Beer purists, turn away now, today's post isn't about our favorite hop juice. Instead I have for you a peek at SakeOne, a sake brewery (kura) in Forest Grove. Clued in to its existence by Brewvana (Van of Gigantic led a connoisseur tour that included a stop there last Sunday) and looking for another "different" thing to do with our visitors from out of town we braved the drive into the depths of the western suburbs.
Brewing sake isn't greatly different from brewing beer however instead of using grain, sake of course uses rice as the sugar/food source. Just as you have to do something to the grain before using it (malting), the rice must be altered. First it's milled, polishing away 40% of the original grain, then steamed (in 800 lb batches) and finally sprayed with Koji mold spores. Then it's ready to be microbial food and eventually sake.
Beyond the educational aspect of the tour there was the sampling of sakes. I've had some exposure to sake yet the tasting still provided a great way to learn more about what I like and dislike as well as to try unfiltered, unpasteurized sake only available on tap at SakeOne.
As interesting as the tour was and as delicious as the sake was, don't you worry, I'm not giving beer the cold shoulder. This was but a brief departure from our regularly scheduled programming. However if you have the opportunity to visit SakeOne yourself, I'd highly recommend it. The tasting room is open daily and there are tours each afternoon for those who want to see how what they're sampling is made. Who knows, maybe you, like our beer-loving friends will sign up to start receiving bottles of sake at your doorstep.