Product Review

Where to Buy Japanese, American, and Australian Wagyu Beef Online (14 Vendors)

If you are looking where to buy Wagyu (Japanese beef), I have the ultimate list. This list is every major online seller and several producers/ranchers of the highly marbled beef to match your highly marbled self.

UPDATED: 3/17/22 and on 7/5/22: Updated content (added a 13th producer), along with re-formatted for quick reading.

I am not only coming through with where you can buy Japanese beef (Wagyu), but I am also providing sellers of American Wagyu (wa” = Japanese “gyu” = beef). Also, if you don’t care to know any better, and you call all Wagyu “Kobe Beef,” this list might work out a little better for you.

The list is a mix of producers/ranchers of domestic (American) Wagyu, Australian, and retailers and importers of Japanese Wagyu. I also provided a small sample of pricing below:

1). American Wagyu (Allen Bros) 8oz. steak ($119.95)
2). Snake River Farms (SRF) 2lbs. teres major ($48), and
3). the infamous Kobe Beef, 13oz steak ($349).

That red icon denotes summaries for a quick read.

DISCLOSURE: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, and I may earn a small commission.

As a Consumer Myself

If I am going to spend $40 to $70 for a steak, shoes, a computer mouse, a blow-up doll, a knife, I am going to do my research. If you are the same way, maybe we can swap notes, otherwise I hope my research helps you find the right slab of beef.

My objective is to identify the producer/ranch that some of these products are coming from. A lot of the products sold on Wagyu sites are generically touted simply as “Wagyu” with no additional information.

Most, if not all Japanese products cite the region the Wagyu is from, but I had to dig to find out who these other producers are (unlike Japanese producers who are extremely transparent).

The Japanese Wagyu Breeds

There are four Wagyu breeds which are according to one source (*3): “there is no genetic or phenotypic similarities whatsoever between the four Japanese beef breeds” – American Akaushi Association.

“There are almost two million full-blooded (100% content) Wagyu globally. 96% are in Japan and the second highest population is in Australia. In Japan, beef is also produced from Wagyu over Holstein dairy females and F1 beef cross production in Japan is also the largest globally.”

Wagyu International
  • Japanese black / kuroushi, kuroge washu
  • Japanese brown / akaushi washu
  • Japanese polled / mukaku washu
  • Japanese short horn / nihon tankaku washu

Regional Japanese Wagyu Brands/Producers/Ranchers

Japanese bulls (Wagyu) are now found on ranches all over the world (they get around), but they can vary greatly with the purity of the Wagyu cattle from crossbred, purebred, to 100% full-blood Wagyu. Below are just a few of the ranches from Japan to the United States that raise many of these breeds.

  • Too many to list here: there are so many regional producers, but the ones in Japan being offered by several of the businesses below are: Matsusaka, Omi, Hida, Kagoshima, Kobe (the most recognized by Americans), Miyazaki and Poroshiri.

The Breeds of Cattle by American Wagyu Producers/Ranchers

In the U.S, there’s a lot of snoo snoo going on between kuroge, angus, and a number of other varieties, and if you are wondering what 5 types of Wagyu are our favorite, you can check out a previous post.

Brush Creek RanchSaratoga, WyomingProud suppliers of Akaushi, or red Wagyu (I really want to go to this ranch, it looks amazing and they host weddings here).
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and SpaTabernash, ColoradoThey raise a mixture of Tajima and Tajima/Angus cross (also referred to as F1).
Imperial Wagyu Beef Omaha, NE/Greeley, COAmerican Wagyu beef (“top-performing American herds” and the genetics of Wagyu) with four different grades: signature, classic, signature, and reserve. All based on the Japanese BMS scale.
Hiroshi RanchKaiser Missouri Is a family owned ranch that raises 100% full blood Wagyu (the cattle has never been crossbred).
Lone Mountain RanchGolden, New MexicoLone Mountain Wagyu is one of the only producers of fullblood Wagyu beef in the U.S.
Mishima Reserve American WagyuSeattle, Washington Mishima Reserve sources from a number of farms as calves where they finish them with a grain-based diet. Kuroge Washu bulls raised in the U.S. and bred with American cows.
Snake River Farms (Double “R” Ranch)Boise, Idaho“American Kobe” or “Kobe-style” is how SRF is playing off of the notoriety of Japanese Kobe beef which is based upon the nomenclature to Europe’s Champagne, Camembert, to Roquefort which are named after the regions they are from (Kobe, Japan).
Swan RanchLaramie Valley, Wyoming They named their product “shogun” (as in a military leader in feudal Japan) which I find dumb AF because does any beef producer in the U.S. go and name their product “warlord” or “commander.” Although if Swan ever wants to sound like they have a Hispanic/Latin product, I suspect they will be calling it Cartel skirt steaks (I just hope they don’t start to carry wurst).

