History of Masahiro Brewery (formerly Higa Brewery Co., Ltd.)

1881

Higa Brewery was founded in 1881 in Shuri, a castle town of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The founder was Higa Shobun, the son of Higa Shozoku, who was the head chef of the Ryukyu Dynasty. At that time, Awamori production was only allowed to those who had permission from the royal government. Under such circumstances, the founder, Shobun Higa, started Awamori production under the trade name "Houchou Higa" and Awamori production license given by his father, Masatsugu, who was highly regarded for his skill as a chef. Okinawa's food culture and Awamori culture are closely related. His father Masatsugu's passion for food must have been reflected in Shobun's sake production.

Higa Shobun

Higa Shobun

1912

Shogen, the son of Shobun, takes over the brewery as the second generation.

Higa Shogen

Higa Shogen

1949

In the midst of chaotic times, the Awamori industry, which was at its peak during the Sino-Japanese War, lost most of its breweries during the Pacific War, and the old sake that had been passed down from generation to generation disappeared in the fires of war. In the midst of postwar reconstruction, Shoko, the third generation, moved his factory to Yonabaru in the southern part of the main island and restarted the business.

比嘉酒造

Around 1935(Higa Shuzo at that time)

与那原工場

Yonabaru Factory

Masahiro named the product "Masahiro," which is a reading of his own name. By making his own name the representative brand, he expressed his passion for sake brewing. Masahiro" was accepted by the people and established the foundation of the present Higa Brewery.

比嘉昌廣

Higa Shoko

発売当時の「まさひろ」ラベル

Label of "Masahiro" (at the time of sale)

1967

In order to modernize the facilities, the factory was moved to Ishimine in Shuri. There, based on traditional techniques, Awamori was first produced using low-temperature fermentation, contributing to the development of production technology in the postwar period.

Shuri

Shuri Ishimine Factory (currently known as Koshu-gura shuri)

1979

Time passed, and in 1979, Masakuni Higa took over the brewery as the fourth generation. During the heyday of whiskey, he worked to develop the Awamori market. One of his most notable achievements was the creation of the "Furusato Parcel" system that allowed Awamori to be shipped nationwide. At the time, it was groundbreaking for the post office to handle alcoholic beverages. We were also the first company to enter Awamori in an international sake competition and win a gold medal, and we pioneered the release of Awamori in one-cup and paper carton packs, aggressively pioneering new markets.

1991

The Nishizaki Plant in Itoman City was completed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company's founding, and the manufacturing location was moved to Itoman City. Here, the "Awamori Masahiro Gallery" was opened, displaying vintage Awamori. The gallery is well received as a factory for tours, with a wide range of materials on Awamori. We are also striving to develop new markets by commercializing "Shima Uta", a brand outside of the prefecture, and "Masahiro Bran Vinegar", which is made from Awamori malt, both of which were released in 1998.

創業100周年記念 西崎工場

100th Anniversary of Founding Nishizaki Plant

「泡盛まさひろギャラリー」

"Masahiro Gallery"

About Us

Trade name Masahiro Sake Brewery Co.
English name Masahiro Shuzo Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1883
Established August 26, 1965
Capital 48 million yen
Representative Yutaka Nakamine
Employees Male: 23, Female: 23 Total: 46
Banks Okinawa Development Finance Corporation, Shoko Chukin Bank Naha Branch, Bank of the Ryukyus Nishizaki Branch, Bank of Okinawa Nishizaki Branch
Head Office Plant 5-8-7 Nishizaki-cho, Itoman City, Okinawa, Japan
Site area: 3,000 tsubo, Factory building: 937 tsubo, Moromi vinegar factory: 94 tsubo
Old Sake Brewery 4-54 Shuri Ishimine-cho, Naha City, Okinawa
Site area: 900 tsubo, Factory building: 500 tsubo
Production capacity Awamori: 3747KL, Moromi vinegar: 2400KL
Main Facilities Awamori production equipment complete set, storage capacity 19,111 stone (3,440KL)
Moromi vinegar production facilities
Bio-plant facilities (Sake lees processing facilities)

