Last Sunday, 27 Sake Gumi members took a field trip to the Bay Area's very own sake brewery – Sequoia Sake in San Francisco.
Jake Myrick, his wife Noriko Kamei, and Jake’s friend Warren Pfal started Sequoia Sake together in the lower Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco in 2014. What makes Sequoia Sake so special is their dedication to bringing namazake (unpasteurized) sakes to the Bay Area. This means that we are getting the sakes right out of the tank. They specialize in three sakes: Nama, Genshu (tank-strength sakes with high ABVs), and Nigoris. We are proud to carry all three at Umami Mart, which are delivered frequently to ensure freshness.
Getting a sneak peak into their production facility is a unique experience considering there are only a handful of sake breweries in the U.S.
We were greeted with rows of neatly-placed, sanitized footwear to change into, as the brewery needs to remain free of outside debris.
Everyone is welcome at Sequoia Sake.
Jake started with a brief presentation. One interesting tidbit is that he tested the water in several locations throughout the Bay Area, and this location in the Dogpatch had the most consistent water quality – an important trait for a sake brewery.
Jake also explained that Sequoia Sake was named so because it identifies the brewery as uniquely Californian.
He let us peek into the koji room.
We tried the amazake as we listened to Jake talk about the importance of koji.
He talked about the tanks he uses...
... And the state-of-the-art Italian bottler.
We also tried the kasu (lees), which was pasty and nutty at the same time.
Meanwhile Noriko was setting up the tasting area.
And it was time to taste three of their sakes: Nama, Genshu, and Nigori with apple, cheese, pepperoncini, and chocolate.
It felt like a true clubhouse – talking sake with our neighbors and a real life sake toji (master sake brewer).
Thank you to all our Sake Gumi members for making this an educational and interactive event!
And a special thanks to Jake and Noriko for being such gracious hosts.
SEQUOIA SAKE BREWERY
50 Apparel Way
San Francisco, CA 94124
Open to the public for tastings on Saturdays