Sake Nation “First Sake Sampling Event Overseas in a Long Time - Part II: Hawaii Island”

By Kosuke Kuji

During my past visits to Hawaii, I’ve always stayed in Honolulu. During this trip, I ventured out and visited the Big Island.

Hawaiʻi Island is home to “Islander Sake Brewery” founded by Chiaki Takahashi, a former researcher with the National Research Institute of Brewing.  

First opened in Honolulu, the brewery relocated to Hawaiʻi Island to brew sake in the breezes of Hawaii at the mecca of the winds of Hawaiʻi.   

When Takahashi-san was opening the Islander Sake Brewery, I was involved in exchanging technical information with a Nanbu Toji (Master Brewer) due to my long-standing friendship with Takahashi-san, and remain a supporter to date. 

To attend a sampling event at the Islander Sake Brewery during this trip, I brought my own brand of sake brewed in Japan for local brewing technology experts and customers to sample and compare against jizake (local sake) brewed by Islander Sake Brewery.   

Even to a Japan-based sake brewer like me, the high quality of jizake flavor brewed by Islander Sake Brewery is comparable to jizake brewed at a brewery in Japan.   

I greatly admire Takahashi-san’s ability to brew jizake to this quality without a manufacturing facility used in Japan. 

Islander Sake Brewery orders sake rice from Japan, thoroughly capitalizing on the advantages reflected in the flavor that stands out from SAKE brewed in the U.S. mainland. 

Cost wise, I felt there are sufficient advantages in purchasing sake rice from Japan if the cost isn’t different from purchasing sake rice from the U.S. mainland. 

SAKE brewed in the breezes of Hawaii. I will continue supporting sake brewed by Islander Sake Brewery. 

酒豪大陸「久しぶりの海外での試飲会 その3 ハワイ島」