A journey to experience the alcohol of Fukuoka, including tastings and tours of sake breweries and wineries, and even a beer making workshop-1

A journey to experience the alcohol of Fukuoka, including tastings and tours of sake breweries and wineries, and even a beer making workshop

The most enjoyable part of any trip is the food and the drinks that accompany it. Fukuoka may be known primarily as a place for Japanese sake and shochu, but did you know there are also wineries and breweries? In this article, we introduce a variety of destinations with many different ways to have fun, such as tasting, brewery tours and workshops, gourmet cuisine, and shopping.

Fukuoka, home to famous sake

Fukuoka is one of the leading sake producing areas in Japan. The waters of Fukuoka are ideal for brewing sake, whether flowing from mountains in the south east over 1,000 meters tall or the central Tsukushi mountains, or the Chikugo river flowing into the Ariake Sea. Fukuoka is also one of the earliest places in Japan where rice cultivation was started, and is today home to cultivation of Yamada Nishiki, one of the leading varieties of rice appropriate for brewing sake. And in addition to quality water and rice, essential for brewing delicious sake, Fukuoka is also home to highly skilled master brewers.
It goes without saying that the sake of Fukuoka, known for it’s refreshing mouthfeel and light, dry taste, goes perfectly with local cuisine such as motsu nabe (a hot pot of organ meats) or mizutaki (chicken hot pot).  Sake breweries in the prefecture often hold open house events, which you should attend if the timing is right.

Enjoy wine or meals with your sake next door!

Beniotome Shuzo is located in Tanushimaru, Kurume City, well known as a fruit producing town. The shochu brewing industry here, which uses the famous local waters, has produced numerous famous labels in pursuit of aroma that rivals Western liquor, such as Goma (Sesame) Shochu Beniotome, the first in the world to be distilled using sesame seeds. Visitors to the brewery can tour the brewing and distilling facilities. The brewery has a shop corner where you can taste their offerings, and the restaurant Mizunawa Saryo offers dishes using local ingredients to accompany their shochu.
In 2022, the stand bar "Shochu Lab. Beniotome" opened in Nakasu Kawabata. Come here to enjoy a new aspect of shochu with a unique taste.

[Beniotome Shuzo Minou Distillery and Shop]
Address: 214-2 Masuoda, Kurume City
Tel: 0943-72-1050

[Shochu Lab.Beniotome]
Address: 1-339 Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
Tel: 092-281-5010

Shochu aged at their Kokyu-gura cellar that occupies a former tunnel of the national railway.

The Ebisu Distillery, producer of authentic shochu, was founded in 1885. The Kokyu-gura cellar, jointly operated by nine different breweries to produce aged shochu, occupies a former tunnel of the national railway located in historic Kurogi-machi. The flavor of the resulting shochu offers richness and depth, and hints of the natural ingredients, thanks to the mineral rich groundwaters from the Hikosan Mountains and the barley produced in the Chikugo River basin. Visitors to the shop can taste it there.
Meanwhile, the shop Alembic operated by the distillery offers fruit liqueurs, original goods, and other sundries in addition to aged shochu such as Kokyu-gura and Alembic.

[Ebisu Distillery Direct Shop ALEMBIC]
Address: 680-3 Hakihayashida, Asakura City 
Tel: 0946-62-1791

Look out over the Chikugo Plain and the grape fields

Kyoho Winery, located nearby Beniotome Shuzo, is one of Japan’s rare fruit wine producers. One of their offerings is Kyoho Wine, the first in Japan to be fermented from 100% Kyoho grapes, said to be difficult to use in wine production. The result is a miraculous masterpiece developed through cultivation of Kyoho grapes with local farmers for over a decade.
In fact, Tanushimaru is the first place in Japan to successfully cultivate the Kyoho grape. Today it has become one of the leading production regions in Japan, thanks to early popularity as a place where tourists came to pick grapes.
The winery also offers fruit liqueurs using the same Kyoho grapes, as well as strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. The grounds, and the forest they contain that appears to be straight out of a picture book, includes a shop where visitors can taste the wineries wines and liqueurs, and a restaurant where visitors can look out over the grape fields as they enjoy their wine with a meal.

