Rice, the grain from which sake is made, has been cultivated for more
than 7,000 years in China and has long been used in Asia to produce alcoholic
beverages. One of the features of Asian brewing techniques is the use of molds
instead of malt to turn starch into sugar (saccharification). China is also the
birthplace of this technology. The rice and brewing technology used to make sake
are thought to have originated in China. However, Japan is now the only Asian
country that produces a clear alcoholic beverage with a refined flavor like sake.
Japanese sake has a history going back more than 2,000 years, during which time
the Japanese have continuously improved the brewing technique.