History

1883 Established by Masafumi Higa in the castle town of Shuri Oufu
1912 Higa Shogen succeeded as the second generation
1936 Higa Masahiro succeeded as the third generation
1949 Moved to Yonabaru-cho for factory expansion
1965 Incorporated as a limited partnership, Higa Shoten
1967 Changed trade name to Limited Partnership Higa Brewery
Modernized factory newly built and relocated to Shuri, Naha City
1991 100th anniversary factory newly built and moved to Nishizaki-cho, Itoman City.
Head office moved to the same factory, and "Awamori Masahiro Gallery" was added. Open to the public.
(Capacity for 100 people, factory tours available)
1999 Manufacture and sale of malt vinegar
2002 First in the Awamori industry to obtain ISO 9001 certification (Awamori) *Continuing as of 2022
2003 Started the first bio-plant (sakekasu processing facility)
2004 ISO 9001 certification (malt vinegar) *Ongoing as of 2022
2006 Started No. 2 Bio-Plant (Sake Lees Processing Facility)
2007 Changed the company name to Higa Shuzo Co.
Production and sales of liqueurs
2008 Licensed to manufacture liqueurs (no restrictions or expiration date)
2014 Mitsuru Shinjo appointed President and Representative Director
2015 Company name changed to Masahiro Shuzo Co., Ltd.
2017 Craft gin sales (H28 Spirits production license)
2018 Yutaka Nakamine appointed President and Representative Director

Award History

Monde Selection, International Food Evaluation Committee
(Headquarters: Belgium)

1985 the 23rd Monde Selection in Portugal
- Gold Medals : 《MASAHIRO》Spirit (first Awamori maker to exhibit)

1986 the 24th Monde Selection in Switzerland
- Gold Medals : 《MASAHIRO》SHUREI Spirit
- Silver Medals : 《MASAHIRO》PURPLE Spirit

1987 the 25th Monde Selection in Belgium
- Silver Medals : 《MASAHIRO GOLD》Awamori
- Silver Medals : 《MASAHIRO SILVER》Awamori

1991 the 29th Monde Selection in Spain
- Gold Medals : TAWAMURERU SHI-SA 28°
- Silver Medals : KOSHUGURA SHURI 35°

1996 the 34th Monde Selection in Portugal
- Silver Medals : NO KUNI AWAMORI
- Silver Medals : HAISAI AWAMORI

1999 the 37th Monde Selection in Belgium
- Silver Medals : SIMAUTA - Awamori

2008 the 46th Monde Selection in Australia
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Koshu 5 Years Old Masahiro Kame Chozou
- Gold Medals : Koshu Masahiro Gold

2009 the 47th Monde Selection in Italy
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals : Koshu Masahiro Gold
- Bronze Medals : Masahiro Moromi-su (sraight)
- Bronze Medals : Masahiro Moromi-su (brown sugar & honey blend)

2010 the 48th Monde Selection in Germany
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshugura Shuri 1991
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals : Koshu Masahiro Gold

2011 the 49th Monde Selection in Belgium
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals :Hanashimauta
- Gold Medals :Koshu Uminchu Gold 3 Years Old

2012 the 50th Monde Selection in Greece
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals :Hanashimauta
- Gold Medals :Koshu Uminchu Gold 3 Years Old

2013 the 51th Monde Selection in Sweden
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals :Koshu Uminchu Gold 3 Years Old

2014 the 52nd Monde Selection in France
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals :Koshu Uminchu Gold 3 Years Old

2015 the 53rd Monde Selection in Portugal
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu
- Gold Medals :Koshu Uminchu Gold 3 Years Old

2016 the 54th Monde Selection in Hungary
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 8 Years Old Kugani Masahiro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro

2017 the 55th Monde Selection in Malta
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro

2018 the 56th Monde Selection in Spain
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 3 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Aka
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro

2019 the 57th Monde Selection in Italy
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 7 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Kuro
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Masahiro Okinawa Gin Recipe 01

2020 the 58th Monde Selection in Germany
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Shurijo Seiden Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 5 Years Old Masahiro Gold
- Grand Gold Medals : Shimauta Kuro
- Gold Medals : Uminchu Premium

2021 the 59th Monde Selection in Belgium
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma

2022 the 60th Monde Selection
- Grand Gold Medals : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma

International Wine and Spirits Competition (I.W.S.C)
(Headquartered in the U.K.)

