Sake brewery coming to Hudson Valley

Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America, shares a sake toast with Chairman Hiroshi Sakurai (right) and President Kazuhiro Sakurai of Asahi Shuzo to celebrate a new agreement between the CIA and the Japanese sake producer. (Translator Mariko Kalister looks on.) Asahi Shuzo will build its first U.S. sake brewery near the CIA campus in Hyde Park. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)

The Culinary Institute of America yesterday announced a partnership with Japanese sake maker Asahi Shuzo Co.

Under the agreement, Asahi Shuzo “will be collaborating with the CIA to further the education and awareness of sake within the United States,” according to a release. The CIA will be developing curriculum, certification programs, workshops, and special events and tastings. Asahi Shuzo will also build its first U.S. brewery in Hyde Park, less than a mile from the CIA campus, becoming the first Japanese sake producer to set down stakes on the East Coast.

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“The Asahi Shuzo Company is a leader in its field, carefully combining both tradition and cutting-edge technology to craft its premium quality beverage,” says CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “We are honored that they chose to build their first U.S. operation in the CIA’s backyard, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

“When looking for a site to build our first U.S. brewery, we knew we wanted to differentiate ourselves from other sake brewers,” says Asahi Shuzo Chairman Hiroshi Sakurai. “The proximity to the CIA, located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, is an ideal fit. We are excited to cultivate this new relationship.”

The CIA and Asahi Shuzo are also going to seek research and development opportunities to further identify ways in which sake and the by-product from the sake-making process can be used to expand food flavors and culinary techniques, along with the potential for new lines of sake-based products.

“We are excited to see how the creativity and ingenuity of the CIA will elevate the use of sake to create new flavors and taste profiles,” says Asahi Shuzo President Kazuhiro Sakurai.

The brewery—located at the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrew’s Road—is to begin construction in spring 2018, with a scheduled opening in early 2019. It will be 52,500 square feet, including a retail space, and will be open for public tours. In addition to several company employees who will relocate from Japan to the Hudson Valley, the facility promises to create at least 32 new local jobs. At full capacity, the brewery will produce 332,000 gallons of sake a year. Asahi Shuzo says it is investing more than $28 million in the project.

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