While Greg Newton was studying microbiology in Japan, he spent a lot of his free time in small breweries, or sakaguras, in Nagano. He took a job in one, eventually honing his trade under master brewer Yoshiko Takahashi, who Newton enlisted to help set up Toronto’s—and North America’s—first sake brewery. At Ontario Spring Water Sake, in the Distillery District, it takes about a month and a half to produce one batch of booze—that’s because the persnickety process is mostly done by hand. When it’s all said and done, head brewer Newton and his team will have transformed 300 kilograms of rice into 1,500 bottles of sake. Here’s how it’s made.
Ontario Spring Water Sake Company
When Ken Valvur first tried fresh, unpasteurized Japanese sake, it changed his life. “That’s how I fell in love with it,” he recalls. “When I tasted just-pressed sake, it was an amazing moment for me.” There are few sake breweries in North America (Canada has two on the west coast), so the alcoholic rice beverage is usually pasteurized for its transport over vast distances. Most Torontonians never get to enjoy sake the way it was meant to be. Valvur intends to change all that when he opens the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company, the first sake brewery in eastern North America. The doors are scheduled to open this spring in the Distillery District. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »