is yeast, which converts the sugar in honey into alcohol*
is. Yeast is in a dormant state, so add it to lukewarm water to revitalize it. At the same time, I would like to send my condolences to you so that you can make delicious honey wine (important). If you leave the yeast for a while, it will begin to bubble and become more energetic.

5. When the yeast becomes energetic, add a little of the must from earlier and let it absorb for a while, and the yeast will become even more energetic and start working. Add that yeast to the must of the fermentation tank. (This work is called pitching)
Add yeast gently
Slowly and carefully add the must dissolved in honey to the yeast. The yeast that has been added to the must becomes active and creates lots of bubbles.
6. Add yeast to the must in the fermentation tank to create moromi. This mash is fermented and eventually becomes mead. In order for the mash to turn into delicious mead, we carefully stir the mash. The preparation process for the first day is now complete.
The first time I brewed it, I was unfamiliar with it, and I had to stop the process many times to keep detailed records, so it took a lot of time. Preparation started at 1:00 p.m. and was finished at 4:00 the next morning. When I was preparing another tank, I finished it within 12 hours, so I think I will become more efficient in the future. The rest is left to the yeast in the fermentation tank to do its best. What we can do during this time is “fermentation management,” which involves sampling the mash every day and making various measurements. If all goes well, you should have the desired mead in about 4 to 8 weeks.
The reason we cannot tell you the exact timing is because it depends on how hard the yeast is working. I would like to support and watch over the yeast while sending my thoughts to make delicious mead. Later, we sampled the mead we had prepared with the staff.
The dark-colored mead on the right is 3 days old. It tastes like honey juice and is sweet and delicious.
The mead on the left is 10 days old. It’s so refreshing that you can’t believe it’s made from the same ingredients, and it’s less sweet, with a slight alcoholic feel.
It was so delicious that I wanted to say “It’s done!” and sell it as it is, but I’ll hold back in order to make even more delicious mead.

After fermentation continues to the target value, the final process is carried out.

There are still many steps to be taken, such as yeast removal, racking, filtering, and bottling, so I hope to be able to report on those as well.
* [About Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery] *
Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery is Kyoto’s first brewery specializing in mead. In addition to brewing its own original mead, the brewery plans to hold mead seminars and mead events at its attached mead salon to help people fall in love with mead even more. *
Mead is said to be the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, made by fermenting honey with yeast and water. In recent years, it has become more popular due to the influence of games and social media, but it is still an alcoholic beverage that people often ask, “What is mead?” We wanted more people to know about and enjoy mead, so we renovated a 100-year-old Kyo-machiya house in Marutamachi, Kyoto, and launched Kyoto’s first brewery specializing in mead.
The main character is Honey Hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa, the
third-generation president of Kaneichi Shoten, who consumes more than 300 types of honey every year. Our goal is to create the classic “Japanese mead” that we can confidently say is “alcohol made from honey,” and to make it so that everyone can talk about mead as easily as they can about wine and beer. .
*《About the brewery’s planned events》*
* ■Mead seminar *
60 minute mead seminar by honey hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa. You can learn about mead production methods and history while enjoying comparing domestic and foreign meads and tasting the honey that is the source of mead. By the end of the seminar, you might even become a “mead master” at a Kyoto mead brewery! ?
Dates: 3/30 (Sat), 4/10 (Wed), 4/13 (Sat), 4/15 (Mon), 4/23 (Wed) Time: 13:00-14:00/15:00-16:00 each day *You cannot enter or leave the room in the middle of the day.
Participation fee: 5,500 yen (tax included), advance reservation required Capacity: 4 people each time
Reservation URL: * ■Friday Mead Night (Fridays from March to April) *
Every Friday, Honey Hunter will be at the bar counter at Kyoto Mead Brewery’s Mead Salon. You can drink mead while talking about honey and mead.
Date: Every Friday until April 26th
Time: 15:00-21:00 (last order 20:00)
*You can enter the store without making a reservation, but we recommend making a reservation in advance as the number of seats is limited.
*Payment is completely cashless. Please note that cash is not accepted. *We will be closed on March 29th due to Honey Hunter being absent. *Friday mead nights will be closed from May onwards as Honey Hunters go on honey purchasing trips. We will announce the reopening date again.
* ■Mead event *
Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery plans to hold mead-related events from time to time. We are planning to hold a “World Mead Fair” where you can enjoy mead from all over the world and a food pairing event that goes well with mead.
* (Scheduled event)*
* Event name: World Mead Fair *
Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024: 14:00-16:00
Sunday, April 28, 2024: 13:00-15:00
Participation fee: 5,500 yen (tax included), advance reservation required Capacity: 16 people each time, you can leave midway through. Overview: Compare not only domestic mead but also mead from around the world! * *Reservation methods and future information will be distributed on the website and official LINE. *
* Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery HP: * **

* Official LINE account: * ** * *Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery has a completely cashless system. Please note that cash is not accepted. *

* ●Achieved 1051% of the goal in the crowdfunding project! * * Project name: Honey shop makes mead! “Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery” is born where you can drink and learn! Cheers with the first brewed sake! *
Implementation period: December 18, 2023 (Monday) 20:00 to February 19, 2024 (Monday) 23:59
・Project page URL
* https://* **

* ●Release regarding Kyoto honey sake brewery*
A first in Kyoto that wants people to know more about mead! Launching a brewery specializing in mead that you can drink and learn about – the challenge of a third-generation honey hunter from a
long-established honey shop

*〇Honey Hunter Takuzaburo Ichikawa *
We are the third generation of Kaneichi Shoten, and our president, Takuzaburo Ichikawa, personally purchases the honey. Takuzaburo Ichikawa, a honey hunter, visits beekeepers all over Japan and around the world to purchase honey. They eat more than 300 types of honey each year and travel over 52,000 km, which is equivalent to 1.3 times around the Earth. By visiting beekeepers directly, we can see with our own eyes and tastes how honey is harvested and in what kind of environment. We only deliver “safe, secure, and high-quality honey” that we procure in this way to our customers.
Company Profile
*Kanaichi Shoten Co., Ltd.*
Founded in 1930, the company directly purchases honey from domestic and international beekeepers, develops and manufactures products. In addition to operating the Honey Specialty Shop Meal Me, we also wholesale honey products to supermarkets and department stores across the country. We were the first in Japan to import mead over 10 years ago, and are the only company in Japan to carry the products in the countries and types we carry. The company celebrated its 90th anniversary in June 2020.
* [Directly managed store] *
Honey specialty store Mealmy 3 stores (Sanjo main store, Kyoto Takashimaya store, Hankyu Umeda store)
Kyoto Honey Sake Brewery (Opening in March 2024)
* [Official website, etc.] *
・Kaneichi Shoten official website: ・Mielmie Official X:
・Mielmie Official Instagram:

*The expression “Kyoto’s first” is based on our own research (conducted in November 2023) as a “mead brewery that you can drink and learn about” in Kyoto Prefecture.
*About details about this release*

*Download press release materials*