Takara Shuzo. Co., LTD
Selling Hot Sake at AT&T Park, the Home of the Major League, “SF Giants”


October 25, 2012
Berkley—Sho Chiku Bai Hot Sake is sold at a restaurant in AT&T Park which is home for the major league baseball team, the San Francisco Giants.
Mashi’s Sushi Bistro is located at club level in AT&T Park and started selling Sho Chiku Bai Hot Sake from August 14th, 2012. It’s first time that hot sake became a regular menu at AT&T Park. Mashi’s Sushi Bistro is popular for people who like Japanese food and like to eat lightly seasoned food, and they have sushi (California rolls), sashimi (raw fish), edamame, etc in their menu. The restaurant was named Mashi after the first Japanese major leaguer, Masanori Murakami (nickname: Mashi), who played in San Francisco Giants.
Sho Chiku Bai is made by one of the Takara Shuzo Group members, Takara Sake USA, Inc., the No.1 sake share holder in the U.S. They use rice grown in California and make sake in Berkley, CA. 


A Sho Chiku Bai New TV Commercial Airs across the U.S.
Starting August 15th - America’s No. 1 Sake,
Sho Chiku Bai –

BERKELEY, CA -- August 8, 2012— Starting August 15th across the U.S.,  Takara Sake USA Inc. will air a new TV commercial on Sho Chiku Bai which has the No. 1 sake share in the U.S. 

Takara Sake USA took over the sake making technique from old Kyoto, and we carefully select ingredients to make Sho Chiku Bai.  Our brewery in Berkeley, CA is blessed with the great environment to make sake - pure water, rich rice, and nice weather.  In this environment, we continue to carefully make sake in a traditional way.

Our new TV commercial is sake is a blessing from nature, and we took over the sake making technique to the U.S. to make the most popular sake in the U.S.  Also, Sho Chiku Bai was only sake that received Gold Award (Junmai Category) in 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal.  As Takara Sake USA Inc. approaches its 30th anniversary, we remain committed to providing quality products for the U.S. market.

<TV Commercial Information>

Title: Sho Chiku Bai, “America’s No. 1 Sake
Air Date: August 15, 2012
Air Area: Across the U.S.

Takara Sake Unveils Brand New Products,
TaKaRa CAN CHU-HI <JPOP>- Tokyo-Style Sparkling Cocktail

BERKELEY, CA—September 21, 2012—Takara Sake USA Inc. is releasing Takara Can Chu-Hi <JPOP>.  We have received great positive feedback from our customers on our Can Chu-Hi, and we renewed our chu-hi this summer.

We changed our label to appeal to young people and women; we featured Takara Can Chu-Hi as a carbonated fresh alcohol beverage and a popular Chu-Hi in Japan.  We also added “JPOP” to the product name; it is easier to pronounce and remember.

There are 2 flavors - Grapefruit and White Peach.  The grapefruit flavored Chu-Hi is extremely refreshing and is the most popular flavor in Japan. We experimented a lot to find an additional flavor specific to the U.S. market and found that white peach was the best match.

We’re hoping both Japanese Chu-Hi fans and American customers will enjoy Takara Can Chu-Hi<JPOP>.

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New Shochu, IKKOMON 24%
- A New Shochu Carefully Made with
100% Sweet Potatoes-


BERKELEY, CA – September 21, 2012— Takara Sake USA is releasing Ikkomon 24%, the shochu made with 100% sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato shochu is made with sweet potatoes and rice koji, but we adhere to using 100% sweet potatoes and made Ikkomon 24% with only sweet potatoes and sweet potato koji. Making shochu with sweet potato koji is extremely difficult, so many brewers have been using rice koji to make sweet potato shochu. However, Takara Sake succeeded making sweet potato koji with our technique and was able to make potato shochu which allows you to savor the real sweet potato flavor and smooth rich taste.

We have been selling Ikkomon 25%, and we have many positive feedback from our customers.  In California, not only restaurants with hard liquor license but also restaurants with restaurant with beer and wine liquor license are authorized to serve shochu which contains less than 24% alcohol by volume.  This time, we’re releasing Ikkomon 24% only in California.

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New Honkaku Shochu, KURO YOKAICHI IMO 24% 
- A New Shochu for Yokaichi Shochu Series -


BERKELEY, CA – September 21, 2012— Takara Sake USA is releasing Honkaku Shochu, Kuro Yokaichi Imo 24%.

Kuro Yokaichi Imo is made with black koji by following an aged-old tradition, and it has rich aroma and deep flavor of sweet potato. Also, we chose only the highest quality sweet potatoes and used 100% Kushu-grown sweet potatoes.

