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Osaka Brewery to make premium sake in UK

Dojima hopes local production will popularize the Japanese beverage

Attendees at the preopening ceremony of Dojima Brewery's sake brewery in the town of Ely, in eastern England, participate in the tape cutting in front of the facility on Sept. 14.

ELY, U.K. -- A sake brewery built in eastern England by a Japanese company was officially opened for business at the beginning of October.

President Yoshihide Hashimoto of Dojima Brewery, headquartered in Osaka, opened the plant in hopes of expanding the market for the Japanese beverage.

The brewery, located close to the historic city of Cambridge and its prestigious university, completed a test brewing in spring and will produce up to 8,000 bottles annually, using rice imported from Japan and water taken from a local source.

Two brands of sake to be produced -- Dojima and a newly developed variety called "Cambridge" -- will each cost a handsome 1,000 pounds ($1,300) for a 720ml bottle. Both will be sold mainly to high-end restaurants.

The U.K.'s Department for International Trade and other entities helped the company acquire land and obtain an operating license.

A restaurant serving sake will also be set up to make the brewery a place to experience and learn about the drink.

The brewery held a preopening ceremony on Sept. 14, attended by Japanese Ambassador to the U.K. Koji Tsuruoka, local politicians and guests.

"Communicating Japan's tradition and spirit is one of the roles of sake," Hashimoto said at the ceremony. "We hope to make this a place where people from sake breweries around the world can gather."

The brewery will also house a training program for aspiring sake brewers.

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