Philosophy

Our Concept

The beauty of nature’s impermanence

The beauty of nature's impermanence is nature in its most fundamental sense - the fleeting sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees, the sounds of a sudden swirl of wind, the twittering of birds that soon fly away; the magical momentary beauty of the cherry blossoms that fade away... we can think of endless examples.

Impermanence; this is a term describing a certain sense of beauty in Japan. It is based on the idea that we, human beings, are a part of nature so we can coexist with nature by embracing and loving nature that always changes and doesn’t last forever.

If you look at the world of fermentation, you can find beauty in the lifestyle of microorganisms such as yeast and koji (a friendly and magical mold). They each change themselves with respect to each other and the world around it; at any moment are never quite the same.

Working in harmony with the microorganisms as they are at any given moment, we create sparkling sake batch by batch which is made from rice, water, yeast and koji. We do not think our product is just an alcoholic beverage; each batch is a work of art which expresses the beauty of nature’s impermanence.

By experiencing the beauty of nature’s impermanence you will feel in harmony with nature —

The Sparkling Sake Brewery was started with this life philosophy.

Our Story

A Life-Long Love of Change

The founder of the Sparkling Sake Brewery, Naoki Toyota, was a boy who was curious about ‘nature's impermanence’ in his childhood. Sometimes he was fascinated by the fleeting and surprising change of the sky, other times, he gazed at the randomly changing of colour and shape of the campfire caused by the stacking of the wood and angle and strength of the wind.

In 2017, he had his first baby and his wife enrolled in a business school in London. He decided to take an unexpected decision by Japanese standards; he took a 2 year paternity leave to move to the UK to support his family. The decision might have been made by his curiosity to see how he, as a part of nature, could mature through these once in a lifetime and temporary moments by going beyond the culture and values that shaped his life until this point.

English gardens and the world of fermentation

His life in London had a huge impact on him - he felt a sense of familiarity with the English gardens he visited with his daughter many times - each garden is landscaped yet allowed to grow naturally and never looks exactly the same day after day.

During his paternity leave, he tried to make ‘cloudy sparkling sake’ - a Japanese sake which is made by the same method as Petillant Naturel - a traditional type of natural sparkling wine. Observing this process, he was surprised by the world where the microorganisms (koji- a friendly special mold and yeast) are changing themselves and in harmony with each other and their existence at any given moment.

The inspiration from English gardens and the world of fermentation filled him with the desire to express ‘the beauty of nature’s impermanence’ through naturally sparkling sake in the UK.

Bringing Japanese aesthetics to the UK

*The Sparkling Sake Brewery established in 2021 in Cambridgeshire

Naoki then went on to undertake a rigorous and specialized training in Nara, the birthplace of sake, under Mr. Kurose* who is known as one of the legendary sake brewers in Japan. In April of 2021, he subsequently started a small brewery of only 400 sq ft, located in the suburbs of Cambridgeshire, which is dedicated exclusively to the production of naturally sparkling sake.

Naoki is now brewing a sparkling sake which will bring to life his values and Japanese aesthetics in the UK.

*Mr. Kurose is known as one of the representative sake brewers in Japan. He hand-crafts his products in Nara with an extremely limited edition run. He is called a “legendary brewer” by fanatics seeking his products. He had also achieved fame before getting into the sake industry as the brewer producing ‘'Hyakunen no Kodoku' - a premium shochu.

   *The Sparkling Sake Brewery established in 2021 in Cambridgeshire

Our seal of authenticity

Our seal of authenticity is the visual identity of the Sparkling Sake Brewery - when you see this mark you’ll know it’s a product hand-crafted by us. The mark is designed in the spirit of the motif of the traditional Japanese ‘hanko’ stamp. The lines inside the circle are drawn in the Japanese hiragana “script”: あわ awa’ meaning ‘sparkling’ which expresses what is at the heart of our single minded production line. The elegant and delicate curve and the non-symmetrical shapes express the ever changing, non linear, beauty of impermanence in nature. Furthermore, the feeling of authenticity resulting from ‘organic’ and ‘crafted’ process we take is represented by the slightly non-uniform lines of the symbol mark.

Members

The Sparkling Sake Brewery was founded by the following members with a passion to pursue our philosophy.

Naoki Toyota
CEO / Head Brewer

After a rigorous and specialized training in Nara, the birth of sake in Japan, he move to the UK to start The Sparkling Sake Brewery. He is curious about the nature's impermanence.

Tracey Delaney
Chief Brand and Marketing Advisor

A New York native by way of Tokyo now based in the UK, Tracey has a 30+ year history with Japan and a 20+ year career in global communications across Asia, the US and Europe. She is also a certified International Kikisake-shi (Sake Sommelier) passionate about sharing her love of sake.

Yosuke Hatanaka
Chief Customer Experience Advisor

Through his career in developing products and services, Yosuke has been cultivating his sense and skill for designing user experiences. He applies this expertise to the project to create a delightful sake experience.

Yohei Takayama
Chief Finance Advisor

After receiving his MBA from London Business School in 2019, Yohei joined PE funds as a senior associate. He is responsible for the global expansion of Japanese traditional eyewear brands etc.

Yoshiyuki Imoto
Creative director

Yoshiyuki has 10+ years of experience in a global advertising agency. He received numerous awards around the world including D&AD Graphite Pencil(Wood Pencil), NY ADC Silver, ADFEST GOLD, etc.

Yuki Nakao
Art Director

Yuki has been working on corporate branding to packaging design as an art director. One of his clients is a major beverage brand and he is responsible for the art direction of a market leading Japanese whiskey.