We have been selling two other Yokaichi shochu such as Yokaichi Kome Shochu (distilled from rice) and Kokaichi Mugi Shochu (distilled from barley).  You can enjoy authentic honkaku shochu flavors with these shochu, and we have received many positive feedback from our customers on them. We’re hoping our customers to enjoy the new honkaku shochu, Kuroyokaichi Imo 24% as well as other Yokaichi series.

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MIO Sparkling Sake (by Shirakabe Gura- Sho Chiku Bai)
- A New Traditional Sparkling Sake-


BERKELEY, CA – September 21, 2012— Takara Sake USA is releasing MIO Sparkling Sake (by Shirakabe Gura – Sho Chiku Bai).

We sought a good balance of sweet and sour, and created sparkling sake which is easy to drink. Its alcohol content is only 5% (normally sake’s alcohol content is 15-17%), and MIO doesn’t have a strong sake taste, so it would be a great for customers who are new to sake.

MIO has been very popular in Japan, and we’re hoping that American customers also enjoy our new sparkling sake.

<Product Information>


Sake Brewed in Shirakabe Gura Receives the Gold Award at the Annual Japan Sake Awards for Brewing Year of 2011 - Receives the Gold Prize the 9th Time in a Row -

BERKELEY, CA-- July, 2012 – Shirakabe Gura, brewed by Takara Shuzo Co., LTD in Shirakabe Gura (Tounan-ku, Kobe) was awarded the highest prize, the Gold Prize in Annual Japan Sake Awards for Brewing Year of 2011*.

Since 2003, Shirakabe Gura has received the Gold Prize the 9th time in a row. Except for Shirakabe Gura, there are only 6 sake factories where they produce sake that have received the Gold Prize more than 9 times.

The Annual Japan Sake Awards are held under the auspices of the National Research Institute of Brewing and the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association. The number of entries is limited to one entry per manufacture. Juries examine and select excellent sake as prize winners, and those recognized as the very best among the prize winning sake for gold prize winners.

This year, there were 876 sake entries from all over Japan. The preliminary examination took place from April 24th to 26th , and the final examination took place from May 8th and 9th at the office of the National Research Institute of Brewing.  As a result of the examinations, 428 sake was selected for prize winners, and 247 sake was selected for gold prize winners.

We, at Takara Sake USA Inc. import sake made in Shirakabe Gura such as Shirakabe Gura Kimoto Tokubetsu Junmai, Shirakabe Gura Junmai, Shirakabe Gura Tokubetsu Junmai, Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabe Gura MIO. We sell them in the U.S., and have received great positive feedback from our customers.  We remain committed to providing quality products for the U.S. market.

* The brewing year: The brewing period is from July 1st to June 30th next year (e.g. 7/1/2010 – 6/30/2011). In Annual Japan Sake Awards, juries examine sake (new sake) brewed in each brewing year.

February 28, 2012 - Catching an Elusive Japanese Flavor

Publisher: The New York Times


A reader wanted to know where to buy “real mirin (without sugar added),” suggesting that only liquor stores could carry it. Like most home cooks who make Japanese dishes, I had a bottle of mirin, the Japanese rice wine, for cooking, from a food store and did not know there was any other kind. None of my cookbooks said a thing about different mirins.

After unsuccessfully trying to find this “real mirin” at wine shops, I turned to Rick Smith, an owner of Sakaya, a sake shop in the East Village. He explained that real mirin, also known as hon-mirin, is fermented from varieties of rice that lend it sweetness. The mirin sold in food stores, or aji-mirin, is concocted from alcohol, water, salt and sweeteners; usually lower in alcohol, it is to real mirin what a cooking wine is to a fine varietal.

Mr. Smith sells two real mirins: the pale gold Takara mirin (12 percent alcohol), which is deliciously complex, with overtones of sake, and Toh-Hi Akasake mirin (9 percent), which has a deeper color and a more syrupy, less interesting flavor. In comparison, Kikkoman Manjo aji-mirin (8 percent), from a supermarket, was harsh, salty-sweet and tasted of chemicals. It contained glucose and corn syrup; other brands are made with high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives.

David Bouley, an owner of the Japanese restaurant Brushstroke, said that because supermarket mirin is not naturally fermented, it has no umami, the complex savoriness found in foods like mushrooms. “Good mirin holds flavors together and elevates them, and is also used to add gloss, not just sweetness to food,” he said. “Commercial mirin is a dead product.”

Takara mirin is $8.99 for a 24-ounce bottle and Toh-Hi Akasake mirin is $23.99 for 60.8 ounces at Sakaya, 324 East Ninth Street (Second Avenue), (212) 505-7253. Once opened, they should be kept refrigerated. (Kikkoman Manjo aji-mirin is $6.99 for 17 ounces at Whole Foods.)


