Authentic Sake Made in the U.S. (Sunday, September 1st, 2013)
Ozeki Sake (U.S.A.), Inc.
Ozeki Sake has been brewing sake since 1711 in the Imazu-go district in the Nada region, renowned for producing the best quality sake and comprising 30% of Japan’s total sake production. In this mecca of sake, for over 300 years the brewery has strived to bring high quality sake as fast as possible to consumers, allowing them to enjoy freshly made sake. With a pioneering company spirit, Ozeki has created industry-first new flavors and styles of sake drinking, such as cup sake, boxed sake and sparkling sake. They have also established a sake brewery in the U.S.
Ozeki started exporting their sake to the U.S. about 50 years ago. At that time it took a significantly long time for shipping and it was very hard to bring fresh sake to U.S. customers. As sake’s popularity grew overseas, the brewers at Ozeki became seriously concerned about the quality of sake that came from Japan. “The real Japanese sake tastes better, and we want them to experience real sake flavor.” The passion of Ozeki’s owner pushed the company to establish the U.S. local subsidiary, Ozeki Sake (USA). In 1979, they built a sake brewery in Hollister, California, which provides quality water from the Sierra Nevada and rice from Sacramento.
The local climate in California and the features of ingredients are not the same as those in Japan. Therefore, the brewers were forced to adjust their methods perfected in Japan in order to make tasty sake with U.S. soil. The successive brewmasters from Japan carried out trials and errors for years and developed a production process that fits the local environment. Equipped with in-house rice polishing machines, using California short grain rice and kobo yeast carefully selected for matching the Sierra Nevada water, Ozeki Sake (USA)’s brewing staff members are proud of the quality of their sake geared toward the American palate. Currently they produce a variety of sake, from the signature Ozeki to Ozeki Dry, Ozeki Nigori, Shiro Sasa, Platinum and Pure. This brewery, born 300 years ago, keeps growing and producing new things for the generations to come.
Ozeki Sake (U.S.A.), Inc.
249 Hillcrest Rd., Hollister, California 95023
3 things you should know about Ozeki Sake (U.S.A.), Inc.
Polishing Rice In-House
Ozeki Sake (USA) is the only sake brewer in the U.S. that is equipped with in-house rice polishing machines. In order to obtain the flavor the brewers want, it is important to get the ideal polished rice before brewing sake. By establishing this rice polishing system, Ozeki Sake (USA) can perfectly control the important aspects of sake making.
Brewed from California-Grown Short Grain Rice
In Japan, there is a variety of rice used exclusively for sake, but no rice only for sake brewing grown in the U.S. Ozeki Sake (USA) found a rice variety, short grain S102, which is optimal for sake making. The rice harvested in California has a larger grain, which is hard to break even after polishing at higher rates.
Carefully Selected Kobo Yeast
Ozeki Sake (USA) carefully employs selected kobo yeast that works best with the local water from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The brewers tried tens of different varieties of kobo yeast until they finally found the kobo currently used for brewing beautiful Ozeki sake.