Arran Brewery, the firm behind award-winning ales Arran Blonde and Arran Dark, is raising funds through crowd sourcing for the sake project at the site of a former primary school in Dreghorn, near Kilmarnock.
Arran has acquired the five-acre site and is to submit formal plans for the sake brewery, training school and a research and development centre. Managing director Gerald Michaluk said: “The sake brewery will almost exclusively export to Japan. We have been making sake on a very small, almost domestic, scale and are now ready to build a sizeable facility”.
He said he believed Japanese shops would stock Scottish sake due to the popularity of Scotch whisky. Sake is actually produced by a brewing process more like that of beer.
The firm is also hoping to use the £4 million of crowd-sourcing funding to create two new breweries and visitor centres called the Forth and Clyde Brewery and the Loch Earn Brewery – as well as a micro distillery and bottling plant on the site of the former Rosebank distillery in Falkirk and a chain of beer bistros and craft-beer bars.
Brewery equipment for sake, including rice boilers, is being imported from Japan. It is hoped the Sake Brewery will be operational by the winter – the traditional time to make the drink.