NEW TREND: JAPANESE SAKE MAKER OPENS BREWERY OVERSEAS USING LOCAL INGREDIENTS
By Susan Lewis
Source: Dassai Blue Sake Brewery
Japanese sake maker Asahi Shuzo, owner of the Dassai sake brand, has opened a brewery in New York and has launched bottles made in USA using local water and ingredients.
It is unusual for Japanese sake maker to open breweries overseas because sake making emphasized the magic of terroir over the quality of water, rice and the final product.
Opened on 23 September, the Dassai Blue Sake Brewery in Hudson Valley is a two-hour drive from New York City.
Spanning 62,400 square meters with annual output up to 1.26 hectolitres, the plant is fitted with a rice mill, brewing equipments as well tasting rooms.
Locally pumped water is being used for brewing. Yamada Nishiki rice grown in Japan is used for brewing, but Asahi Shuzo is planning to cultivate the short-grain rice at a farm in Arkansas for sake production.
“The goal of Dassai Blue is to create the finest sake achievable within the environment of New York,” said President and CEO Kazuhiro Sakurai.
“For the sake market to grow, we must cater to, and win over, wine and champagne lovers head-on, not just those who pair Japanese sake with Japanese cuisine,” he added.
With this in mind, Dassai Blue has a lower alcohol content than typical sake.
Asahi Shuzo will be expanding its sales channel primarily in New York state for the time being. A 720-milliliter bottle of Type 50, the first bottle from the Dassai Blue line, carries a price tag of USD34.99 (¥5,200).
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