Sake is brewed like a beer, yet enjoyed like a wine. We're driven to produce the best small batch craft sake possible. We've honed our techniques to make this magical Japanese drink right here in London, and have a full-bodied batch bubbling away in our microbrewery. But we need your support to get it out of the door and into the hands of curious drinkers locally and across the UK. And with your help we hope to continue brewing fresh and flavoursome sakes, giving you the opportunity to try something new and unique!
What's in a name?
Tucked into a small bar in Kyoto, a bowtie wearing barman taught us the simplest way to say cheers in Japanese is "kanpai!" You say it 'can' 'pi'.
It literally means "dry your cup". So we did. A lot. And now we're passionate to spread that joy back home.
Our sake story...
Far from the memories of a harsh warm liquid served after a noodle meal, Japan opened our eyes to real, quality sake. It's such a versatile, clean, and unique drink. It's perfect to sip smoothly at the end of a working day or to enjoy over dinner with friends. A perfect alternative choice to wine, beer and spirits - it's a category all of its own. Cold or hot - it's your choice. Not to mention how diverse it is in cocktails - from a simple sake/tonic to a sake sangria!
Ever since our first trip, we have spent time sampling, experimenting, and producing many different varieties of sake. Some fruity, others savoury or dry. Whatever your favourite flavours and styles, sake is best fresh - so the closer to you it's made, the better.
Sake is made from just four ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji (it's a magic mould, also used to make things like soy sauce). That sounds simple, but it turns out, sake is tough to make. It's unique. It's very precise. It's time, labour and love-intensive. And the equipment you need doesn't exist here so we've had to be inventive! But hell do we love it, even when you can't feel your hands from hours of washing rice in cold water...
This hobby in our spare room has gone out of control with this step up to a microbrewery! We are lucky to be based in Peckham - surrounded by a fascinating and energising range of cultures and people who offer incredible support and inspiration.
We enjoy the delicate intricacies of traditional Japanese sakes - the art of hundreds of years brewing, which are the perfect light friend to sushi or ramen. But we're putting a twist on things - exploring more full-bodied flavours to suit the palates of those that love craft beers, strong gins and wines. The type of sakes that can stand up to a Sunday roast or your favourite curry. Think of sour apples, to dry, woody and smokey notes. By mixing up the rice, yeast and techniques we use, or even the temperatures we ferment at, a huge variety of flavours are possible. We want the opportunity to explore them for you!
We use the finest ingredients and good ol' London water. Our small-batch, handcrafted sake is:
- no preservatives
So we like to think no hangovers either, but at around 15% ABV, no promises!
We are excited to have kick-started our microbrewery in Peckham, South London. We are the first sake brewery in the UK! Up to now, we've invested our own money and endless energy. We've been amazed with the interest across London, but if you'd like to see Kanpai sake in your home, bars, restaurants and shops then please support us in helping reach our goal. Get involved and grab some limited edition bottles and experiences as a huge thanks.
Your support will go towards:
- Ingredients - it's very pricey to ship specific sake rice in from the USA or Japan, and we want to continue bringing in pallets of different varieties to keep the sakes interesting.
- New equipment to help us scale-up - we're dreaming of building a press, a pasteuriser and bottling machine, as these are currently killer by hand! We'd also love another tank as one batch takes 8 weeks to make!
- Distributing the sake - turns out packaging and postage costs a pretty penny too. But we need to get this out for everyone to enjoy!
- Exploring new styles - who's keen for sparkling sake? Or a spiced Christmas special?
As a guide, £60 buys us half a sack of special sake rice shipped to our brewery. Or if 60 of you club together with a £20 contribution, we can treat the brewery to a shiny new fermentation tank!
We also have big dreams for a sake bar, but small steps first!
Thank you so much, we appreciate your time, and Kanpai!
Lucy and Tom
Up for grabs...
Please take a browse at all the rewards on offer, including bottles (330ml) from our very first batch, t-shirts and a hot sauce from our fantastic Peckham neighbours Slow Richie's!