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Bibendum's launches 15-strong sake range for UK on-trade and independents

Published:  14 July, 2014

Last week marked the offical launch of Bibendum's new range of sakes to the on-trade and independent merchants in the UK.

The new sake range is made of 15 sakes from four producers from around Japan, including three that have never previously sold their sake outside of Japan.  Bibendum's sake offering has been developed with the assistance of Natsuki Kikuya, founder of the Museum of Sake.

The sake producers in the new Bibendum collection include Akita Shurui Seizo with the Takashimizu range, Niizawa with Hakurakusei range, Shiraki with the Daruma Masamune range and Tenzan Shuzo with the Shichida range.

The producers linked up with Bibendum last week to promote and introduce the sakes to key prospective on-trade and independent customers in the UK. 

Shigeri Shiraki, vice-president of the Shiraki brewery, said: "This is my first visit to London and I have been amazed by the response and people's thirst for information about sake. Everything I have seen shows me that the UK is ready to embrace sake just as they have other aspects of our food culture such as sushi and sashimi."

The Tenzan Sake Brewery is the brewery where the Shichida Range for Bibendum's new sake range is being produced

Sake continues to gain recognition and wider distribution in the UK. Bibendum hopes to capitalise on this trend and develop a reputation for delivering quality sakes ahead of other suppliers in the UK, said Gareth Groves, head of marketing at Bibendum.

Antony Rixon, Bibendum's director of regional sales, said last week's tour had been a success: "The response from bartenders, chefs, sommeliers and independent retailers has been brilliant. We have paired sake with everything from tapas to ramen, and shown it can work in all sorts of restaurants, not just those specialising in Japanese food."

Bibendum has also launched a comprehensive sake guide for the on-trade that includes the brewing process of sake, a complex tasting wheel, a style guide explaining different styles of sake that are produced and advice on food pairings and storage and how to incorporate sake into a drinks list.

All 15 sakes will be available in the next two weeks and trade prices range from £14.95 for Akita's Takashimizu Honjozo to £83.77 for Shiraki's 20 year old Daruma Masamune. All  sakes are being cold stored in the UK to preserve freshness prior to sale.