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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: