Get ready for London’s sake revolution. Having been been based in a tiny industrial Peckham unit, craft brewery Kanpai London is expanding and setting up shop in Copeland Park.

Husband and wife brewing team Lucy and Tom Wilson met in London but fell in love with sake in Japan on holiday and initially started to brew it at home in their spare room. The hobby turned into a labour of love when Kanpai – ‘cheers’ or ‘dry your cup’ in Japanese – launched in June 2017.

Namechecked as “the UK’s first sake distillery”, it launched in London’s Selfridges and is inspired by the 1,300 year art of making Japanese rice wine. However, Kanpai created London’s take on sake, one that’s full-bodied and dry with signature flavour notes including apple, melon and bubblegum. In true east-meets-west style, the bottle’s label features a silhouette of a London skyline with a blood red, rising Japanese sun behind it.

Key ingredients of water, yeast, rice and koji (a mould used to make soy sauce and miso) ensure a clear, pure junmai called ‘Sumi’ and a cloudy nigori called ‘Kumo’. Kanpai’s sparkling sake ‘Fizu’ is this summer’s drink of choice and is made in a Champagne-style secondary fermentation in the bottle, the perfect BBQ aperitif.

The ABV for sake can range from 15-20% but it has a subtle, delicate flavour which works well with most dishes. There’s no doubting sake is a versatile drink, as it comes cold, warm, in cocktails. With seasonal brews, the small craft batches make use of seasonal ingredients to keep your glasses topped up and flowing.

As Kanpai’s mantra is ‘Brewed like a beer, enjoyed like a wine’ and the drink comes in small sharing bottles, appealing to Peckham’s craft beer enthusiasts. And that’s not all, Kanpai’s sake is completely natural, vegan, sulphite-free, gluten-free, and contains no additives or preservatives so – although it makes no promises – hangovers should be kept well at bay.

Kanpai want to build a tap room so you can enjoy super fresh sake and oversee where it’s made. Tom and Lucy have launched a Crowdfunder where you can donate or pledge to get a reward in the form of T-shirts, glasses and a ticket for a 29th September launch. You can also learn more @kanpailondon (twitter | instagram) or