Rock N Roll Sushi Launches First Branded Sake Initiative

Rock N Roll Sushi, the American-style sushi restaurant that couples sushi rolls with rock-and-roll music and which has more than 60 locations in 10 states, has launched its very own branded sake in select markets.

The branded products mark the first branded sake test initiative for a national U.S.-based sushi chain restaurant. Alcohol contributes 20% to total sales in sushi restaurants in the U.S., and sake, the national beverage of Japan,  is the most popular choice.

For the branded sake, the sushi franchise chose to work with Arkansas-based Origami Sake, which recently received the highest recognition for domestically crafted sake from the Sake Brewers Association of North America.

Origami Sake will use their 100% Arkansas-grown rice for two distinct Rock N Roll Sushi branded beverages: Amplified Junmai Sake and Electrified Nigori Sake. Both will be available for dine-in guests for $48 per bottle, or $14 per glass. 

rock n roll sushi amplified sake
Amplified Sake (Photo: Rock N Roll Sushi)

Amplified Junmai Sake: A versatile food-pairing sake that has a fruit-forward style, it features notes of ripe cantaloupe, honeydew, and pear with a subtle umami backbone. With a slightly higher acidity, its finish is crisp and refreshing.


Electrified Nigori Sake: A silky-smooth sake with a profile that adapts to the flavors, feelings, and temperatures of every season. It serves as the perfect summer staple with a balanced sweetness and vibrant hints of citrus and pineapple when chilled, as well as a comforting winter companion with soothing notes of coconut, sweet potato, and apple when warmed.

We spoke with Rock N Roll Sushi Chief Development Officer Chris Kramolis about the new branded sake launch. Read on for the full Q&A!

electrified sake rock n roll sushi
Electrified Sake (Photo: Rock N Roll Sushi)


Bar & Restaurant News (BRN): Why did Rock N Roll Sushi decide to launch its own branded sake?

Chris Kramolis (CK): Sake is still very new to many Americans, and we know there is an opportunity to introduce it in an approachable way, just as we have with sushi. People can be hesitant to try something new and are more likely to give it a go if it’s presented in a way that feels natural and makes them comfortable. Rock N Roll Sushi has introduced so many sushi-curious people to this amazing food, and now we will bring sake along for the ride!


How will the branded sake benefit the restaurant chain?

The bottles and terminology can be difficult to understand, and our branded sake is simple and straightforward. Sake is a complex beverage with so many flavors and notes, and most Americans only know it as a hot drink that you shoot. Our plan is to educate our guests on a new way to enjoy sake.


branded sake rock n roll sushi
(Photo: Rock N Roll Sushi)

Does Rock N Roll Sushi have plans to sell the branded sake in the off-premise as well? Or will it be limited to on-premise availability?

Our sake will only be sold in our restaurants for now as we want it to be exclusive to our dining customers, but off-premise and packages are coming in the future.


What led Rock N Roll Sushi to choose Origami Sake as a partner for its branded sake?

Dumb luck!  It helped I was a native Arkansan that got into the sushi business with Rock N Roll Sushi in 2000 and opened several locations in Little Rock. Matt Bell, a long-time friend, took notice and reached out and let me know he had decided to open a premium sake brewery in Arkansas because of the excellent natural resources.  

We met up, and once I heard that Matt was seriously looking to change the way Americans think of sake, I knew it was the right fit since that’s exactly what Rock N Roll Sushi has done with sushi. Then, right out of the gate with their first batch, Origami starts winning major awards nationally and abroad. It was destiny!


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