London’s First Sake Brewery Opens in Peckham

kanpai london

A sake brewery has opened in London's Peckham. Meet the makers and find out what kind of sake they'll be brewing right here on our doorstep.

London’s first sake brewery – Kanpai - has opened in Peckham, with the first brews soon to be hitting the shelves of Selfridge’s department store.

The brewery will be run by Lucy Holmes and Tom Wilson, who visited Japan three years ago and fell in love with the drink. Using authentic Japanese ingredients but adding their own twist, 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
Their small batch brews result in limited run sakes – meaning that every 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.

Sake is really 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: kanpai.london. Or, if you’re keen to get involved in helping them with their latest concoctions, you can contribute to their crowdfunding campaign here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kanpai.