Blue Current Brewery


Makers of Handcrafted American Sake

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How We Make Sake

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.

From the Coast of Maine

Blue Current Brewery hand crafts sake in small batches using traditional methods and the finest natural ingredients. Maine’s pure water and the abundance of cool ocean breezes make Kittery a perfect spot to cold-brew premium American sake.

Blue Current Brewery

Who We Are

Born in the Garage

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.

Extensive Training

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.

Expansion

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.

The Next Chapter

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 Ford, Blue Current Brewery Founder and Master BrewerAbout Dan

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.

How To Enjoy Our Sake

If you are new to sake or just to ours, we suggest you think of Blue Current sake like white wine – say, a nice pinot grigio. Serve our sake chilled and in a wine glass. You can store opened sake bottles in the fridge and enjoy them over several days.

In The News

Check out the latest news about our team, our sake, and our brewery.

The Urban GrapeBlue Current Brewery

(The Urban Grape, October 3, 2014)

Having worked at The Urban Grape for two years now, I have learned that all of our clients have one universal desire: fresh, local products whenever possible. For craft beer and spirits we have always been ready and happy to oblige. We also offer locally made wines and many with Boston and New England connections! In this way, we are able to offer great options for every palate with a few exceptions: by necessity, location based wine (Bordeaux, Rioja, Champagne, etc) and sake. There is no law (written or otherwise) stating that sake must come from any particular place. Japan has about 1250 different breweries (kura) across forty-seven prefectures, all of which brew some sake. In the US, there are between ten and twenty kura, some dating back as far as 1908 but most built within the last thirty years. The oldest surviving US kura is in Hawaii and the next few opened in southern California and Oregon. Very recently, sake kura have begun to show up outside of the Pacific Rim in places like Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Norway, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and now finally we have one on the verge of opening up in New England! >> Read the full article

 

Eater MaineBlue Current Brewery on Benefits of Maine, National Goals

(Eater Maine, October 3, 2014)

Having worked at The Urban Grape for two years now, I have learned that all of our clients have one universal desire: fresh, local products whenever possible. For craft beer and spirits we have always been ready and happy to oblige. We also offer locally made wines and many with Boston and New England connections! In this way, we are able to offer great options for every palate with a few exceptions: by necessity, location based wine (Bordeaux, Rioja, Champagne, etc) and sake. There is no law (written or otherwise) stating that sake must come from any particular place. Japan has about 1250 different breweries (kura) across forty-seven prefectures, all of which brew some sake. In the US, there are between ten and twenty kura, some dating back as far as 1908 but most built within the last thirty years. The oldest surviving US kura is in Hawaii and the next few opened in southern California and Oregon. Very recently, sake kura have begun to show up outside of the Pacific Rim in places like Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Norway, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and now finally we have one on the verge of opening up in New England! >> Read the full article

Portsmouth HeraldMaine’s only sake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(Portsmouth Herald, October 2, 2014)

Dan Ford said he is so close to opening Maine’s first ever sake brewery that he can almost taste it – but he’s looking for a little help from the Seacoast community and beyond to see him over the finish line. Ford is the owner of Blue Current Brewery, which he hopes will begin producing its first bottles of sake in time to toast in the New Year. While much of the equipment has been purchased or built, there are still several pieces of equipment that still need to be procured.  >> Read the full article

NBC WCSH6All for the sake of sake

(NBC WCSH6 Portland, October 1, 2014)
At least one Mainer is excited about it being World Sake Day — Dan Ford, the founder and brewmaster at Maine’s first sake microbrewery. Blue Current Brewery is the Ford Family’s future. When Dan lost his finance job in Boston a few years ago, he and his wife Phyllis decided brewing sake would be their next chapter. Sinking all of his retirement money and life savings into this auto shop turned brewery, Ford is excited to introduce Mainers to locally made sake.  >> Read the full article

 

San Francisco ChronicleSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(San Francisco Chronicle, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

Bangor Daily NewsCan Kittery become the Sake brewing capital of America?

(Fill the Steins @ Bangor Daily News, September 26, 2014)
Maine has a rich history of microbreweries dating back decades and stretching the entire length of the state. But the latest brewery opening in Kittery in the next few months will not be serving up pale ales and porters, instead it is positioning itself to become a global leader in another beverage, the Japanese staple of sake.  >> Read the full article

 

Fresh New EnglandHelp Launch Blue Current Brewery

(Fresh New England, September 26, 2014)

New England’s first sake brewery is underway. Why not help owner and sake master Dan Ford build his dream in Maine? You can learn more about Blue Current Brewery by watching the video above and support this unique business here.  >> Read the full article

 

Maine Public Broadcasting NewsSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(The Washington Times, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

Blue Current Brewery — New England’s First Sake Brewery

(September 24, 2014)
Excitement is brewing at New England’s first sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery is almost ready to begin to handcraft sake, often called rice wine in small batches using traditional methods and the finest natural ingredients. Southern coastal Maine’s pure water and the abundance of cool ocean breezes make Kittery a perfect spot to cold-brew premium American sake. Following a trend in crowdsourcing, Blue Current Brewery hopes to finance the final equipment purchases through an online Kickstarter campaign. >> Read the full article

