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December 5th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Sake Brewers outside the US and Japan (Part 2 – Sake Breweries)

Having looked at the sake breweries in the US (Part 1) it’s time to move on to those sake breweries outside of both the US and Japan. There are sake breweries in Canada, Norway, Australia, South America and I believe Southeast Asia, China and Korea. However, I don’t have the details on all of these. In fact, I have lost the information I had on those sake breweries in South America (three of them I think) and have not had any solid info on the breweries in Southeast Asia, China and Korea. So, while I would like this to be complete, it won’t be. If you can add to the list below, please do!

Canada has two small sake breweries in Vancouver BC. They are: the Artisan Sake Maker with a site on Granville Island and Nipro Brewery Co., Ltd. in Richmond, BC.

Artisan Sake Maker

Masa Shiroki started the Artisan Sake Maker in Vancouver B.C. While purchasing rice from Japan, Masa is attempting to grow true sake rice in Canada. He has had some success in this. In 2010 he planted two separate sites. Despite one of these sites being decimated by birds they both had fully ripened rice demonstrating the viability of producing sake rice in Canada. At current production levels the Artisan Sake Maker uses about 5 tons of rice a year while brewing throughout the year. This works out to be just short of 10,000 liters.

Nipro Brewery Co., Ltd

Nipro Brewery Co. brought in a Toji from the Suwa area of Nagano Prefecture to brew their sake. Unlike many sake breweries Nipro does not sale sake at the brewery, they are 100% sold through the channel. They also have a really nice gallery on sake brewing; be sure not to miss the second page.

There are two more sake breweries that I’ve heard are working on starting up in Toronto Ontario. We will have to keep our eyes open for them.

Norway:

Nøgne ø

Nøgne ø is an interesting craft beer brewery after the US style. They have been making excellent beer and Kjetil Jikiun, their pilot principal wanted to add sake to the list of their brews. All of their current brews are Yamahai moto and use Yamada Nishiki, but the majority is Ginpu from Hokkaido. Nøgne ø is the first and only sake brewery in Europe.

Australia:

Go Shu Sake Brewery

Go Shu is just outside of Sidney in Penrith New South Wales. This sake brewery was started in 1996 by Sun Masamune, owned by Konishi Brewing Co. Ltd , of Itami. Prior to this Sun Masamune working with a local rice growing co-operative was experimenting with using a medium grained rice for sake brewing as early as 1988. Having found this rice to work well enough to produce Ginjo and Daiginjo styles the commercial brewery was a go.

These four breweries are all the breweries which are outside of the US and Japan that I have specifics for.

Update: 12-27-2010

New news on one of the Toronto Sake brewers I mention above. It is the brain child of  Ken Valvur and will be called:  Ontario Spring Water Sake Company. Schedule to open this spring with general manager Kaz Hayashi. Read more in the Toronto Life.

Update: 5-1-2011

The Ontario Spring Water Sake Company in Toronto is now open to the public as of April 29th, 2011. I have a short post on it here.

Update: 1-5-2014

YK3

Nipro, a small sake brewery in Richmond British Columbia, Canada has sadly closed with no details as to what happened or when that I could see. Now, thankfully to Yuki Kobayashi and Yoshihiro Kawamura the old Nipro brewery and its Toji, the brew master Yoshiaki Kasugai has been resurrected as YK3.

Starting sometime around November 2013 YK3 will be offering three sakes: A standard Junmai, an all koji Junmai and a nigori style sake.

Elise Gee documents the interesting details of the transition from Nipro to YK3 in her post: Giving Nipro brewery new life as YK3 Sake Producer.

FYI: Elise Gee also has recently written posts for the other two Canadian Kura, they are:

–          The pioneer of Japanese sake in Canada: Artisan Sake Maker

–          Find rare sakes at Ontario Spring Water Sake Company

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  • wrusst
    11:28 am on December 11th, 2010 1

    american pacfic rim in LA
    Kohnan inc napa ca
    hakushika sake brewery golden co
    hope these help mate You may have these or stop trading but worth a look

  • Will
    8:53 pm on December 11th, 2010 2

    American Pacific Rim in LA is now YAEGAKI Sake Brewery.
    Kohnan Inc of Napa Vally is no more.
    Hakushika Sake Brewery of Golden Colorado is no more.

    Yaegaki is covered in part 1 and I did not mention the other two because they do not exist anymore.

  • Gerald
    7:43 am on August 9th, 2015 3

    Arran Brewery will be setting up the UKs first Sake brewery in Scotland. Planning permission has been obtained for a5 acre site and building warrents issued. Subject to a RSA grant from the Scottish Government brewing should commence this winter.

  • Will
    1:52 am on August 13th, 2015 4

    Gerald, This is terrific news! Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Thanks,
    Will

  • JC Strobaugh
    12:53 pm on June 21st, 2016 5

    Hello,
    There is a new Sake brewery opening in San Francisco called Sequoia Sake. Jut meat the owners they are awesome.

  • Will
    2:01 pm on June 21st, 2016 6

    Very cool and great to see this happening!

  • Ernesto Reyes
    4:07 pm on January 5th, 2018 7

    Hi!
    Also in Mexico we have a Kura. Nami Sake!
    Please update this list, it´s great how the sake lover community is growing around the globe.

  • Will
    3:54 pm on January 9th, 2018 8

    I will put this on my to do list. I looked at the website (namisake.com) which is in Spanish as you might expect. However, I don’t know Spanish. Will you give me some background on the kura? When was it founded, by whom, where, and maybe a little bit about the founders and how they became interested in Sake and brewing?
    Thanks,
    Will

 

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