SRF (Snake River Farms) is an American producer of a balanced/leaner Wagyu which is more marbled than prime and less than Japanese A5.

The above link is if you want to see how SRF stacks up against Japanese Wagyu,.

The Australian Wagyu Producer/Rancher

So far, I have only identified one Australian Wagyu producer available in the United States although I will continually update this blog post (after all, Australia is supposedly the second largest producer after Japan).

  • Jack’s Creek
    (Added July 5th, 2022)
    Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia
    Jack Creek has a “dedicated team operating out of Los Angeles” (they are actually in Irvine which is Orange County, so greater Los Angeles metro area).

Website Traffic Ranking of Wagyu Beef Producers and Retailers

Site traffic alone will not solely determine which company you should purchase from (we all know why Costco is #1 over a specialized company like the Wagyu Shop), but it will let you know how they all stack up amongst one another in regards to popularity.

Out of the beef/Wagyu sellers (minus Costco), these are the top five most popular sellers by approximate website traffic:

1st D’artagnan
2nd Snake River Farms
3rd Crowd Cow
4th Wagyu Shop
5th Allen Brothers

Keep in mind a couple of these sellers sell more than just Wagyu, so they will have significantly higher web traffic.

(P) Producer / (R) Retailers in Order of Ranking (Descending).

COMPANY(P/R)EST. MONTH TRAFFIC
AND RANKING
Costco R(#1)
33.2m, of course it’s a lot, it’s Costco
8.5m
Crowd Cow R68.2k
(#4)
78.5k
DartagnanR(#2)
372k, wow,
that’s a lot.
146.6k
Snake River Farms
(SRF)
P/R188k
(#3)
90.6k
Allen Brothers R(#5)
39.7k
(#6)
45.8k
Wagyu Shop R(#6)
23.8k
(#5)
53.9k
Imperial WagyuP20.1k
(#7)
(added on
July 5th,
2022)
Holy Grail Steak S5.35k
(#8)
7.8k
Miyazaki Gyu R(#11)
128
(#9)
1.1k
Lone Mountain
Ranch
P/R17.4k
(#10)
9.7k
Mishima Reserve P/R2.9k
(#11)
4.0k
CO Craft Butchers R(dead last)
17
(#12)
812
Hiroshi RanchP (#10)
1.05k
(dead last)
179
Jack’s CreekP77
A new dead
last winner
Traffic data gathered on 6/17/2019, **traffic ranking updated on 11/21/20, 4/20/22, and 7/5/22.

The top general beef (including Wagyu) retailers are Dartagnan and Allen Brothers. These retailers have been around forever and it shows with their product line-up/knowledge and a long list of clientele. Also, last but not least, how could you not turn to Costco because they always seem to come through, even with legit Hawaiian poke.

The rest are all smaller, specialty producers and vendors.

Where to Buy Wagyu Online (14 Sources)

These are the businesses that own and operate their own ranches to restaurants, or businesses that primarily focus on online sales. Basically all the facts you will need to find a place on where to buy Wagyu beef from (“just the facts ma’am, just the facts”).

Online Retailers Listed in Alphabetical Order:

Photo Description: round number icon (1)

1. ALLEN BROTHERS

“Allen Brothers supplies the best steak houses and restaurants with the highest quality prime steak that money can buy” (their words sums it all up).  

This company and D’Artagnan are the old school businesses that aren’t noobs to the industry.

