Saké One, the United States’ leading brewer and importer of premium saké, announced today that it will debut its newest import, KIBO Saké, at the sold out 2014 Outside Lands Festival, August 8th-10th in San Francisco. Suisen Shuzo, a saké brewery located in the Iwate Prefecture on Japan’s Northeastern coast, produces KIBO, which translates to “hope” in Japanese. Here’s where this super cool story begins.
On Friday March 11, 2011, the very day that Suisen Shuzo was preparing to ship its 2010 production, the magnitude 9.0
Tōhoku Earthquake struck the coast mere miles from Suisen’s facility in Rikuzentakata City. The resulting tsunami decimated the entire city, including the Suisen kura, which sits two kilometers from the shoreline. The facility was reduced to rubble and its debris scattered across several kilometers. Seven of Suisen’s employees perished in the disaster.
Suisen Shuzo, a valuable contributor to Rikuzentakata City’s local economy, vowed to rebuild their facility in the wake of the disaster. With the generous help of fellow brewer Iwate Meijo, Suisen was able to temporarily resume its operations at a facility in the neighboring town of Ichinoseki for the duration of the rebuilding process. Now, more than three years after the devastation that took the lives of seven dedicated employees (and almost 16,000 others across the eastern coastline of Japan), the Suisen kura stands proudly once again – an intrepid symbol of human perseverance and the legion of Japanese restoration efforts that remain ongoing to this day.
KIBO is a premium grade canned Junmai sake, and is crafted from Hitomebore rice with a 70% polish rate. It is deliciously soft and sweetly mellow with a slightly dry finish. It has a 15.5% alcohol by volume and comes packaged in compact 180 ml cans that were designed by Swig Studio in San Francisco, the fitting site of KIBO’s forthcoming US debut. KIBO will make its national commercial debut on September 1st and will be individually for $5.99 per can (Suggested national retail price).
For the second year in a row, SakéOne will be the only saké brand represented at Wine Lands, the popular tented area of the Outside Lands festival dedicated to sharing and celebrating superlative beverages. Last year, SakéOne at Outside Lands made news by introducing their Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo saké in keg form, the first brand to do so in the US. The draft saké was an immediate success and is now in national distribution.
Compassionate concertgoers can imbibe with pride, knowing that they are the first to enjoy premium saké that will also help the towns and regions still recovering from this tragic disaster. Beneath the lid of the KIBO can is a small paper tab that depicts the following message (superimposed above the image of a lone pine tree): “The Miracle Pine Tree is the symbol of Rikuzentakata City, home of KIBO Saké. Of 70,000 pine trees in the coastal region, it is the only tree that survived the tsunami of March 2011. Support the ongoing efforts to rebuild the lives of the people here by donating to Mercy Corps at mercycorps.org/Japan.”
During the 2014 Outside Lands festival please follow SakéOne’s activities at #DrinkColdSaké #SakéBetweenTheSets and #OSLsaké.