By now, everyone in America has their own nano-brewery and craft distilleries are so 2011. The next frontier for discerning locavores who love to imbibe? Sake. Blue Kudzu Sake Company opened last week in Asheville’s River Arts District, making it only the fourth craft sake brewer operating in the U.S. All sake is distilled brewed from polished rice but apparently, high-end craft sake tastes nothing like the warm hooch you typically get at your favorite sushi restaurant. If the table sake we’re all used to is Natural Light, then the organic craft sake that Blue Kudzu is making is Pisgah Pale.

Sake brewing is still in its infancy in the U.S. We have a couple of macro-brewers in Portland, but only a few craft brewpubs scattered about the country. Lack of access to proper brewing equipment and high quality rice makes brewing sake difficult, but it looks as if we’re at the beginning of a new trend. In addition to Blue Kudzu, the popular Ben’s Tune Up, a ramen and sake bar also in Asheville, has plans to brew its own sake by the end of the year.

Kanpai!

Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com