(SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA) March 2017 – Vine Connections is pleased to announce the launch of Bushido “Way of the Warrior” Sake Can, featuring premium Ginjo Genshu grade sake in a can by the brand that brought the first Japanese sake on tap to the U.S.
Bushido is brewed by the prestigious Kizakura brewery in Kyoto, Japan, the birthplace of sake. Bushido’s new canned sake has a “Ginjo” milling rate, which is higher than most sakes currently offered in cans in the U.S. Bushido’s “Genshu” designation indicates that the beverage is undiluted and 18% alcohol.
Bushido’s canned sake represents a premiumization of portable sake and comes at a time when canned alcoholic beverages are seeing growth in the U.S., with canned wine sales up 125.2% in value in the 52 weeks ending June 18, 2016, according to Nielsen data. It also enters the market as U.S. consumer interest in premium sake is on the rise with sake in general up 6.7% percent in value and 5.3% in volume in 2016 versus 2015 per Nielsen data.
“We see Bushido ‘Way of the Warrior’ Sake Cans as a great opportunity to capitalize on the growing sake and canned alcoholic beverage categories in the U.S. This product offers authenticity as a legitimate Japanese import, and superior quality to other canned sake offerings currently available in the U.S.,” says Nick Ramkowsky, Co-Founder and Partner of Vine Connections.
Bushido is the name for the ancient Japanese samurai code of moral values, loyalty, and honor until death. Usually unuttered and unwritten, the code allows the violent existence of the warrior to be tempered by wisdom and serenity.
Bushido “Way of the Warrior” Sake Can exhibits notes of tart raspberry, Asian pear, and watermelon rind with a hint of white flowers and a spicy finish. Perfect for summer picnics and barbeques, this beverage comes in a 180ml can with a suggested retail price of $6. Available March 2017 in select markets; nationwide by Fall 2017.
ABOUT SAKE BREWING AND THE RISE OF CANNED SAKE
Sake brewing is an intricate process that entails polishing, or “milling,” off of the outer layers of rice kernels. Along the way, the rice starch is converted to sugar which is then fermented. Much goes into the selection of rice varietal, water, milling rate and fermenting and brewing techniques. At least 95 different varieties of sake rice are grown in Japan.
Canned sake is a part of a long journey of cultural relevancy, first in Japan and then the U.S. Sake in Japan began its popular cultural rise in the 1960s from its former status as a formal, special occasion beverage. The category now spans from ultra-premium to ultra-commercial with the prevalence of low grade sake “one cups,” available in vending machines across Japan. While Bushido “Way of the Warrior” Canned Sake nods to the spirit of the Japanese one cup, this new beverage is a premiumization of the portable sake trend.
Vine Connections’ Sake portfolio spans top breweries from 16 different Japanese prefectures, encompassing the entire country, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. The company imports 36 premium sakes, representing 15 rice varieties. Brands include Tozai, Amanoto, Bushido, Chiyonosono, Fukucho, Takasago, Kanbara, Kawatsuru, Konteki, Mantensei, Nanbu Bijin, Rihaku, Taka, Takatenjin, Tensei, Tentaka, Yuho, and Yamada Shoten.
Founded in 1999 by Ed Lehrman and Nick Ramkowsky, Vine Connections pioneered the first nationally imported portfolio of artisan wines from Argentina and soon after introduced the US to a premium selection of Japanese ginjo sake. In 2013, they launched “The New Chile,” a diverse, high-quality, appellation-based portfolio of boutique Chilean wine. The company represents the largest portfolio of boutique Argentine and Chilean wineries in the United States with almost 70 wines and 21 brands produced by some of South America’s most highly regarded winemakers and viticulturists. Their small domestic portfolio is a collection of some of California’s most exciting people-driven wines. Vine Connections also represents 17 of Japan’s finest sake breweries that produce some of the world’s best artisan chilled sake. Vine Connections is headquartered in Sausalito, California.