Friday, January 18, 2008

Saké in Australia?

Can you find Saké down under? Or is Shiraz all you will find?

As I mentioned before, Japan is not the only country to produce Sake, though it certainly is the largest and most important producer. The United States has several Saké breweries. But where else is Saké made? Well there is one Saké brewery in Australia.

In 1996, the Sun Masamune company, owned by Konishi Brewing Co. Ltd , constructed a Saké brewery at Penrith near Sydney. Konishi is a renowned brewery in Japan with over four hundred years of experience. The current Toji of Sun Masamune is Hirofumi Uchiyama, a well known specialist from Nada district of Japan. The brewery produces about 1 million liters of Saké each year. The vast majority of their Saké is exported to Japan, though some of their production is supposed to be exported to the U.S.

Their brand line is named "Go-Shu" and the two Japanese characters that make up that represent the words "Australian Saké" and phonetically translates as "Australia."

Go-Shu Saké is brewed using pure water from the Blue Mountains and high quality Japonica rice grown in Australia. Their general style of Saké is Tanrei Karakuchi (which means "light and dry"), a style I enjoy very much. But they may start creating some other styles as well.

Some of their products include: Go-Shu Premium Junmai Saké (semi-dry), Go-Shu Premium Nama Junmai Saké (semi-sweet), Go-Shu Blue Super Premium Junmai Ginjo Saké (medium-dry), Go-Rin Superior Australian Junmai Ginjo Saké (semi-sweet), and Go-Shu 40 Ultra Premium Junmai Dai Ginjo Saké (dry).

They also make Tsunami, a Sparkling Saké Cocktail with Lychee & Muscat Flavor. It is a ready-to-drink cocktail with only a 4.5% alcohol content.

I have not seen or tasted any of this Australian Saké yet but I am intrigued by it. The company obviously has much experience and skill in Saké brewing. But what would be the impact of Australian grown rice? I will keep an eye out for it.

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