Yaegaki started producing sake in the U.S. in 1987. In 2003, we moved to our current Vernon location to become the only Japan-based sake brewery in Southern California and have been providing the U.S. public with authentic sake ever since.
We now have a presence here in the U.S. both as a traditional sake brewery based in Himeji, in Japan, providing premium handcrafted sake made from rich rice and water, and also as a pioneer in U.S. sake brewing, incorporating local ingredients with traditional spirit and methods passed down through the generations in Japan.
Yaegaki started out as a sake company founded in the Banshu-Hayashida area of Hyogo Prefecture in 1666. The “Yaegaki” brand, established in 1881, was founded on the brewery’s distinctive and outstanding sake-brewing methods, handed down from one generation to the next through its 350-year history.
Over time, Yaegaki has branched out and progressed steadily by developing newer technologies and a variety of businesses ranging from brewing-machine making to present-day biotechnology.
Now, of course, we have crossed borders and brew sake in the U.S. Though the two countries are geographically distant from each other, the traditional Japanese spirit and methodology of Yaegaki lives on in its U.S. brewery.
The name “Yaegaki” (八重垣) can be broken down into three characters: 八=eight, 重=layered or overlapping, 垣=fence or wall. This word was taken from the very first poem of the ancient Kojiki (古事記, literally “Records of Ancient Matters”), the oldest extant chronicle of Japanese history.
This famous poem records the words of the great deity Susanoo-no-Mikoto (スサノオノミコト), the Shinto god that pioneered the area now known as Himeji. It expresses his joy as he welcomes his newly wedded wife to their new palace. The word “yaegaki” appears in the poem in reference to the many layers of clouds (figuratively expressed as eight layers of walls) that surround their new palace, signifying the celebration of their marriage and Susanoo-no-Mikoto’s love for and protection of his new wife.
Hence, we use the name Yaegaki as a symbol of celebration and the joy that sake can bring to people’s lives.