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Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies,
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First Sake Brewery Approved in UK

First Sake Brewery Approved in UK

Date: November 14th, 2016 Author: Giles Cadman Categories: News

Sake lovers in the UK rejoice: the first sake brewery was approved in the UK just this month! I for one can’t wait to taste the delicious rice beverage made on our own soil.

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a sushi lover – and nothing goes better with fresh sashimi than a glass of deliciously cold sake! This is quite an exciting time.

The Dojima Sake Brewery’s first UK facility will be located at Fordam Abbey Estate, which is already under construction, and is set to start producing in October of 2017. Yoshihide Hashimoto, the owner of Dojima, says he expects the brewery will create at least 10 new jobs and 10,000 bottles of sake in its first year. 

We still have a few months until the brewery opens, making it the perfect time to brush up on our sake knowledge and embark on some experimentation. Sake has a unique flavour and there is a large variety to try. Here are a few helpful facts to know about the drink – the world of sake awaits! 

1. Sake might be the oldest alcohol we know of

Sake may even be the oldest type of alcohol known to humans, as the Japanese have been making it over 1000 years!

Although the exact origin of sake is unclear, there are early references to the use of the alcohol in the Book of Wei in the Records of the Three Kingdoms – Chinese texts from the 3rd-century. 

Sake is also mentioned numerous times in the Kojiki, Japan’s first written history, from 712 AD. From this time onwards, sake was sold in markets, used for religious ceremonies, court festivals, and drinking games – not so different than modern times! 

2. Sake means “alcohol”

In Japan, where sake is the national beverage, sake simply means alcohol. In the UK and the western world, the drink we refer to as sake is actually called “nihonshu,” which is Japanese alcohol made from rice.

Sake can refer to any type of alcoholic drink in Japan, so if you happen to be traveling, the use of the world “nihonshu” will be happily accepted. 

3. Sake has a distinct brewing process

While the taste of sake is often compared to wine, the brewing process is quite different and is in fact closer to beer. It’s made of fermented rice, koji (rice malt or yeast made from rice) and water. Sake is produced when the rice is ground, washed, and steamed. Then, the koji and the rice are mixed with water and left to ferment. After this process, more rice, koji, and water are added to the mixture, which is then filtered and bottled.

Sake also differs from beer and wine because it packs a higher percentage into a glass! In general, sake contains 15-16% ABV – over twice the alcoholic content of a beer! 

4. You’ve got some options…

There are two basic kinds of sake: Futsū-shu (ordinary sake) and Tokutei meishō-shu (special-designation sake). Futsū-shu is likened to that of table wine and is the most popular sake produced, while Tokutei meishō-shu refers to premium sake that are differentiated by the degree that the rice has been polished, and the added percentage of brewers’ alcohol of the absence of such additives.

After this comes many different designations of sake, and many variations of ways to produce it. There are also about 1,600 different producers of sake in Japan, offering tons new variants to discover… just like the awaited sake from the new Dojima brewery! 

I’m certainly looking forward to the opening and will be eager to taste their unique brand of sake. Hopefully this blog has given you something to look forward to as well! 

Looking for a delicious bottle of wine to wow at your next dinner party? Visit us at Cadman Fine Wines here!

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