Japanese Sake Brewery, Tasting Room Opens in Hyde Park, New York
A state-of-the-art sake brewery and tasting room is now open for business in Hyde Park.
On Saturday, dignitaries from Japan were in the Hudson Valley for the grand opening of the Dassai Blue Sake Brewery in Dutchess County. This is the first-ever Japan-led brewery to open up in the United States.
The $80 million, 55,000 square foot brewery and tasting room is now open at the former Stop & Shop location on the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrews Road in Hyde Park. Dassai will use the facility to brew its premium sake named Dassai Blue.
According to Dassai, the name comes from an old Japanese proverb that says "Although blue dye comes from the indigo plant, it is bluer than indigo.” The company says the phrase has inspired them to create a new sake that would "surpass the existing Dassai brand in greatness."
Dassai will be making their sake in Hyde Park from 100 percent Yamada Nishiki rice, which is "the gold standard of sake rice". The company creates its sake in small batches using handmade koji, which is a bacteria that ferments the rice, creating sugars and alcohol. The painstaking process creates a premium sake that's rare, even by Japanese standards.
The new facility actually consists of two buildings. There's a brewery and a rice polishing operation right next door. The interiors have been carefully designed with form and function in mind. Architect Pelli Clarke partnered with Jun Mitsu from Japan to create a space where visitors could observe the brewing process while experiencing a combination of modern and traditional design. The rice mill is accentuated with burnt cedar walls and a tin roof that "incorporates Japanese elements while still blending with the natural surroundings of Hyde Park."
Governor Hochul applauded the opening of the brewery in a press release, touting its new partnership with the Culinary Institute of America.
As part of the partnership, they have developed curriculum, certification programs, and public classes. Since sake plays an important role in Japanese society, these new unique programs will further the education of Japanese cuisine and culture for CIA students, food enthusiasts, food industry professionals and other visitors to the Mid-Hudson Region.
While the brewery is now operational, the tasting room and tours will officially open for business in the coming weeks.