My Takeaway: the Allen Brothers goes way back to 1893 in Chicago’s famed union stockyards meat market, and my genius self has deduced that nobody related to the Allen Brothers has anything to do with the company anymore. Not like that matters, but since they say they’re “stewards” (somebody is probably thinking, yea dummy it obviously isn’t”), I think it’s good to point out that it is these stewards who are responsible for carrying on five generations of stewardship of what I think is primarily a B2B/wholesale operations? with a ton of history. That is very commendable.

Photo Description: I chatted with a visually impaired person about how important "Alt Text" is so I will describe the four steaks on a black skillet or plate? The steaks are raw, thick, and fairly well marbled. There is a "ribbon" of fat running down the middle almost encircling the inner cut (I would assume this is a rib-eye).
If you like to sit on the couch a lot, you just might be well marbled like wagyu. Image by Allen Brothers.

This is only meant to be a small sampling of the product/pricing, and I highly suggest you scroll on through to look at all the other sellers.

4 pcs 10 oz
Approx. 1.25″ Thick
$234.95
2 pcs 10 oz
Approx. 1.25″ Thick
$139.95
4 pcs 8 oz
Approx. 1″ Thick
$199.95
2 pcs 8 oz
Approx. 1″ Thick
$119.95
Prices and availability are subject to change.

Type of Business:
• Wholesale
• Online sales

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• Allen Brothers carries a large range of Wagyu from full-blood bulls crossed with American cows, humanely pasture-raised in the Pacific Northwest by family ranchers to richly marble and bring out the full flavor potential of the cattle.

In their words: Allen Brothers supplies the best steak houses and restaurants with the highest quality prime steak that money can buy.

From the fabled streets of Chicago’s historic Union Stock Yard, Allen Brothers has risen to become synonymous with exceptional quality. Our past generations have perfected the art of hand-selecting and aging beef. Their legacy, history and teachings have enabled us to provide you with the most expertly crafted USDA Prime available today.

As fifth-generation stewards of Allen Brothers, our team of culinarians is committed to preserving and enhancing the legacy of the Allen Brothers name. We have built our business distributing the finest products in the world to the top chefs in the country, our relationships standing as a testament to our commitment to excellence.

Building upon the knowledge of our past leaders, we are proud to steward the Allen Brothers tradition today and beyond.

Christopher Pappas, Chairman
Allen Brothers


Photo Description: round number icon (2)

2. COLORADO CRAFT BUTCHERS

Once you have read Tyson’s background, how could you not want to do business with Colorado Craft Butchers?

I just had to be biased and add this company since I was born in Colorado.

My Takeaway: I think in regards to their branding, CCB has done a very good job. Typically I can poke holes in a lot of businesses, and I’m sure I could nitpick, but overall it seems as though Tyson and the gang are all in it for the right reasons. When that happens, not only does the business reap the benefits, but us consumers also benefit from it.

The Types of Business:
• Online sales
• Wholesale
• Restaurant (Butcher’s Bistro located in downtown Denver)

Ranches/Type of Beef:
Brown Family Ranch, Holdrege, NE
• Swan Ranch
Brush Creek, Saratoga, Wyoming
• Devil’s Thumb Ranch

In their words: “Colorado Craft Butchers was born out of the intention to offer nose-to-tail, sustainable meat eating. We work with small farms and ranches and focus on bridging the gap between farmers and consumers. We offer wagyu beef and heritage breed pork from customizing cuts and recipes to suit our customers’ needs.”

Tyson Holzheimer has always been close to his food. Growing up in Montana, Tyson learned to hunt at a young age. Some of his earliest memories are of carving up his father’s haul. It was a family ritual; gathering in the garage with his father and three sisters, working in silence as they broke down the elk, deer, antelope or other catch of the day.

Tyson’s first part-time job was with a taxidermist. It was there he perfected his understanding of animals’ anatomy. Tyson then got his first job in a kitchen, where he discovered his passion for working with food.

After working in Alaska as a chef and then returning home to Montana, Tyson moved to Colorado nearly a decade ago. 

Tyson worked as a Corporate Chef at Snooze: an A.M. Eatery. It was there Tyson met Scott Bauer. Tyson and Scott shared a passion for nose-to-tail, whole-animal butchery and working with local farms and ranches. The two left their jobs at Snooze and started Butcher’s Bistro, which is now one of Denver’s best-ranked restaurants.

