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News Release(200908_A) August 5, 2009

Supplying Sake to the World:
Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. Celebrates its 20th Anniversary


Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc.

Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc., Gekkeikan Sake Company, Ltd.ís American subsidiary, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, having been founded in Folsom, California on July 26, 1989. Together with its parent company, Gekkeikan Sake (USA) has over the years supplied sake not only to the USA with its high demand, but also to Canada, Brazil, Europe and other markets throughout the world.

After its establishment in 1989, Gekkeikan Sake (USA) installed a brewery equipped with an all-season brewing system and the latest technology, and started brewing in October 1990, shipping its first sake in May 1991. Up to around 1994, annual production stood at about 900 kiloliters, but demand for sake grew steadily, driving production up to 1,800 kiloliters by 1999, and 4,200 kiloliters by 2008.

Sake had in fact long been imported from Japan along with seasonings and other foodstuffs by Japanese immigrants settling in Hawaii and other parts of America in the Meiji Period, and these immigrants even produced sake locally. Gekkeikan records show that we too exported our sake to Honolulu in 1902. From around the 1970s, Japanese cuisine came to be recognized as healthy, and Americans began to develop a liking for sushi and other Japanese dishes. There are now apparently over 10,000 Japanese restaurants in America, and with sake being an all but essential accompaniment to Japanese food, the spread of these restaurants has driven up demand for sake. Nowadays liquor shops and supermarkets have also come to stock sake, and it is served in other types of Asian restaurant too. Sake sales are growing not only in East and West Coast cities, but also in inland regions and the South.

To keep pace with this growing demand, Gekkeikan Sake (USA) has steadily expanded its brewing facilities. By January 2006, it had already installed sufficient fermentation and storage tanks to brew an annual 5,000 kiloliters, and it is considering doubling that capacity to 10,000 kiloliters over the medium to long term. It is currently expanding its premises, shipping depot, warehouse and other facilities, and with the installation of additional brewing equipment, it is planning to be able to produce 6,000 kiloliters by 2011. It will carry out further expansion if demand continues to rise.

One of Gekkeikanís business goals is to expand its overseas interests. We are shipping an increasing amount of sake overseas as more and more people around the world develop a taste for it, and as of the end of 2008, we were exporting to about 60 countries. We will continue to work with Gekkeikan Sake (USA) to supply fine sake for people throughout the world to enjoy as part of Japanís culinary culture.

◆ Company name : Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc.
◆ Established : July 26, 1989
◆ Location : Folsom, California, USA
◆ President : Yoshiyuki Saito
◆ Employees : 31
◆ Annual production : 4,200 kiloliters (2008)

Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc.

Japanese (200908_02)