Kanpai Saké Brewery, the first of its kind in the UK, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to expand operations and create a new brewery.

The company, which was set up in 2016 by husband and wife team Tom and Lucy Wilson, already produces a range of sakés in its Peckham nanobrewery.

The duo has already starting working on upscaling their brewery and opening a sake taproom in Copeland Park near Peckham Rye station. The crowdfunding activity, which ends September 4, aims to help support this expansion.

Kanpai, which means ‘cheers’ or ‘dry your cup’ in Japanese, already raised £12,975 in 2017, smashing the £9,000 target. This has now been ‘stretched’ with a new target of a further £12,500.

Lucy Wilson said: “The brewery follows in the footsteps of the UK’s craft beer scene, by making additional seasonal varieties. These small craft batches have changing ingredients and twists for variety and freshness.

“We are driven to produce the best small batch craft saké possible. We have honed our techniques to make this magical Japanese drink right here in London, and have a full-bodied batch bubbling away in our microbrewery. But we need support to get it out of the door and into the hands of curious drinkers locally and across the UK.”

She said the creation of the company was inspired by Japanese traditions.

“Kanpai has its own London-style of saké, which is full-bodied and dry. The ingredients are simply water, yeast, rice and koji – a magic mould that is also used to make soy sauce and miso. With each batch we release a clear, pure junmai called ‘Sumi’ and a cloudy nigori called ‘Kumo’. They are super-versatile: to enjoy cold, warm, in cocktails and matched to a huge variety of food.”

The drink is brewed like a beer but enjoyed like a wine, according to the founders, and therefore it is presented in small ‘sharer size’ bottles.

Earlier this year the company also produced a sparkling saké called ‘Fizu’, which has fine bubbles from Champagne-style secondary fermentation in the bottle.

The Wilsons are aiming to extend the reach and education of saké across London, the UK and beyond, and the two have also run a series of events to demonstrate sake’s food-matching abilities. 

To find out more about Kanpai’s crowdfunding activity visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kanpaibrewery