Savvy sake makers’ awards surprise


A Queenstown company’s won international recognition for producing some of the best sake outside the beverage’s traditional home of Japan.

Zenkuro Sake – New Zealand’s only sake brewer – won gold for its drip-pressed shizuku shibori style sake and silver for its ‘White Cloud’ nigori style at the recent London Sake Challenge.

Co-owner Craig McLachlan says 30 golds were awarded but only two were produced out of Japan “so that’s pretty exciting”.

“Almost all the names in the silver medals are Japanese, too.”

McLachlan’s delighted with the gongs, since the company only started production late last year.

He says they’re a credit to fellow partner and head brewer David Joll.

During the judging process, he says a judge tweeted that their brew was the best bottle he’d sampled that day.

“He said, ‘finally there’s something out of NZ rather than sauvignon blanc’.”