While working as Executive Chef at Butcher’s Bistro, Tyson found there was a niche in the wholesale market for sausages and meat. Tyson partnered with Bryce Norblom, a chef he’d worked with at both Snooze and Butcher’s Bistro, and created Colorado Craft Butchers.”


Photo Description: round number icon (3)

3. COSTCO

Attention Costco shoppers, yes, you will have to buy in bulk ($1,200 worth). Just like that 36 rolls of toilet paper, you will have to buy about 12 lbs. of authentic Kagoshima Wagyu from Japan.

Costco always seems to be doing it right and they have legit poke (not mainland pooky) in their Hawaiian Costco locations.

My Takeaway: I think this was the first place outside of Japanese markets that I heard of that carried Wagyu. It is also one of the only places to buy in bulk A5 Wagyu from Kagoshima, Japan.

Types of Business (all “wholesale”):
• Online sales
• Retail sales

Pricing:
• Japanese Kagoshima wagyu ribeye, frozen, 12 lbs ($999.99-$1,200).

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• Japanese Wagyu Beef.
• Imported from the Kagoshima prefecture in Japan.
• Procured by Authentic Wagyu, LLC.
• Marbling far beyond USDA Prime Grade.
• A‐5 graded in Japan, the Highest Japanese Grade.
• Ribeye Roast, approximately 12 lbs.
• Ships Frozen.
• Due to the perishable nature of this item orders do NOT ship over the weekend.  Orders will only ship Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Delivery. Orders placed after 11:00 AM PST on Wednesday will ship the following Monday.

In my words: come on, you know who Costco is, so I’m not going to add anything although you’re free to look it up yourself.


Photo Description: round number icon (4)

4. CROWD COW

These two dudes come off as though they love food, and what they do, so how could you not support this cow (yea, okay, that is not much of a reason to support this business tho, for a #bromance).

They are one of the very few businesses that do not support this site through their affiliate program, that sucks.

My Takeaway: this is the company that you will want to follow their blog because they understand and know the industry. The two dudes, Ethan (co-founder of Urbanspoon) and Joe (he’s got some great articles with one that hints at his homestay as a student in Japan) both started out wanting to find a better way to purchases directly from local farms. So Ethan suggested they “crowdfund a cow” so that 50 people could each buy a tiny amount of beef directly from a local farm. After a couple of weekends visiting ranches and building a website, Crowd Cow was launched and the first cow was sold in 24 hours.

Type of Business:
• Online sales
• Wholesale

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• CC works with a number of ranches from “Angus from a ranch that’s been breeding for marbling and natural immunity since the 70’s? Or the finest Purebred grass-finished Wagyu in the country, raised on a small farm in the San Juan Islands?” – crowd cow.”

In their words: “Our co-founder Ethan went to an upscale grocery store to pick up some steaks and found himself wondering where the meat was from and why it cost so much.

In talking to his friend Joe, they discovered that many of their friends had purchased beef directly from local farms, and had bragged about how great the meat was. But the trouble of finding a good ranch, coordinating payment and pickup, and the idea of having to purchase and store up to a year’s worth of beef at once was too much.

There had to be a better way. Ethan suggested they “crowdfund a cow” so that 50 people could each buy a tiny amount of beef directly from a local farm. After a couple of weekends visiting ranches and building a website, Crowd Cow was launched and the first cow was sold in 24 hours.”


Photo Description: round number icon (5)

5. DARTAGNAN

Ariane Daguin is the founder and CEO of D’Artagnan (her pops is Chef André Daguin), and she and her company are purveyors of top-quality food produced with care.

Their content and product range exemplifies that they have a ton of experience under their belt (a lot of legit people in their team).

My Takeaway: this is a very put together company on a number of levels.

Types of Business:
• Online sales
• Wholesale

Pricing:
• American wagyu, frozen, 1 steak (18 oz avg.), $55.99.
• A5 Japanese wagyu, fresh, 11 lbs, $1499.99

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• American Wagyu beef raised in the USA without the use of antibiotics or hormones.
• A5 Wagyu beef from Japan.

In their words: “Ariane Daguin was going to college and working part-time for a New York pâté producer, which was where she met the first foie gras producers in the United States. Her employers declined to go into business with the duck farmers, so Ariane quit her job and left school, and pooled her very limited financial resources with those of a co-worker. Inspired by her own bravura, she named their new company after D’Artagnan, that real-life musketeer made famous by a certain novel.”


