Get ready for the summer of sake.
Sake is gearing up to be the sip of the summer.
Breweries and restaurants are reimagining the Japanese rice wine typically served with sushi, as beer and cocktail hybrids paired with charcuterie, cheeses and even barbecue.
Stillwater Artisanal, a Brooklyn-based beer company that ships nationwide, has developed a sake-beer hybrid called Extra Dry that’s brewed with rice and served as a saison-style pale ale in a can.
“It’s made to emulate beer, but it tastes more like a dry wine,” Stillwater Artisanal founder and brewer Brian Strumke tells Moneyish of the sip that’s meant to be served cold.
Sake has the same alcohol content as wine, but it’s brewed like beer. Rice gets steamed in water before its combined with a mold called koji, a yeast starter, used to convert the mixture into sugar. Then the fermentation process begins for up to several weeks. To make the sake beer, Strumke adds sake rice to the barley mash and subs in a Belgian yeast strain instead of koji that gives off similar fruit and spice notes to mimic the sake flavor. After the primary fermentation, which takes about a week, he adds in more hops and lets it age for two to three weeks before packaging it.