Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2016 - Page 44

THE ONTARIO SPRING WATER SAKE COMPANY We started off with Calrose rice. We are exploring a few different varieties right now to use going forward. We’re currently buying our rice from MN Rice. We are now using several 300 gal fermenters, having started with several small 20 gal fermenters. In the future I’d like to be as big as Sake One, but that is definitely a long way off. The initial plan is to start very locally with enough for a few restaurants and a liquor store as a test market. Currently we are targeting the ramen market here in town. The ramen market is new and growing fast and they want local and different beverages. Because sake is still a pretty niche market, our biggest concern with production is a boom/bust situation. We’re more looking for the type of drinker that is into experimentation, and lucky for us Denver is full of those people. Since starting as a homebrew, we have had people interested in picking up a bottle or two and I’d like to keep up that level of personal relationship with customers. There are a couple of liquor stores we are exploring, but if we can keep up the personal rapport with our customers, that would make me happy. Blue Current Brewery started both production and sales in 2015. They’re based in Kittery, Maine. They have a small team, headed up by founder and master brewer, Dan Ford. Originally working in IT, he has homebrewed beer and cider for years, later experimenting making sake and is certified by the Japanese Sake Education Council as an Advanced Sake Professional. Dan explains how the brewery came about: “I decided to pair my love of brewing with my love of Japan and sake, and voila, we have Blue Current”. “We hand craft sake in small batches using traditional methods and the finest natural ingredients.” “We are using traditional Japanese methods with the same four ingredients (rice, mould/koji, yeast, and water) but are aiming to achieve a sake that will be pleasing to our American palates, with slightly bolder taste. Our (Koshihikari) rice is grown in California, our yeast is from Japan, and our mold is from Japan. But our water is local - and is a major influence in the creation of our sake. Maine’s pure water and the abundance of cool ocean breezes make Kittery a perfect spot to cold-brew premium American sake. Our terroir, our location, influences our flavor profile as well. We are currently handcrafting a junmai ginjo, and will likely add others in the future”. They have the capacity to brew up to 100,000L per year, although they’re “not running at that rate yet”. It’s early days, they started selling in Maine last summer, and Massachusetts at the start this year. They plan to “grow with the market”, “continue through the rest of the US organically” and are “also exploring other major metros-San Francisco, New York etc.” Their sakes seem to have opened up sake to a new audience being “served at pizza, Thai [[X[\]\['K'[ۙHو\[&]Y\]ۂH[\][ۜ\H LLHx'BUTUSHшRHTS