First Sake Brewery in London Now Open

kanpai london

This month London has welcomed the opening of its first sake brewery. Find out who opened it and why - and what concoctions they'll be brewing, right here.

A new sake brewery has opened up in London's Peckham, with the first batches of sake to reach the shelves of Selfridge's later this month.

The brewery will be run by Lucy Holmes and Tom Wilson, who fell in love with sake after first visiting Japan three years ago. Using authentic Japanese ingredients alongside their own unique twists, their current two varieties - a junmai and nigori - not only taste great but are also dairy, gluten and preservative-free. The pair trained with a master brewer in Japan to refine their sake-brewing techniques earlier this year.

"We are so excited to see the profile of sake rising in the UK. We got hooked on this intriguing and versatile drink after a trip to Japan - and the fun ways to enjoy it in izakayas there” says Holmes. "At Kanpai, we are using the same ingredients and the same traditional brewing methods we saw in sake breweries across Japan. But by mixing up a few elements, we are creating bolder and punchier flavours, more aligned to the craft beers and strong red wines that we tend to go for here. We hope you can enjoy our sakes alongside a range of food from jerk chicken to your favourite curry."

kanpai london bottles
The pair will be making small batch brews for the time being, which means each bottled batch will be completely unique. Sake fans in the UK will be able to purchase bottles from Selfridge’s department store within the next month. For those on the lookout, the bottle labels feature a silhouette of a London skyline with a red, Japanese rising sun in the background. 

The popularity of sake is taking off in the UK, with many restaurants offering monthly sake tasting workshops and classes to help people understand more about the process of brewing this alcoholic drink. Enjoyed hot, cold, cloudy and sparkling – even if you don’t like the first sake you try, there is sure to be one out there to suit every taste.

To find out more about the brewery, please visit Kanpai’s website here: Or, if you’re keen to get involved in helping them with their latest concoctions, you can contribute to their crowdfunding campaign here:

To stay up to date with all the latest happenings in Japan follow us on Facebook or Twitter.