Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SakéOne: Oregon’s Saké Brewery


When you think of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, I bet you think of wine, pinot to be specific.  Did you know Oregon also has a saké brewery?  SakéOne is Oregon’s only saké brewery, and there are only six total saké breweries in the United States.

I am actually not a huge saké fan.  To me, many taste like water with a little alcohol and not much flavor.  I am sure there are some fantastic Japanese sakés out there; I just have not had them yet.  However, SakéOne really opened my eyes to the possibilities of saké.  The gentleman who served us our tastings was really excited about sharing with us.  You could see this was not just a job for him, but that he was proud of what they served.  He listened to what we liked and built our tastings around that information.

Our favorites were the g Saké, which is their most popular, and the Moonstone Asian Pear.  The g Saké has a very clean taste, but has more flavor than traditional sakés I have tasted. The Moonstone Asian Pear is perfect for drinking chilled on a hot summer day.  I also enjoyed the Murai Family Sugidama, which had an earthy, mushroom flavor.  They also have a saké of the month club, with the monthly saké on tap, called draft nama.  When we were visiting, the nama was Momokawa Ruby, a berry flavored saké.  It was delicious on tap, but not as good bottled.

Some of the many flavors of saké on offer at SakéOne.

Not only does SakéOne brew quite a variety of delicious sakés, they also have created a number of saké cocktail recipes that are available on their website, including the Master Cleanse-Tini, which I find to be hilarious.  Why not mix your cleanse with a cocktail?

One of Oregon’s resonating themes is to keep everything as local as possible.  SakéOne is no exception.  Saké has two important ingredients, water and rice.  The reason SakéOne was started in Oregon in the first place was because of Oregon’s high quality water, and the rice comes from the nearby Sacramento Valley.

SakéOne is located in Forest Grove, Oregon, not too far from Portland.  The tasting room is open daily, except for select holidays, and they also offer tours.

Katherine Belarmino has been traveling for over ten years on a quest to see as much of the world as possible, experience new cultures, and sample other cuisines and libations. She also writes the travel blog Travel the World, which journals her world travels with her husband Romeo and seeks to encourage others to take the time to travel.