Work is under way to build the UK’s first sake brewery on a site in Cambridgeshire after the project won planning approval.
First UK sake brewery approved
The Dojima Sake Brewery’s first UK facility, located at Fordham Abbey Estate, is set to start production in October next year, part of a five-year investment of £9m. Construction will take nine months.
Dojima owner Yoshihide Hashimoto said he was ‘very excited’ to see the work commence, after awarding the construction contract for the brewery to local company Patrick Doyle Contractors.
The brewery will make 10,000 bottles of sake during its first year of operation, and up to 10 jobs will be created initially, during construction, in the brewery and adjacent visitor centre.
The project’s ‘Jichinsai’ or ground-breaking ceremony, attended by Japan’s Ambassador to the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, and local MP Lucy Frazer, took place on 28 October.
Tsuruoka said ‘Although this is a ceremony that happens in Japan when a new building is being constructed, it has never happened in the UK and I was very happy to be a part of it.’
Frazer said the decision by Dojima to locate the sake brewery at Fordham was ‘an endorsement of our region’.
The project also received support from the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), including arranging meetings with experts and helping with the choice of location.
UK food and drinks specialists Campden BRI are also involved with the project, using its water mineralisation expertise to ensure that the hard water found in the UK is suitable for making sake.