Photo Description: round number icon (6)

6. HIROSHI RANCH

We have only 100% Full blood. All our Wagyu cattle are continuous fed grain, hay, grass, flaxseed oil, molasses, and chocolate. We do not schedule feedings and all food and water is available to cattle 24 hours a day.

Who is Hiroshi? They do know a Lischwe tho except that name means nothing to them or their products.

My Takeaway: I’m not fond of companies that think you have you have to name your product some quasi-Japanese sounding name because it’s condescending. It’d be like a company catering to a Jewish, Mexican, or the black community by giving their products names like Ilan/Yosef Ranch, Juan/Juanita Ranch, or Lakisha/Jerome’s Ranch to appeal or cater to that market (Lischwe Ranch would have been way eff’n cooler) – Mishima and Hiroshi are the only two ranches that do this (having spent decades in branding, fake and meaningless brands like this kill me, and I’m glad Harris Ranch understands this although they have money to know better).

Types of Business:
• Online sales

Pricing:
• Japanese fullblood wagyu ribeye (18-22 oz), $50.99-$84.99.

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• 100% Kuroge (black cow)

In Their Words: I reached out to Hiroshi Ranch because their website is lacking, but the response definitely one up’s their website because their Sales Rep states “Our cows are all kuroge (black cows). We have only 100% Full blood. All our Wagyu cattle are continuous fed grain, hay, grass, flaxseed oil, molasses, and chocolate. We do not schedule feedings and all food and water is available to cattle 24 hours a day. We are associated with the American Wagyu Association and register our cows with full genetic information.” Based upon that response, how could you not love Hiroshi Ranch?


Photo Description: round number icon (7)

7. HOLY GRAIL STEAK

“The nation’s only online source for authentic Kobe beef.” They are also offer an extensive range of wagyu not only from Japan, but also American and Australian (I also think it is safe to say this company has the biggest range of wagyu varieties).

Cameron Hughes is a the due behind Holy Grail Steak and Négoce.

My Takeaway: my main concern when purchasing online is to determine how specialized they are in selling online. From what I can tell, this is one of few companies solely dedicated to online sales. If that doesn’t make you feel reassured that you will get your order in an expedient manner without any issue, know that they do have a picture of two dogs which look like labradors. Why does that matter? Because from my own personal experience, labrador and golden retriever owners tend to be the nicest and most laid back people.

The Wagyu Shop is a dedicated vendor of a variety of Japanese Wagyu (their customer service sucks tho, and I avoid this business) and Holy Grail Steak is the only place you can buy Kobe beef online.

If you want the Japanese stuff, now you know who and where to get it from.
Kobe strip steak, Japanese A5 Wagyu$349.00
Kobe ribeye, Japanese A5 Wagyu$349.00
Prices and availability are subject to change.

Types of Business:
• Online sales

Pricing:
• Japanese Kobe Wagyu, A5 ribeye, frozen, 1 steak (13-15 oz avg.), $299.99.

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• Japanese Kobe Wagyu
• Japanese Omi Beef
• Japanese HidaGyu
• Japanese Chateau Uenae
• American raised wagyu (Tajima black wagyu line)
• American Akaushi (the Japanese brown wagyu)
• Australian Sher Farms wagyu (they’re hardcore AF to get it right from Double Black Pureblood wagyu to Wagyu x Holstein cross breeds).

In their words: “All we wanted was a great steak, but we ended up somewhere totally unexpected. Through the community of chefs we’d met sourcing and sharing the fruit of the vine, we connected with the most committed farmers, ranchers and abattoirs in the country, and then the world. We traveled to Japan and secured our standing as the nation’s only online source for authentic Kobe Beef. We saw how lineage, terroir, and nurture combine to create a pinnacle, whether in the bottle or on the grill. And then we brought it all together, Holy Grail Steak Co.”


Photo Description: round number icon (8)

8. IMPERIAL WAGYU BEEF

A JBS Food Groups 100% vegetarian fed American wagyu is not GMO-free, or certified organic, although they are not given or fed antibiotics (unless necessary) or hormones.

