Austin Monthly

Walk into the beige warehouse tucked behind BookWoman on North Lamar Boulevard,  and you’ll run into a wall of sweet-smelling air as head brewer Jeff Bell stirs a steel tank full of fermenting rice. Founded in 2011, Texas Saké Co. is the only sake producer in Texas and one of only 20 in the United States. Sake is brewed like beer, but at 14 to 23 percent ABV, the sweet rice brew is sipped like wine. Using Calrose rice—a short-grain rice grown in California—Texas Saké Co. brews three junmai sakes (junmai identifies sakes made without added alcohol).

The unfiltered junmai nigori is cloudy white in color and sweetly creamy in flavor, like a toasted coconut or a ripe cantaloupe. The oak junmai is distinct and flavorful—you rarely see traditional sake aged in oak, in part because it’s a delicate drink, brewed to pair with fresh dishes like sushi. “We’re inspired by Japanese sake, but we’re not bound by the same traditions,” Bell says. “We’re making a distinctly American sake.” Indeed, Texas Saké Co.’s full-bodied oak junmai sake “stands up well alongside barbecue” with honey vanilla flavors that “resonate with bourbon drinkers,” says Trevor Wight, the company’s marketing and sales manager…

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TEXAS SAKÉ CO. IS THE STATE'S ONLY SAKÉ PRODUCER

WE GO INSIDE THE AUSTIN DISTILLERY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE JAPANESE LIBATION

by Megan Kimble

Justin Kizzart