Takara Sake USA Inc. Expands its Production Facilities to
Respond to Market Growth


October 10, 2011—Takara Sake USA Inc. has completed the expansion and improvement of its production facilities. Construction for the expansion commenced in 2009, and in two years, capacity for production has increased 1.5 times from 5,000KL to 7,500KL.

Since its inception in 1982, Takara Sake USA Inc., located in Berkeley, California, has been engaged in the production and sales of sake, mirin, plum wine and other products. Takara Sake USA Inc. also imports products from its parent company, Takara Shuzo Co., Ltd. in Kyoto, Japan.

Takara Sake USA Inc. expanded its facilities to respond to the growing Japanese food market in the U.S., Europe, and other countries. The company invested approximately $10,000,000 for this construction project, which includes an additional small lot production system dedicated to the production of premium products.

Takara Sake USA Inc. remains committed to providing quality products consistently and responding quickly to the trends in the market.


Facility investment summary

1. Facility investment capital:  Approximately $10,000,000
2. Facility investment details: Raw material preparation facility, fermentation and aging tanks, small lot production system 
3. Annual production capacity: An increase from 5,000 KL to 7,500 KL

Takara Sake USA Inc.
President: Yoichiro Miyakuni
708 Addison St., Berkeley, California 94710-1925 

Sho Chiku Bai Classic becomes the only U.S. sake to receive the Gold Award at the 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal

September 26, 2011--Sho Chiku Bai Classic, brewed by Takara Sake USA Inc. was awarded the highest prize in the Junmai category of the 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal. Out of all 326 entries, Sho Chiku Bai Classic was the only sake made in the U.S. to win the Gold Award at the 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal.

The U.S. National Sake Appraisal is an international annual event held since 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Presented by the International Sake Association (Kokusai Sake Kai), the event evaluates over 300 sake entries and is the largest event of its kind. The Appraisal is conducted by ten judges(five from Japan and five from the U.S.) under the auspices of the Japan National Research Institute of Brewing, which has supervised Japan’s National Sake Appraisal since its inception in 1910.

The tasting is conducted “blind” and in two phases: a first tasting for all entries and a second tasting for those placing in the top fifty percent of the first tasting.

The 2011 U.S. National Sake Appraisal was held on September 7th and 8th, and evaluated 326 entries from 154 sake breweries. Each entry is considered within the following categories: Daiginjo, Ginjo and Junmai. This year, 86 entries were awarded the Gold Award while 91 entries  were awarded the Silver Award.

Takara Sake USA Inc. was awarded three prizes total, all in the Junmai category.

1) Gold Award: Sho Chiku Bai Classic (Berkeley, California)
2) Silver Award: Shirakabegura Kimoto Tokubetsu Junmai(imported: Nada, Japan)
3) Silver Award: Shirakabegura Tokubetsu Junmai(imported: Nada, Japan)

ShirakabeGura, an award winning brewery: ShirakabeGura was created as one of the premium brands of Sho Chiku Bai in 2003 by Takara Sake. ShirakabeGura was built in the Nada region of Kobe city at former Sho Chiku Bai Nada Brewery. Nada region is known most for its rich history of sake brewing, making it the perfect location for ShirakabeGura. The production achieves a delicate balance between traditional handcrafted sake and advanced sake brewing technology with a vision to create the highest quality sake. As of 2011, the ShirakabeGura has received the Gold Medal award of Japan Sake Appraisal for 8 consecutive years.

August 2008 -- Takara Sake participated in the 8th U.S. National Sake Appraisal event receiving multiple awards for its sakes. Takara received the Gold Award for ShirakabeGura DaiGinjo, Gold Award for ShirakabeGura Tokubetsu Junmai, and Silver Awards for both ShirakabeGura Tokubetsu Junmai Kimoto, and ShirakabeGura Tokubetsu Junmai Yamahai.

July 27, 2008 (San Francisco Chronicle, Business section) “The past and future meet” is a feature article covering major corporate museums in the San Francisco Bay Area. Takara Sake USA’s museum is one of the museums featured.

February 2008 – A wine writer, Lynn Hoffman, and teacher wrote in his new book, The New Short Course in Wine, it’s a book about his pleasant discovery of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori, Silky–Mild and Sho Chiku Bai, Classic. He noted these sakes as his choice of pairing with sushi. “Cépage de Sake-try this at home.”

August 2007 -- Takara Sake participated in the 7th U.S. National Sake Appraisal event. Takara received the Gold Award for ShirakabeGura Dai-Ginjo, the Silver Award for Sho Chiku Bai Dai-Ginjo, and the Silver Award for Sho Chiku Bai Tokubetsu Junmai.

Spring 2007 - Takara Sake USA Bridges Cultural Devide by Becoming OU Kosher.
Publisher: Behind The Union Symbol

July 16, 2006 - FORAGING - Berkeley, Calif.: Takara Sake USA
Publisher: The New York Times

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