JBS is a Brazilian company that operates globally.

My Takeaway: the newest addition to this (added on July 5th, 2022) list, Imperial is like what I assume to be a “large-scale” operations branding to be like, superficial. So, if you want to know what ominous company or country is pulling the puppet strings, you will not know that although they do tout their cattle is “raised on family farms across the United States,” they do not brand their product to incorporate their parent companies value or mission.

I looked into who is behind the brand, and it appears it is a product by JBS foods, a Brazilian company which heavily markets sustainability and being environmentally aware such as being net-zero by 2040. The company operates globally with established business operations in the US, Australia, Canada, and locations throughout the world.

Pricing:
• I tried to cite pricing, but the product is not marketed under Imperial wagyu out of the three vendors (Fairway Packing shop, DeBragga, and Mr. Brisket Shop) they have for “where to buy.”

Types of Business:
• Producer
• Wholesale
• Online sales

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• “Top-performing American herds” and the genetics of Wagyu.


Photo Description: round number icon (9)

9. JACK’S CREEK

I added this company which I am regretting because like the Wagyu Shop, they are the second company to respond back to multiple attempts. How does a company expect to be in business if they cannot answer basic sales questions?

I will give it a 3rd attempt since it has been a while.

My Takeaway (added on July 5th, 2022): like the above listing, this is also a new addition although based on my preliminary research, this brand has very little brand awareness and is probably generically sold on retail websites as simply as “Australian Wagyu.”

Pricing:
• I reached out to Jack’s Creek to try and get pricing information (TBA).

Types of Business:
• Producer
• Wholesale

Ranches/Type of Beef: This company does not lag when it comes to their marketing because they have properly spelled out the specifics which are:
Wagyu: 500 day grain fed purebred Wagyu.
Black Angus: 150 day grain fed verified Black Angus.
Wagyu X: 400 day grain fed F1-F3 Wagyu.
Angus: 120 day grain fed Angus, minimum 75% Angus genetics

In their words: “Jack’s Creek is proud to be a family owned and operated Australian business run by the Warmoll family, who emigrated from Ireland in 1852. Upon arriving in Australia, the family travelled to the gold fields in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) where they opened several butcher shops and later an animal hide store in Gunnedah, NSW.

Today, led by Phillip Warmoll’s son Patrick, Jack’s Creek is at the forefront of Australian premium beef production, proudly holding the current title of ‘World’s Best Steak Producer’ for two consecutive years, as well as ‘World’s Best Fillet Steak’ 2017. The company now processes and markets grain-fed Wagyu and Black Angus products and proudly exports to over 20 destinations worldwide.”


Photo Description: round number icon (10)

10. LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH

Lone Mountain Wagyu is one of the only producers of full-blood wagyu beef in the U.S.

This company gets it right and it just goes to show I close their resources works together.

My Takeaway: HOLY COW, I swear this industry must have deep pockets because from a branding, and a marketing perspective, a lot of these companies seem to be on point. One reason I think that is due to their content marketing, and Lone Mountain is one such place where it took me a while to determine if they had been the content creator – well, it turns out, they are, and they kill it with their infographics (jealous because they do a fantastic job, and I’ll try to include a link).

Pricing:
• Typically I only cite rib-eye for an apples-to-apples comparison, but the President and COO both love strip steaks, so for 4 (approx. 12 oz each), you’re looking at $276.
• Rib-eye steaks, qty 4, 16 oz each (a total of 64 oz?!), $276, or $69 for each steak.

Types of Business:
• Producer
• Wholesale
• Online sales

Ranches/Type of Beef
• Full-blood Wagyu beef in the U.S.

In their words: “Lone Mountain Wagyu is one of the only producers of Fullblood Wagyu beef in the U.S.

The first story starts in Golden, New Mexico circa 1965… the year Marion and Glen Lloyd acquired the 27,000 acres underneath Lone Mountain that became the Ranch. They used it as a place where the family could explore the beautiful valley that rests between the Ortiz and San Pedro ranges, a place where they could enjoy life to the fullest. They also raised different breeds of commercial cattle (this was long before Wagyu was a word anyone in the West knew.)

