Kibo: The Cup Sake that Beat the Odds
Kibo was first released on the West Coast during the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco back in August where they received positive reviews. It was released on the East Coast on October 1st.
SakeOne in collaboration with Suisen Shuzo in Iwate Prefecture is introducing their newly developed sake, Kibo, a junmai sake that comes in the ever popular single serving container called “one cup”. It was a project that developed out of SakeOne’s search for the ultimate premium sake that fits the American profile, which Mr. Steve Vuylsteke, SakeOne’s president, describes as medium bodied, mellow and smooth with a light aroma and bold flavor, something that wine drinkers would appreciate.
The search for a smaller kura (microbrewery) that produced this type of premium sake led the team to Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, a town that was devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. There, they tasted the delicious sake of Suisen Shuzo, and heard the harrowing stories of their loss as well as their recovery efforts aided by the local community, which made SakeOne decide to co-develop a sake with the brewery and name it Kibo, meaning “hope”.
Kibo is made with 100% local Iwate rice called Hitomebore, polished 70%, and 100% local water. The sake is deliciously soft, as well as sweet and mellow with a slightly dry finish that can go well with foods like grilled meats, poultry, and fatty fish like salmon.
Three years after the devastation that took the lives of seven dedicated employees, Suisen Shuzo was able to temporarily resume its operations at a facility in the neighboring town of Ichinoseki for the duration of the rebuilding process.