Ben’s American Sake Announces Limited Release of Kiyoshi Premium Sake 

March 25 event features tasting, music & food


Asheville, NC — On March 25,  Ben’s American Sake will release the 2020 version of their premium sake, Kiyoshi. This style is only brewed once a year, making it a very limited release. The release event will include live music, food pairing and sake tasting from 7-10pm. 

Kiyoshi will be available on draft and in distinctive red 750ml bottles that can be purchased online at or in the tasting room formerly known as Ben’s Penny Mart, adjacent to Ben’s Tune Up at 195 Hilliard Ave. 

As a nod to traditional brewing practices in Japan, Head Brewer Patrick Shearer plans to brew a premium batch of sake each winter to be debuted in the spring. The 2020 edition will be his second. “Last year we brewed during a snowstorm, this year in below freezing temperatures with the bay door open. In both cases, quite the experience!” 

Kiyoshi is a Junmai Daiginjo, a traditional sake classification that highlights both the purity and high quality of the ingredients used. Junmai sake is brewed with only four ingredients- rice, water, yeast, and koji. Daiginjo refers to the quality of the rice, specifically that it has been milled to at least 50%. The higher the milling percentage, the more proteins and fats have been removed, leaving pure starch for the brewing process. Daiginjo style sake is light in color and delicate in flavor and aroma.

This batch of Kiyoshi features CalRose rice from the Sacramento, California area that has been milled down to 50% of its original size, #901 yeast from White Labs, and Shearer’s current preferred house-made koji. Kiyoshi 2020 has a light and crisp finish with a full mouthfeel and body from the umami and is expected to be extra dry with pleasant aromas of honeydew melon, strawberries, and freshly mown grass. 

Shearer, who moved from Portland, Ore. in May of 2018 in order to take the helm at Ben’s American Sake, is interested in experimenting with new flavors as well as traditional styles. Offerings from both ends of the spectrum are now available online at, including the 2019 Kiyoshi and beginning April 1st, the 2020 Kiyoshi. 

The hope is that online sales will make sake more accessible and help draw new audiences to what is currently a niche in the craft beverage market. As a member of the board for the North American Sake Brewers Association, Shearer works with other craft sake breweries across the country to promote the growth of the industry overall. “Sake is such a versatile beverage that can be clean, complex, fruity, earthy- you name it. Folks can really enjoy the same variety and tasting experiences with sake as they do with craft beer and wine.” 


About Ben’s American Sake and Ben’s Tune Up

Ben’s Tune Up and Ben’s American Sake are located in a converted auto shop in the South Slope neighborhood of Asheville, North Carolina. Ben’s American Sake is among the first Sake Breweries to open in the United States and has been serving their unique take on the ancient Japanese drink to locals and travelers alike for more than six years. 

Ben’s Tune Up offers Asian-fusion fare and a full bar (including sake!) Tuesday through Friday 4pm to close and weekends 2pm to close. Next door, the sake tasting room is currently on winter hours, open Tuesday through Friday 12pm to close and weekends 12pm to close. Visit for menus, current sake list, live music schedules and event listings.

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