SakéOne Blog

Hakutsuru: Import Brand Highlight

Jan 3rd, 2023 by Gwyn Bjordammen

Hakutsuru is one of the biggest sake brands in Japan, and is located in the Nada region in Kobe.  The company was founded in 1743 by a lumber dealer, Jihei Kano. The word “Hakutsuru” translates to “white crane”, which was the inspiration for the sake brewery. Hakutsuru added the white crane as their official logo in 1979 and the symbol still marks their bottles today. 

Hakutsuru’s history is full of impressive feats. The brewery played a role in modernizing sake packaging because Hakutsuru was the first company to sell sake in prepackaged glass bottles in 1878. Previously, sake was sold by weight and customers brought receptacles from home to be filled. The brewery gained attention when Hakutsuru bottles were presented at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. This event was just the start of building the brand’s global presence.

During the second world war, Hakutsuru and other sake breweries suffered because 90% of sake brew houses were destroyed in the war.  However, Hakutsuru was able to recover and even build an earthquake resistant brewery building in 1952. 

In the 21st century, Hakutsuru expanded production to become one of the most recognizable sake brands world-wide. In 2005, Hakutsuru Sake of America, Inc. was established in the United States to suit the needs of potential sake customers. Another notable achievement is the creation of their proprietary yeast and a new variety of rice named “Hakutsuru Nishiki” in 2007. In the last 8 years Hakutsuru continued to push the envelope and has incorporated solar panels atop their main brewery and bottling plant. 

While Hakutsuru continues to optimize their efforts for future production, the company also pays tribute to its origins. Hakutsuru opened a “Sake Brewery Museum” in Kobe’s compact brewery district. The museum showcases their old sake Kura in its original form. Many sake enthusiasts visit the museum to get a feel for traditional brewing practices and explore the impressive art collection. 

In recent news, members from Hakutsuru visited SakeOne’s home state of Oregon. Kenji Kano, president and CEO of Hakutsuru, gave a lecture about understanding and enjoying sake at Portland State University. 

Hakutsuru offers a variety of sake styles perfect for all occasions! Explore some of our favorites below:

Nigori pick: Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori

Organic pick: Hakutsuru Organic Junmai

Travel-sized pick: Hakutsuru Chika Sake Cup

Sparkling pick: Hakutsuru Awa Yuki

Gift-able pick: Hakutsuru Nishiki

Junmai Ginjo pick: Hakutsuru Superior

Daiginjo pick: Hakutsuru Ukiyo-E

Perfect for Cocktails pick: Hakutsuru Ukiyo-E Junmai

Our pick to drink Chilled or Warm: Hakutsuru Excellent Junmai

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