Kyoho Winery (Kyoho Japan Co., Ltd.)
Address: 246-1 Masuoda, Tanushimaru-machi, Kurume City 
Tel: 0943-72-2382

Winery of the Budounoki Group known for restaurants and hotels

Budounoki is a company that arose from a grape farm in Okagaki-machi. The company established their own winery in order to produce wine from their own grapes. Their wine uses low temperature fermentation to emphasize the fragrance and fruitiness of the grapes. The results are fresher tasting than other wines because they refrain from heating the wine using centrifuges or filtration systems. Their low-alcohol wines, which limit the use of antioxidants as much as possible, are easy to drink and go with any meal.
The farm also includes a direct shop where you can taste or purchase the wines recommended by their sommelier. They also offer over 80 varieties of wine from throughout the world, as well as cheeses and smoked products made at their own workshop.
Winery tours are also available, provided you reserve at least a week in advance.

[Budounoki Winery]
Address: 526-6, Utsura, Okagaki-machi, Onga District
Tel: 0120-4898-06

Drive through Itoshima and experience flavor in a stylish space!

Itoshima Hello Brewery is one place you simply have to visit when you come to Itoshima. The brewery produces a variety of craft beers, such as their Itoshima Hello Craft, by starting with local spring water from Kamifukae under their policy of local production for local consumption. Each of their many beers typifies Fukuoka in one way or another, such as their Amaou beer, which is finished to be reminiscent of a smoothie with abundant use of the Amaou strawberry from Fukuoka. Each features a cute label design making them great as gifts as well. Incidentally, their Stout, a dark beer featuring notable richness and sweetness, won the silver award at the Japan Great Beer Awards in 2023. They also operate Bakuboyoin, a weekend only eat-in cafe offering draft beer and snacks. 

[Itoshima Hello Brewery]
Address: 89-1, Nijo Kamifukae, Itoshima City
Tel: 092-325-1711

Try making your own one-of-a-kind beer at this brewery that offers a view of the sea

The Michikusa Brewery occupies a renovated inn built over 100 years ago in the seaside town of Tsuyazaki Sengen. Here, a couple who moved into Fukutsu City brew beer with painstaking care. They operate under the philosophy that each glass of beer is brewed to serve in a supporting role, to add color to an important moment or memory, with a flavor to make the meal more fulfilling. (Beer cannot be purchased directly at the brewery, so please look for shops where it is carried via their official website.)

If you visit the Michikusa Brewery, you must try their beer making workshop. Rather than simply trying just some of the preparation steps, this workshop lets you experience the entire process, including the fun parts and difficult parts, from morning until night. After working through the entire process under the support of the owner and brewer, which takes an entire day, the beer is sent to you after fermenting and maturing for roughly one month.

[Michikusa Brewery]
Address: 4-1-13 Tsuyazaki, Fukutsu City

The exceptional taste of freshly brewed beer! Enjoy local beer and snacks

DAZAIFU BREWERY is the first craft beer brewery in Dazaifu. The brewing floor can be viewed beyond glass within the restaurant, where guests can enjoy freshly brewed craft beer. Their beers are known for their unique flavors, such as their Tenjin Daikichi Ale (pale ale), Tenjin IPA (IPA), and Tenjin Ume Ale (white ale), and the set of three flavors makes a perfect gift. The hints of local color is another nice touch, such as the ume plum flavor and label designs based on a motif of Dazaifu. They also offer a variety of snacks, such as karaage fried chicken with ume plum sauce and kushikatsu (skewered fried pork cutlets), as well as soft drinks for those too young to drink the beer. The homey and friendly atmosphere is well-loved by the locals.

Address: 1-14-29 Zaifu, Dazaifu City


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