1990
- Bronze : Gotou Uma 8 Years old

2008
- Silver & best in class : RYUKYU-Awamori Gotouma
- Silver & best in class : Awamori Masahiro Gold
- Silver : Awamori Masahiro Stored in Jars
- Silver : Awamori Shimauta Kuro

2009
- Silver & best in class : Ryukyu-Awamori Gotouma

International Taste Testing Institute iTQi
(Headquarters: Belgium)

2009
- ★★ Sperior taste : Ryukyu Awamori Hana-Shimauta

2010
- ★★ Sperior taste : Ryukyu-Awamori Gotouma 10 years old
- ★★ Sperior taste : Ryukyu-Awamori Shimauta 25 pct
- ★★ Sperior taste : Ryukyu-Awamiri Hana-Shimauta

BTI
(The Beverage Testing Institute)

2008
- Silver [89points] : Masahiro Gotouma
- Bronze [84points] : Shimauta Kuro
- Bronze [84points] : Masahiro Gold

LosAngeles I.S.C

2013
- Gold : Hana Shimauta

2014
- Gold : Hana Shimauta Awamori

2015
- Gold : Hanashimauta

2016
- Gold : Hanashimauta

2017
- Gold : Hanashimauta

2018
- Gold : Hanashimauta

2019
- Gold : Hanashimauta

WGT
(Headquarters: Taiwan)

2020
- Annual Selection : Okinawa Gin

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

2009
- Bronze Medal : RYUKYU-AWAMORI SHIMAUTA

Tokyo Whisky & Spirits

2019
- Silver : Masahiro Okinawa Gin Recipe 01

2021
- Gold : Masahiro Okinawa Gin Recipe 02
- Silver : Uminchu Premium
- Silver : Kugani Masahiro 8 Years Old

Okinawa Awamori Critique Competition

1972 : Grand Prize
1974 : Grand Prize
1975 : Grand Prize
1976 : Grand Prize
1977 : Grand Prize
1978 : Grand Prize
1979 : Grand Prize
1980 : Grand Prize
1981 : Grand Prize
1982 : Grand Prize
1983 : Grand Prize
1984 : Grand Prize
1985 : Grand Prize
1986 : Grand Prize
1987 : Grand Prize
1988 : Grand Prize
1991 : Grand Prize
1992 : Grand Prize
1993 : Grand Prize
1994 : Grand Prize
1996 : Grand Prize
1997 : Grand Prize
1998 : Grand Prize
1999 : Grand Prize
2000 : Grand Prize
2001 : Grand Prize
2002 : Grand Prize
2003 : Grand Prize
2004 : Grand Prize
2007 : Grand Prize
2014 : Grand Prize
2015 : Grand Prize
2016 : Grand Prize
2017 : Grand Prize
2018 : Grand Prize
2019 : Grand Prize
2020 : Grand Prize

Okinawa Awamori Critique Competition
Aged Awamori Category

2017
- Gold Prize : Masahiro Aged in Cellar

Okinawa Prefecture Excellent Prefectural Products

1983年
- Old Masahiro
- Masahiro
- Masahiro (2P)

1984年
- Old Masahiro

1985年
- Old Masahiro
- Masahiro (2P)

2009年
- Awamori Masahiro
- Tenkei no Shizuku

2012年
- Tenkei no Shizuku
- Awamori Umeshu Uminchu

2013年
- Awamori Masahiro Made of Okinawa's Rice

All Japan International Sake Promotion Association

2017年5月
- 1st place : Kugani Masahiro 8 Years Old

2017年11月
- 1st place Special Prize : Kugani Masahiro 8 Years Old
- 1st place : Koshu 10 Years Old Gotouma
- 1st place : Masahiro Lounge