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Berry Bros & Rudd launches Sake en primeur offering

London wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has launched a second Sake en primeur offering after reporting soaring sales of Japan’s national drink.

Sake sales have increased nearly tenfold over the past year at Berry Bros, which is Britain’s oldest wine and spirits merchant.

Last May, the family-owned company launched its first Sake en primeur offering, which sold out within days. Berry Bros called that Sake en primeur campaign ‘a world first’.

The merchant has decided to launch a second Sake en primeur offering this month, featuring bottles from three breweries: Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute, Tatenokawa and IWA 5.

They are available at the company’s new specialist spirits shop, which opened at No 1 St James’s Street in April.

The new spirits shop sits side-by-side with the established Berry Bros & Rudd store at 63 Pall Mall in London.

It sells a range of Sakes, and sales are up by nearly 1,000% in the year to March 2024, according to Berry Bros. Online searches have also increased by 300% year-on-year.

Spirits buyer Rob Whitehead said: ‘We are thrilled to offer our customers at Berry Bros & Rudd the opportunity to engage with Sake, both in our brand-new Spirits Shop and through a dedicated en primeur campaign, which challenges the traditions of Sake and customer perceptions of the drink.’

Whitehead chose Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute, Tatenokawa and IWA 5 for the merchant’s second Sake en primeur campaign.

Noguchi Naohiko, a renowned Sake brewer, founded the Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute in 2017. He began brewing aged 16, and he is now 91 years old. These Noguchi Sakes can be aged for decades in a cellar before opening.

Tatenokawa is a family-owned brewery with a focus on fine, floral Daiginjo Sakes, made with rice from the Yamagata region.

The IWA Sakes are created by Richard Geoffroy, the former Chef de Cave at Dom Pérignon, who has created unique Sakes that improve with age.

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