Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

For Goodness’ “Sake”

Partnership between the CIA and Asahi Shuzo Brings Sake Brewery to the Hudson Valley

Hyde Park, NY – With a sake toast, The Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premier culinary college, recently signed a landmark agreement with Asahi Shuzo Co., Ltd., maker of world-renowned DASSAI premium Junmai Daiginjo sake.

Under the agreement, Asahi Shuzo, one of the most unique breweries in Japan, will be collaborating with the CIA to further the education and awareness of sake within the United States. The CIA—with the support of Asahi—will be developing curriculum, certification programs, workshops, and special events and tastings. Asahi Shuzo will also build its first U.S. brewery in Hyde Park, NY, less than a mile from the CIA campus, becoming the first Japanese sake producer to set down stakes on the East Coast.

“The Asahi Shuzo Company is a leader in its field, carefully combining both tradition and cutting-edge technology to craft its premium quality beverage,” says CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “We are honored that they chose to build their first U.S. operation in the CIA’s backyard, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Currently, the CIA offers a course in Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine, which is the first step towards the planned creation of a full academic concentration in Japanese food, beverage, and culinary culture. With the introduction of unique education programs and experiences around sake, the CIA will further the education of Japanese cuisines and cultures for CIA students, food enthusiasts, food industry professionals, and guests.

“When looking for a site to build our first U.S. brewery, we knew we wanted to differentiate ourselves from other sake brewers,” says Asahi Shuzo Chairman Hiroshi Sakurai. “The proximity to the CIA, located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, is an ideal fit. We are excited to cultivate this new relationship.”

The CIA and Asahi Shuzo are also going to seek research and development opportunities to further identify ways in which sake and the by-product from the sake-making process can be used to expand food flavors and culinary techniques, along with the potential for new lines of sake-based products.

“We are excited to see how the creativity and ingenuity of the CIA will elevate the use of sake to create new flavors and taste profiles,” says Asahi Shuzo President Kazuhiro Sakurai.

The brewery—located at the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrew’s Road—is to begin construction in spring 2018, with a scheduled opening in early 2019. It will be 52,500 square feet, including a retail space, and will be open for public tours. In addition to several company employees who will relocate from Japan to the Hudson Valley, the facility will create at least 32 new local jobs. At full capacity, the brewery will produce 332,000 gallons of sake a year. Asahi Shuzo says it is investing more than $28 million in the project.

“We are excited that Asahi Shuzo has selected Dutchess County for the location of its U.S.-based sake brewery. From fine foods, to craft beer, wines, and distilled spirits, Dutchess County has become a food and beverage destination,” County Executive Marcus Molinaro says. “Now, CIA students and visitors alike will have firsthand access to a working sake brewery. The economic impact through this project, with the addition of new jobs and increased tourism, will not only benefit Hyde Park, but all the surrounding communities.”

“New York’s thriving craft beverage community is an engine for job creation, tourism, and regional economic growth,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Asahi Shuzo’s expansion into the Hudson Valley builds on New York’s national and international leadership in this industry.”

The CIA will be collaborating with Asahi Shuzo in the coming weeks and months to share site renderings and provide more details about the sake brewery with community and government leaders, residents, and the media.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America, shares a sake toast with Chairman Hiroshi Sakurai (right) and President Kazuhiro Sakurai of Asahi Shuzo to celebrate a new agreement between the CIA and the Japanese sake producer. (Translator Mariko Kalister looks on.) Asahi Shuzo will build its first U.S. sake brewery near the CIA campus in Hyde Park, NY. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writer

About The Culinary Institute of America

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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