The name Kanpai was inspired by our first trip to Japan...
Tucked into a small bar in Kyoto, a bowtie wearing barman taught us the simplest way to say cheers in Japanese is "kanpai!"
It literally means "dry your cup". So we did. A lot. And now we're passionate to spread that unique taste and feeling back home.
And so our love for sake began...
Far from the memories of a harsh warm liquid served at the end of a big noodle meal, Japan opened our eyes to real, quality sake. It's such a versatile, clean, and unique drink. It's perfect to sip smoothly at the end of a working day or to enjoy over dinner with friends.
Ever since, we have spent time sampling, experimenting, and producing many different varieties of sake. Sake is best fresh - so the closer to home it's made, the better.
Our sake is made from just four ingredients: rice, water, yeast and koji (a magic mould also used to make things such as soy sauce). But it's very tricky to make!
After a lot of trial and error over the years in our spare bedroom, and many trips back to Japan including brew school, we believe we have successfully honed our techniques and developed our own unique style. We enjoy the delicate intricacies of traditional Japanese sakes - the art of hundreds of years brewing, which are the perfect light friend to sushi or ramen. But we're putting a twist on things - exploring more full-bodied flavours to suit the palates of those that love craft beers, strong gins and red wines. The type of sakes that can stand up to a Sunday roast.
Brewed like a beer, enjoyed like a wine, we're driven to produce the best small batch craft sake possible so our fellow curious Londoners can fall in love with this intriguing drink too.
We blindly followed our tastebuds into madness to launch our microbrewery in Peckham in early 2017, thanks to amazing people backing us on a crowdfunding campaign. With our bottle launch in Selfridges, we officially became the UK’s first sake brewery! Since then, it’s been a whirlwind and in summer 2018 we moved into a larger space a stone’s throw away in Peckham’s Copeland Park thanks to another crowdfunding boost. Our new home gives us more space for new brews and a sake tap room to share our wares - come play!
You can find us across a range of shops, restaurants and bars across London, or if you’re further afield you can order online to get the good stuff to your door.
As huge advocates of the craft beer and craft spirit approach, we've been inspired to experiment with our sakes. That's why as well as our flagship range, we will always have seasonal batches on the go; where we can have fun with the ingredients and flavours - be it the type of rice we use, the type of koji or the yeast. It's amazing the variety of flavours and notes you can get from making small tweaks and changes. We want you to be able to explore a huge variety of fresh sakes, and we're always keen to hear your favourites so we can go back and repeat. Because, once our seasonal batches are gone, they're gone!
We can't thank you enough, and can't wait to dry many cups with you!
Here's to the #sakerevolution.
Tom & Lucy