Sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, is usually made in Japan. With flavors ranging from crisp and dry to mild and sweet, sake has been brewed for thousands of years. These days, quite a few American sake breweries are also popping up. With a variety of styles and atmospheres, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in the following list. This summer, you can rest assured you’ll be able to wet your whistle from coast to coast.
Portland, Oregon’s Sake One brewery offers visitors sake brewed in-state or imported from Japan. The sake that is crafted in Oregon features local ingredients such as water from the renowned Willamette Valley. With more awards than any other American brewery on the list (not to mention a tasting room that’s open seven days a week), it’s certainly worth a taste.
Takara Sake USA Inc.
Featuring a tasting room and even a sake museum, Takara Sake USA Inc., located in sunny Berkeley, California, is a great West Coast option. Traditional meets contemporary in its tasting room, with Japanese-inspired decor and reclaimed wood gracing the space. The museum itself features artifacts and an exhibit about the historical process of brewing sake. With the perfect balance of history and art, Takara will please new and established sake fans alike.
Boasting the world’s finest sake, Gekkeikan Sake owns a rich and long history of beverage making. Not only did Gekkeikan start brewing in Fushimi back in 1637, but this celebrated brewery also went on to set up its first stateside shop in Folsom, California, in 1989. Its tasting room has a relaxing, traditional feel with a koi pond and Japanese garden. Its sake is popular all over the world, and when you taste it, you’ll know it’s for good reason!
If you’re looking for some of the freshest sake you can find, look no further than Ozeki Sake, whose American brewery is located in Hollister, California. This brewery uses locally sourced ingredients such as Californian rice and water from the Sierra Nevada range, the first of its kind to do so in the United States. Hyper-local and practically farm to table, this brewery truly embraces the spirit of Northern California.
Setting Sun Sake Brewing Company
If you find yourself seeking sake in San Diego, then Setting Sun Sake Brewing Company is certainly the place to be. With locally sourced ingredients and a mission to bring about the future of sake in the United States, this brewery has a tasting room so visitors can sample their creative brews. Setting Sun has a very unique approach to sake, even offering sake that has been dry-hopped like beer for a truly original taste.
The freshest sake in San Francisco can be found at Sequoia Sake, a fun and natural West Coast destination. With a mission of making sake more accessible to the masses, Sequoia Sake shows how this versatile drink can be paired with more than just sushi. The brewery offers only the Junmai style of sake, applauding its simple recipe and intricate, rich flavors. Its tours and private events bring people in, and its delicious sake keeps them coming back.
Texas Sake Company
We move from the West Coast down to the South now, where we have yet another American sake brewery. A small batch spot that uses ancient recipes, Texas Sake Company likes to pair the drink with eastern and western flavors alike. Offering tours, tastings and even unique sake cocktails, this brewery also features fun and family-friendly events.
Ben’s Tune Up
Located in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, Ben’s Tune-Up takes the American craft beer approach to sake brewing. In fact, this spot creates both beer and sake, offering visitors a bit of everything! Always serving its sake fresh and cold from the tap, Ben’s Tune Up is a great stop when visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Our list heads east now, to New York’s Brooklyn Kura brewery. Started only a few years ago by two American friends, this brewery gives tasters a uniquely American sake experience. Taking the craft beer-type approach to sake brewing, Brooklyn Kura prides itself on its manipulation of ingredients to produce a range of delicious sake varieties. Better yet, it takes the spirit of Brooklyn to heart with a true community feel. Kanpai!
Blue Current Sake
A truly coast-to-coast brewery affair, Blue Current Sake uses water from Maine and rice from California. Its award-winning Junmai Ginjo can be found in several eastern states. What’s more, they even have plans to expand across the pond to the UK. This Kittery, Maine-based brewery is a great option for delicious sake on the East Coast.