About Us

Our Sake

Sequoia Sake is the first local artisan Sake brewery in San Francisco. We are proud to use all locally sourced California ingredients: Water (from the glacier-carved Yosemite watershed), Rice (organically grown in the Sacramento Valley), heirloom Koji and native sake Yeast. We have been making sake since 2015 and in 2019 Sequoia won gold and silver medals at the Tokyo Sake Competition. We specialize in all-natural Junmai Ginjo Nama sake which means we use only water, rice, koji, and yeast. We also created several other styles of sake to celebrate our California heritage. They include our Coastal sake which is bottle pasteurized, our Barrel-aged using Napa wine barrels and our infused sake. With our passion for sake and Japanese traditions, we strive to produce sake that reflects our local environment and California culture.

 

On June 10th of 2019, Sequoia Sake was awarded both the gold and silver awards for best sake produced outside of Japan at the SAKE COMPETION. It is a blind tasting done by industry professionals, brewery owners, and master brewers. This is significant in that it is the first time the gold medal was awarded to a non-Japanese sake producer outside of Japan.

 

By winning two of the top awards in the same year Sequoia has proven it has the ability and expertise to consistently produce excellent sake. We are grateful for the support of our customers, the community, and our California rice growers. The pressure to produce even better sake is on and Sequoia will continue to do its utmost to produce the best sake we can. This is truly a "Bottle Shock" milestone in California history, we are so proud to be able to be here and help change history.

Our Rice

When you ask most Japanese sake producers what is holding back sake producers outside of Japan from making sake as good as Japanese sake they will say, the rice. Sake rice grown in Japan and table (or eating) rice are not the same. They are very different in their makeup and the way they are produced and processed. The main difference most often pointed to is sake rice has a starch core and table rice does not. 

 

Before staring Sequoia Sake we recognized this and in 2013, Jake started his quest to get sake rice cultivation in California. Over the years that followed Jake worked with UC Davis, local organic rice farmers, USDA, California rice regulators, Japanese rice research groups, and professional rice organizations. In 2019 Sequoia was granted the right to start commercial cultivation of this short-grain sake rice here in California. We planted our first crop in 2020 and we are now using it in our sake production. 

 

Our Story

Who is Sequoia sake and how did they get to produce such well respected and loved sake? Sequoia was founded by Jake Myrick, Noriko Kamei, and Warren Pfahl. The story can be traced back to when Jake and Noriko were living in Japan from 2001-2010. That is when they devolved a love of sake. When they returned to their home in San Francisco, they found they could not get their favorite style of sake, Nama Genshu. So, they started making sake in the garage. Not satisfied with their lack of knowledge they reached out to some friends back in Japan and started their training at a bunch of small mom and pop sake breweries.  By 2014 their felt they were ready and they started to build their sake brewery here in San Francisco. In 2015 they produced their first batch and began to sell locally produced sake to California. To learn more about our passion please watch our PBS Documentary