The second story begins in 2004. Mary Lloyd (their daughter) and Bob Estrin (her husband) had taken over the Ranch a few years earlier and kept it up as both family reserve and working farm.

But Bob had what people like to call an epiphany. He happened to try Wagyu at a restaurant in Santa Monica and he was hooked. The incredible marbling. The unbelievable richness.

Wagyu was the future.

He bought two Wagyu bulls, with immaculate pedigree, and began the process of transitioning the entire herd to Wagyu, which was done by 2008.

Now, we sell our Wagyu to anyone who believes that the best beef in the world is the secret to a life well-eaten. That’s everyone from you and your neighbors to Michelin-starred restaurants all over the country.

If you haven’t tried our Wagyu, we think you might like it. Let us help you eat life to the fullest.”


Photo Description: round number icon (11)

11. MISHIMA RESERVE

They own their own restaurant, they wholesale, and they breed their own U.S. cattle/kuroge washu bulls.

The three prong approach.

My Takeaway: Mishima is part of the Sugar Mountain family of businesses which is based out of Seattle, WA. Kurt Beecher Dammeier came up with the Japanese sounding branding which is not Japanese beef although they do use a crossbreed of Angus and a some degree of wagyu DNA. Regardless of that, these condescending brand names are silly AF because one of the biggest names in American wagyu is Snake River Farms (SRF) although they do use kana to imply Japanese. Oh well, I suppose I do not fault my accountant Takeshi, who named his company Ari Goldenberg Accounting.

Type of Business:
• Wholesale
• Producer: Wagyu and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
• Restaurant (the Butcher’s Table)
• Online sales

Pricing:
• Eye of ribeye, ultra, 10oz, $65.

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• Mishima Reserve sources a number calves from various farms. They are an unknown percentage of kuroge washu bulls that are bred with American cows and finished with a grain-based diet here in the U.S.

In their words: “The Mishima Reserve story begins as so many stories of discovery begin—while traveling. Our founder, third-generation cattleman Shane Lindsay, had traveled to Japan for college when he learned about their ranching methods and their obsession with Wagyu beef. It was a delicacy that U.S. chefs had only begun to discover in the mid-90s. Back in the States, Shane used his expertise to spearhead the first major Wagyu operation outside of Japan. That early success compelled him to start his own operation, one that would allow for complete control and transparency over the process, while honoring the meticulous breeding, feeding and care protocols he’d learned from his Japanese mentors.”


Photo Description: round number icon (12)

12. MIYAZAKI GYU

Asia International, Inc. is the first officially recognized Miyazaki beef distributor in the United States.

A Japanese dude, the founder is dedicated to this industry and he has the Nebraskan credentials to back it.

My Takeaway: Asia International (well isn’t that a creative name), is based of the San Francisco Bay Area (Burlingame) which started as a small family-owned business. Now? Well, not sure if they are still family owned or what because they never elaborated on that although I can tell you that the president of the company is Hitoshi Nishikawa. I bring that up because he has over 40+ years of experience in the food industry although it all started out when he moved from Japan, to NEBRASKA to study in 1970. I don’t know about you, but I never took studying that hardcore, but you need to give dude some respect he graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Animal Science.

Type of Business:
• Wholesale
• Online sales

Pricing:
• A5 Miyazaki ribeye steak, 2 steak (1.25 lbs/each steak is approx. 10 oz and 3/8th thick), frozen, product of Japan, $349.

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• They solely carry and distribute miyazaki gyu (black cattle/kuroge), and they are the first officially recognized miyazaki beef distributor in the United States.


Photo Description: round number icon (13)

13. SNAKE RIVER FARMS

This is the company that touted and actively marketed “American-style Kobe” (they have since updated to “American Wagyu”). The parent company is Agri Beef which was founded in 1968 and is based in Boise, ID.

I have a full article on SRF vs. Japanese Wagyu here.

My Takeaway: Out of all the American wagyu types you will see, I think SRF is the most commonly found product at markets to restaurants, so if it were not for SRF, many of you may not have been able to try Wagyu.

Snake River Farms also have one of the coolest names, but I wish their logo capitalized on that although creatively it’s not all that bad compared to the attempts made by other brands.

