The Hashimoto family and the Dojima Sake Brewery, have their roots in Settsu Tonda in Kansai, Japan, a place with 500 years of sake brewing history.
They now have one of the UK’s first ever Sake breweries, within the beautiful historic setting of Fordham Abbey in East Cambridgeshire.
The new Award winning Sake Brewery Building and Visitor Tasting Room was designed by Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects in collaboration with Scabal Architects, Structural Engineers Andrew Firebrace Partnership and the building was constructed by local building firm, PB Doyle.
As the first Sake brewery in the UK, it’s aim is to introduced the traditional artisan Sake brewing craft and to cultivate appreciation of Sake widely. to this country.
Dojima Junmai Sake is made using the very best Yamada Nishiki rice from Hyogo, Japan. Polished to 70%, the rice is combined with water from the Fordham Abbey estate. The rice is fermented slowly with great care and exacting temperature control to ensure optimum conditions at each stage, resulting in a mellow taste with a perfect balance of flavour and fragrance.
The new brewery building is a kind of single-aisled barn set amongst the existing group of farm yard buildings at Fordham Abbey. The outside walls and catslide roof are clad in berry red corrugated aluminium, the gables are cedar boarding with large windows. The west window is the kanji for Sake.
In plan, the process begins in the north west corner and continues in clockwise sequence: Analysis, Rice washing & Steaming, Koji, Mixing, Fermentation & Storage tanks and Bottling.
Windows and roof lights give natural light throughout and views of the brewing process. Low level natural ventilation louvres, supply air to the building and three high level louvered chimneys collect extract. A new borehole supplies the essential local water source. The floor is resin stone with stainless steel drains for washing down.
The building is now open for tours and brewery demonstrations. You are able to look at any new batches that are underway in the fermentation room and go upstairs to the visitors balcony and tasting room, overlooking the walled garden and river to learn the basics of sake and to taste three varieties.
The M&E Engineers were CBG Consultants and QS was Press and Starkey. The Building has been awarded the Royal Institute of Charter Surveyors RICS Leisure Award.
If you’d like to visit the Fordham Abbey Dojima Sake Brewery: www.dojimabrewery.co.uk.