Hirashige Kobayashi, 5th Generation President, Owner & Toji
Kobayashi san's belief since creating the Gangi brand is "Life is born from water". A landing at the pier made of stone steps that was used when disembarking from the boats on the river. His fondest childhood memories were at the Imazu River that runs next to the brewery: swimming, playing saxophone and observing the crabs that would come up from the river.
Founded by his great-grandfather, the brewery was a storehouse for tea, washi paper and rice. The brewery steadied through generations of challenges until Kobayashi san took the helm and brewed a successful, delicious batch of sake in 2002.
With just under 10 brewery workers, employee health, happiness and well-being is at the forefront of the brewery's values. As sake brewing is very labour intensive, the brewery heavily invested in new technology to alleviate the amount of heavy lifting and reduce the number of sleepless nights that the workers would normally have to endure. Tracks, rails and pipes help transport heavy rice and waters. Built in temperature and humidity thermometers are integrated into employee phone apps. The brewery continues to innovate to create one of the best working environments in the sake brewing industry.
Iwakuni City & It's Surroundings
Nestled against the Hiroshima Bay, one can hear a mix of Japanese and English being spoken. The American Marine Corps Air Station plays a large part in daily Iwakuni life. The two cultures meld together and one can find American inspired diners to traditional Yamaguchi cuisine.Spend a day with Sarah and Eriko meandering through town, walk to Kintai bridge, stroll along the Imazu River and visit Gangi.