Photo Description: Snake River Farms (SRF) American Wagyu black grade. The teres major, sometimes called a shoulder tender, is flavorul and almost as tender as filet mignon. The Snake River Farms teres major is American Wagyu beef which makes it an especially delicious cut. Each package contains 2 teres majors.
With only a few clicks from your couch, you can be ordering Wagyu online, shipped directly to you, and cooked up in your kitchen (of course you will have to cook it yourself).
New York Strip (gold grade) $80.00
Teres Major (Shoulder Tender) black grade$48.00
Prices and availability are subject to change.

Now onto the issue I see is with their overall branding and marketing approach – I would say it’s one the worst of all the brands listed here because 1. they pander to stupid by alluding to their product as “Kobe style” (it fixates on what people are familiar with vs. actively branding their product) and 2. They have quotes by Wolfgang Puck touting how he prefers American Wagyu over the best Japanese Wagyu (“it has the richness of Japanese beef with lots of marbling, but the flavor is more akin to what we’re used to in America. You can give me a pound of the best Wagyu from Japan, or a pound of this, and I’ll choose the New York steak from Snake River Farms every time” – Chef Wolfgang Puck). That right there is plain silly as if it’s a zero sum game where they are promoting Wolfgang Puck’s endorsement which promotes their product as the ONE clear “winner.”

Any proper marketing strategy would not take this approach and just market American Wagyu’s distinctiveness as it stands on its own.

Types of Business:
• Producer
• Online sales
• WholesaleRetail (can be found at select markets and butchers)

Pricing:
• American Wagyu gold grade (Wagyu crossed with high quality Angus), rib-eye 1.5″ thick, average weight of 1.2 lbs., $89.00
• American Wagyu black grade (Wagyu crossed with high quality Angus), rib-eye, 8 oz, $41.00

Ranches/Type of Beef:
• Cross-breeds with purebred Wagyu cattle and traditional cattle breeds.

In their words: “Snake River Farms and Double R Ranch are part of Agri Beef, a family owned and operated business dedicated to producing the highest quality beef and pork in the United States. Founded in 1968 by Robert Rebholtz, Sr., Agri Beef started as a ranching and feeding operation and grown to incorporate every step of the beef lifecycle which includes ranching, cattle feeding, animal nutrition, and beef processing. This comprehensive approach ensures the products that arrive at your door are the best available.”


Photo Description: round number icon (14)

14. THE WAGYU SHOP

This is where you go to find Japanese Wagyu from Hokkaido, Japan. Except if you have a problem with your order or a question, do not expect any customer service from this company (one of, if not the worst on this list).

I have only had problems with this business out of them all.

My Takeaway: there is some anonymity as to who is behind this company, and all that is specified is that they had spent a decade in the S.F. Bay Area servicing restaurants. With their most recent venture, the Wagyu Shop, they have a 949 area code which is Orange County down to San Diego. The only other clues is that their content is really good from their blog to product photography and product offerings, that it gives off an impression that this company is very connected and competent (just do not expect much from their customer service which is non-existent).

Type of Business:
• Online sales

Pricing:
• 2pcs (16 oz each), A5, Japanese wagyu for $369.

Ranches/Types of Beef:
• Poroshiri Wagyu from Hokkaido Prefecture.
• Natural American Wagyu from the best hand-selected farms across the US.

In their words: “The Wagyu Shop aims to be your number one source for buying premium quality food, and your guide to learning about the food you are buying. We are here to provide you with knowledge and confidence through transparency and valuable information regarding some of the most sought-after gourmet products. We offer rare and exclusive products only found in top-quality restaurants. We also partner with other highly reputable vendors to make your entire shopping experience quick and simple” – Wagyu Shop

My Other Popular Wagyu Related Content

Great Wagyu Resources to Check Out:

  • (1) The History of Wagyu in America – Lone Mountain Ranch
  • (2) Wagyu International – this is a resource by Steve Bennt in Australia which consists of directories and information on such things as where to find wagyu semen or embryos.
  • (3) American Akaushi Association – “All Fullblood Akaushi cattle are red, but not all red cattle are Fullblood Akaushi!” .
  • (4) The American Wagyu Association – was incorporated in Texas on March 14, 1990 and serves to register Wagyu and promote the breed throughout the US, Canada and other countries.  
%d bloggers like this: