Kentucky, a small southern state in America, famous for its bourbon, is now becoming known for distilling something else—soy sauce. What? The first soy sauce microbrewery in the United States, Bourbon Barrel Foods, produces some of the best soy sauce anywhere. In fact, the brewery is now shipping its soy sauce to Japan and the owner, Matt Jamie, was just featured on a prime time Japanese TV show to talk about how he produces the soy sauce.
Bluegrass Soy Sauce is more than just a condiment to its producer, Matt Jamie. It is a labor of love. The Louisville, Kentucky native moved to Florida for college and then returned home to Kentucky. Jamie, a self-taught chef, moved up the ranks of a restaurant that he worked at before finally deciding to microbrew his own soy sauce.
Jamie told Epicurious that the idea for brewing soy sauce came to him one night while having beer and oysters with a friend. He wanted to do something that no one else had done, something so unique that it would set his business apart. He did just that when he decided to microbrew soy sauce. Jamie initially launched his business from his basement. It actually made a lot of sense to brew soy sauce in Kentucky as there are a lot of similarities between brewing soy sauce and distilling bourbon—something that Kentucky is known for.
Bourbon Barrel Foods sources all of its soybeans and wheat from local Kentucky farmers. Both the grain and soybeans are all non-GMO, making Bluegrass Soy Sauce the first non-GMO soy sauce. Zagat has released this interesting video on YouTube showing exactly how Jamie and his team hand-produces the Bluegrass Soy Sauce.