 

The Washington TimesSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(The Washington Times, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

The Providence JournalSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(The Providence Journal, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

The CW (WABI)Sake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

Houston ChronicleSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

The RepublicMan who wants to launch first sake brewery in Maine launches Kickstarter campaign

(Houston Chronicle, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

WGME CBS Channel 13 Portland MESake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(WGME CBS 13, Portland, Maine, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

SFGateSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(SFGate, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

Foster's Daily DemocratSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(Foster’s Daily Democrat, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

Journal TribuneSake brewer launches Kickstarter campaign

(Journal Tribune, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

WGAN News RadioSake Brewer Launches Kickstarter Campaign

(WGAN News Radio, September 29, 2014)

Maine is known for its microbrew beers, boutique distilleries and even blueberry wine. But a brewer is going to need help if Maine is to become home to a sake brewery. Blue Current Brewery founder Dan Ford already has set up the operation in Kittery where he aims to handcraft sake, often called rice wine. But he says his project has stalled, so he’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to get across the finish line.  >> Read the full article

 

Crafted MagazineBlue Current Brewery — Made in Maine Sake

(Crafted, September 26, 2014)
There is a new sake brewery opening up near us, in Kittery, ME, called Blue Current Brewery. They are currently running a Kickstarter campaign, and we figured we’d repost their video and information to help the cause. Dan Ford, the company’s founder and brewer, is a sake nut who has spent time in Japan and is both Advanced Sake Professional (ASP) and Certified Sake Professional (CSP) certified.  >> Read the full article

 

Eater MaineBlue Current Brewery Kickstarts Sake

(Eater Maine, September 12, 2014)
Want to help Maine’s first sake brewery get off the ground? Blue Current Brewery in Kittery is “looking to raise $33,000 to ship the rice from Minnesota, to get bottling and pasteurizing machines to speed things up, and to help with the marketing and packaging expenses.” In an extensive video and write-up, owner/brewer Dan Ford makes a case for why his campaign deserves your funding. Is it strong enough?  >> Read the full article

 

Outside MagazineSake Steals the Show: Hangover-Free Sake – The biggest trend in American microbrewing is hangover-free, adventure-friendly sake. Kanpai!

(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

 

The Restaurant BrokersThe next artisan brewing trend: Sake

(The Restaurant Brokers, February 26 2014)
The brewpub segment is getting a little crowded. That could explain the new interest in sake making. Given how readily U.S. restaurant patrons embrace most things Japanese—consider the nonstop popularity of sushi restaurants, the current ramen noodle shop craze and the emergence of large-format izakaya concepts as hip dining and drinking destinations—it’s no wonder the idea of restaurants built around house-brewed sake seems ready to catch on. It’s a wide-open market where operators who missed out on the craft beer-driven brew pub phenomenon can get in on the ground floor of what might be the next big beverage trend.  >> Read the full article

 

Portsmouth HeraldBringing the art of sake to the Seacoast: Partners to open brewery in Kittery this spring

(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 to begin manufacturing sake at their soon-to-open Route 1 Bypass location. >> Read the full article

 

Area DevelopmentBlue Current Brewery In Kittery, Maine, Poised To Become Japanese Sake Micro Brewer-Manufacturer

(Area Development , January 15, 2014)

Blue Current Brewery of Kittery, Maine, plans to become the first Japanese Sake micro brewer and manufacturer east of Texas. According to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the firm is awaiting a final pieces of brewing equipment to produce the spirited beverage of Japanese origin made from rice that dates back to the early 700’s AD. Once all the equipment is in place, Blue Current Brewery plans to become the largest micro brewer of the Japanese spirit in the nation.  >>Read the full article

Governor LePage Account Executive Assists Maine’s First Sake Micro Brewer

(Implu, January 14, 2014)

Blue Current Brewery, LLC, of Kittery, is poised to launch its groundbreaking sake micro brewing business just as soon as it receives the final pieces of its brewing equipment. Once all the equipment is in place, Blue Current Brewery (BCB) will become the first micro brewer and manufacturer of sake east of Texas and the largest micro brewer of the Japanese spirit in the nation. 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 Governor LePage Account Executive Kristine Schuman.  >>Read the full article

 

Just Good NewsSake to me! Blue Current Brewery now open in Kittery

(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

 

Beverage Media Group10 Things To Know About Saké

(Beverage Media Group, September 26, 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

 

NPR's The SaltLocal Sake: America’s Craft Brewers Look East For Inspiration

(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 HeraldMaine’s brewery scene to get a newcomer: sake

(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

 

Food Pairings

It’s pretty simple – just like white wine, Blue Current sake pairs nicely with fish, shellfish, chicken, and other light refreshing foods. (May we suggest some fresh Maine lobster?)Even better than wine, sake is gluten-free and contains no sulfites or other preservatives that are said to contribute to hangovers, as well as other health concerns. Additionally, sake contains amino acids, has been shown to increase good cholesterol levels and blood flow. Of course, sake should be consumed with the same cautions as other alcoholic drinks.

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