The story of SakeBrooklyn Brewing Company began innocuously in College Park, Maryland in 2004. Shinobu and Dutch first met at the Smith School of Business during orientation week for the MBA program, which was also Shinobu’s first week in the United States as a resident. They became fast friends and enjoyed many late nights at the Cornerstone Grill and Santa Fe Bar & Grill. In 2006 Shinobu graduated with a degree in strategy, and Dutch graduated with a degree in quantitative finance.

After graduation, Dutch headed to work at an investment bank and Shinobu headed to Nashville, Tennessee to manage systems engineering and IT implementation for Nissan. However, after some time in Tennessee he began to miss the premium sake that was so readily available back in his home, Tokyo. In the US, mediocre sake is everywhere, but truly premium sake is extremely difficult to find and very expensive when available. So Shinobu, ever the tinkerer, began to toy with the idea of brewing his own at home, just so he could show his American friends what premium sake actually tasted like.

After a few fits and starts, Shinobu continued to hone his craft and began to produce some truly good small-batch sake. Encouraged by both his American and Japanese friends, Shinobu began to consider whether or not brewing sake could become something more than just a hobby. He reached out to Dutch, who was now living in Brooklyn, to explore the idea of bringing premium sake to an even bigger audience in New York City. Dutch could not have been more enthusiastic about teaming up with his old friend to start a new sake brewery in NYC, dedicated to demystifying sake and teaching people to have fun with premium sake. And so, from very humble beginnings and very many late nights of drinking, SakeBrooklyn Brewing Company came to be……