Maker of Dassai Sake Holds Ceremony for Completion of New York Brewery; Brand Name in U.S. is Dassai Blue

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Asahi Shuzo Co. Chairman Hiroshi Sakurai, third from right, and others celebrate the completion of the company’s brewery in New York State on Saturday.

NEW YORK — Asahi Shuzo Co., known for its Dassai sake brand, held a ceremony Saturday to celebrate the completion of its new brewery in New York State, and will begin selling Dassai Blue — a junmai daiginjo sake — at retailers and restaurants in the state on Monday.

More than 400 people, including wholesalers and farmers, gathered for the ceremony.

“We want to aim for a quality that surpasses Japanese Dassai by combining the cultures of Japan and the United States,” said Hiroshi Sakurai, 72, chairman of Yamaguchi Prefecture-based Asahi Shuzo.

Dassai Blue has a fruity taste and a lower alcohol content than Dassai. It is priced at $34.99 (about ¥5,200) for a 720 milliliter bottle made with rice polished until only 50% remains. The company will also consider selling more expensive versions, and hold tours of the brewery and tasting events starting in mid-October.

The brand name “Blue” is derived from the proverb “Blue comes out of indigo and is bluer than indigo,” which shows the intention to surpass Japanese-made Dassai.

Now that Dassai Blue is being produced in the United States, the appeal of Dassai will be spread throughout the country more than before, a proprietor of Japanese restaurants in Australia said.