In the UK, sake is experiencing something of a revolution through the likes of places like Moto and Kanpai Brewery in the South of England and The Sparrows in the North. Distributors are also leading the charge for getting nihonshu into the hands of the masses, with London Sake being at the forefront of the conversation.
With an ever-growing and diverse portfolio of sake and shochu to choose from, London Sake is a brand that should be on the list of sake fans across the UK and beyond.
Growing from a side hustle into a sake superstore
London Sake is the brainchild of Andy Travers, who was first bitten by the nihonshu bug back in 2013 during a visit to Japan. While travelling across the country, Travers was exposed to the rich sake culture and returned to London with a deep appreciation for the stuff.
Opportunity came calling when Travers got back in touch with an old work colleague, who happened to have a sake obsession and introduced him to all the key places in the city where nihonshu culture was brewing.
From there, Travers fell deeper down the rabbit hole, completing WSET sake courses in 2015 and then finally setting up London Sake in 2017. What started as an interest, turned into a side hustle, turned into a full-time business.
Today, Travers works alongside his wife to help deliver a wide range of sake across the UK and champions the category.
An eclectic mix of nihonshu
London Sake stocks an impressive portfolio, selling premium sake in all the major categories and more niche items as well. There’s also a sake subscription service, which gives enthusiasts a yearly discount and access to other deals.
Yamato Magazine got in touch with Travers to see what kind of sake he’d recommend and his bottle of choice is Nanbu Bijin tokubetsu junmai from the Nanbu Bijin brewery in Iwate. This particular type of sake has a lovely mixture of fruity and umami-driven flavours, making it ideal for newbies and seasoned pros.
Travers also commented that London Sake aims to be the leader in offering the broadest range of most cost-effective sake in the UK within the next decade. With the amount of dedication he’s put into the brand, it’s a great goal to strive for.
London Sake is undoubtedly one of the best places in the UK to get your sake fix and it joins a list of other venues that are making waves. Check out the full-line up from Yamato Magazine in this article.