Ishii Miso Brewery was founded in 1868 (the end of the Edo era) and is still producing miso by a unique traditional and natural method.
Miso, soybean paste, is an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. We have miso soup every day and sometimes use it for other dishes. Miso is a fermented food so it is very healthy. Nagano Prefecture, where Matsumoto is located, is the top producer of miso (46%) in Japan. Miso used to be made in homes, but now many Japanese people don’t know how to or find out how to make miso.
In Ishii Miso Brewery, you can see inside the brewery and have a lunch including miso soup, salad with miso dressing, rice balls, and even ice cream made using their miso.
One special thing about this brewery is that they ferment the miso for over three years. Normal, cheap mass-produced miso is fermented only a few months in a factory. The taste of Ishii’s three year old miso is much deeper and tastier than normal miso. Ishii uses wooden barrels to ferment miso, which is also unique. Normally the barrels are plastic or metal, but wooden barrels enable air to permeate making them good for fermentation.