More than sixty Mutual Trading sales reps visited Takara Sake USA Inc. The trip was planned for the reps to further extend expertise on Sake brewing through a guided tour of the newly expanded plant. The group held forums on product development and on lively exchange of marketing ideas.
Thirty-three years ago was the start of Takara Sake USA Inc. as the third Sake brewery to establish production of Japanese Sake on American soil. What originally started at a 1,100 kilo-liters capacity, after the latest $10MM major plant expansion, now can produce 7,500 kilo-liters annually, to become the largest producer in the US. And in relative comparison to the 1,302 Sake breweries in all of Japan, Takara Sake USA’s current output volume would rank within the top 20.
But at Takara Sake USA, it’s not at all about volume, but rather, it’s everything got to do with quality. Research, development, and quality control are the company’s top priority that helps elevate quality standards reaching levels produced in Fushimi, renowned to produce some of the best brews.
The US production team brings the brewing art experience that no high tech advancement can provide. With the latest facility improvement, Takara can now create very premium brews is small lots, separate from the flagship Shochikubai Sake.
QUALITY #1, INSURED BY MOTHER NATURE
What makes Takara Sake USA highly unique is the very location of the plant in Berkeley, California. Here, the plant receives waters collected from the winter’s snow of the Sierra Nevada’s that’s hardly affected by human activity, melting in springtime and slowly seeping into the bedrocks deep down. For the record, water from this area is deemed one of the best in the country, along with Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and Chicago.
Trailing water, the next main ingredient used in Sake is rice. And the Takara plant is in very close proximity to the Sacramento Valley where rice is harvested. Great large bags of the rice ingredient, each weighing two tons each, arrive at the Takara plant every week, all freshly milled to order.
And what Fushimi cannot offer, but is abundant at Takara USA is the brisk breeze that creates the optimal environment to cool down the towering stainless aging tanks that gleam brightly under the California sunshine. In the summertime, the Pacific Ocean pushes cool breeze inland, and in winter, the Sierra Nevada ranges rushes cooler air in the opposite direction. With this continuous circulation of cool air, the tanks can maintain an optimal temperature hovering just under 60 degrees F, naturally, while the Sake matures quietly.
ACHIEVING #1 & AIMING EVEN HIGHER
In America, Shochikubai Sake is The #1 selling Sake. And at the 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal, Shochikubai was awarded a gold medal. Among all the gold medal awardees, Shochikubai was the only winner, brewed outside of Japan.