Award-Winning, Hand-Made, Small Batch, Fresh Sake

Established in 2007 on Granville Island, Artisan SakeMaker is known as a unique commercial winery that produces award winning, hand-made, small batch and fresh sake. Our brand name “OSAKE” is widely recognized as “Canada’s first locally produced fresh premium sake” and its popularity has reached across the country and beyond. The philosophy of our production centres upon “sustainability, all natural and locality.”

Namazake: Fresh, Premium, Unflitered Sake from Granville Island, BC

Handcrafted in our artisan studio located at Railspur Alley on Granville Island, Osake is the first “fresh premium”Junmai Sake [Namazake] of its kind produced in Canada. Fermented from top-quality Japanese sakamai, then hand-pressed and hand-bottled, Osake is left unfiltered to optimize its fresh, delicate, fruit-like aromas and flavours.

Unlike premium sakes imported from Japan, which are typically produced once a year in winter, Osake is made in small batches several times a year in cycles roughly corresponding to the changing of the seasons. This departure from tradition allows us to explore and produce versatile wines that complement the varied in-season bounty of our local west coast cuisine-from fish and shellfish in spring and summer to heat-warming braises and stews in fall and winter.

Osake: Fermented Rice Wine from 100% Canadian Ingredients

Sake is a traditional Japanese beverage that is produced through the fermentation of rice.  Currently sake production in Canada depends on the import of rice from other countries such as Japan and the US.  Since 2009 Artisan SakeMaker has been tirelessly working on the research for producing rice locally in BC in the hope that OSAKE can be made from 100% Canadian contents.

With a successful harvest in the Fraser Valley in 2012,  OSAKE’s 2013 production includes batches made from 100% BC grown rice; a dream come true for Artisan SakeMaker in its passionate pursuit for producing true “Canadian Sake.”  This research document is  produced and being shared with the members of  farming communities in BC and elsewhere in Canada who may pursue rice growing practice and become rice producers to support the expansion of the Canadian Sake into the future.

About Masa Shiroki, the Artisan Sake Maker

Masa Shiroki makes two things perfectly clear. Sake is not distilled alcohol and it is not similar to beer. “It is produced by fermentation. It is rice wine.”

Shiroki, who lectures on sake for International Sommelier Guild courses, should know. In January 2007, the Japanese-born entrepreneur opened Canada’s first sake “winery”: Artisan SakeMaker on Vancouver’s Granville Island, where the sake is fermented from top-of-the-line Japanese Junmai rice and pressed and bottled by hand. It is also unfiltered and free of preservatives, for a beverage with delicate fruit-like aromas and flavours much different from the cruder California sakes dominating the B.C. market. – Kerry Banks

Artisan Sakemaker Sake Tasting Room Experience 

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11:30 am – 6:00 pm

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