Blue Current Brewery brews sake (sometimes called “rice wine”) in two batches per month with up to three batches fermenting at a time. Brewing is conducted under the close personal attention of our master brewers using modern techniques seamlessly combined with traditional brewing methods to ensure consistently excellent taste, whether packaged in bottles or draft kegs.
Blue Current Brewery started in a garage, based on a love of home brewing and a small obsession with anything Japanese. Our founder and master brewer/toji, Dan Ford, had spent time in Japan and had fallen in love with sake – the taste, the craft, the ritual. Having grown up home-brewing beers and later graduating to hard ciders and meads, Dan found a you-brew-it sake kit and the experimenting began.
This nano-brewery approach allowed the Dan and his friends to experiment and learn in short and fast sprints and to learn the rhythms and pace of the brewing cyle. In the meantime, the idea of a becoming a larger-scale sake brewery seemed to have enough traction and the quest for a brewing space (away from the now-toddling twins…), sources for materials and equipment, and furthering their personal knowledge of the art and craft of sake were launched.
Dan confirmed he has a natural palate for and intense knowledge of sake by becoming one of the fewer than 100 certified “Advanced Sake Professional” (think master sommelier of sake) from the non-profit organization The Sake Education Council.
Fast forward another year and a bit (because who wants to rehash all those false-start locations and government shut-downs) and Blue Current Brewery has officially moved out of the garage and and is putting the finishing touches on the new brew space thanks to the most incredibly generous network of helping hands, volunteers, and tool lenders.
As of the start of 2014 there are a lot of new beginnings – the new brewery is getting in shape and ready for shiny new equipment, ready to brew up the incoming ingredients. We hope you’ll stay tuned to find out more as we prepare to release our first junmai ginjo sake later in the spring.
Dan comes from a solid background in financial services. Pair this business acumen with his passion for brewing, and sprinkle in his love for the taste, the craft and the ritual of sake and you have our founder and master brewer. Dan has obtained both the Advanced Sake Professional (ASP) and Certified Sake Professional (CSP) certifications by the Sake Education Council, Tokyo, Japan.
Check out the latest news about our team, our sake, and our brewery.
(Outside Magazine, March 2014)
In the past year, the number of commercial makers of craft sake in the U.S. has doubled. The reason for the boom: American rice has improved, and brewers, long stifled by a lack of industrial rice steamers and other traditional equipment, have gotten creative with how they make it. … in the months ahead, look for Asheville’s Blue Kudzu, as well as Blue Current in Kittery Point, Maine, to join Texas Sake Company and SakeOne in bottling their wares. >> Read the full article
(Portsmouth Herald, January 26, 2014)
He fell in love with the rich, textured taste of sake when he lived in Japan eight years ago, much as he came to appreciate the Japanese people and their culture. Now he is turning that passion into his future livelihood, with the opening this spring of a sake microbrewery, Blue Current Brewery. Ford follows in the footsteps of only a small number of people in America. Sake microbreweries have opened in Austin, Texas, Minneapolis, Minn., and Asheville, N.C. But the industry is still in its infancy in the United States.That was one of the factors that attracted Ford and partner John Sygowski of Exeter, N.H., to begin manufacturing sake at their soon-to-open Route 1 Bypass location. >> Read the full article
(JustGoodNews.biz, January 14, 2014)
There’s a new micro brewer in Maine. However, instead of beer, Blue Current Brewery (BCB) in Kittery is brewing sake. And, once the company has all its equipment in place, it will be the first sake brewer east of Texas and the largest in the nation, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. BCB will take its place as one of seven breweries nationwide and will become one of only two that brew, bottle and distribute micro brewed sake. Sake is an intensely complex rice-based spirit and “is the most difficult thing to brew in the world, hands down,” said BCB founder Dan Ford. He contends that the intellectual, technical and financial aid he has received thus far was primarily gained from his partnership with Gov. LePage Account Executive Kristine Schuman. >>Read the full article
(NPR’s “The Salt”, July 16, 2013)
Most of us are familiar with that hot, musky-smelling, cloudy drink served in teacups at sushi bars and sometimes called, erroneously, “rice wine.” In other words, most of us have had bad sake. But finally, Americans are learning to love the good stuff. Imports of high-end sake from Japan are escalating, and countless sake-focused bars and restaurants in cities across the country are carrying hundreds of bottles each. Savvy gourmands are pairing sake with cheese and chocolate. Mixologists are making sake cocktails. Portland, Ore., has hosted a three summers in a row. >>Read the full article
(Portland Press Herald, February 27, 2013)
It’s a quiet evening in February, and I’m sitting in Miyake in the Old Port, getting a crash course in sake from Dan Ford and John Sygowski. They start me off with a glass of Ippongi Denshin Rin Daiginjo, an aromatic sake with notes of lychee and pear. The rice used to make a daiginjo, I learn, has been highly polished. Fifty percent or more of the kernel has been milled away so that there is mostly starch remaining, and that means better flavor. A glass or two later, I try a namazake, an unpasteurized sake. (Most sake is pasteurized twice.) “A lot of the flavor’s in the front of your mouth,” Dan said. “It’s sort of bright, and then just fades. That’s namazake.” >> Read the full article
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