Fordham to become home of UK’s first sake brewery after application is given the green light

PUBLISHED: 14:04 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:02 04 August 2016

The Dojima Sake Brewery, which is to be built at Fordham Abbey.

The Dojima Sake Brewery, which is to be built at Fordham Abbey.


Up to 100 jobs will be created in Fordham after plans to build the UK’s first sake brewery were approved.

Some of the disused barns that will be demolished to make way for the brewery.Some of the disused barns that will be demolished to make way for the brewery.

Japanese company Dojima is to build the brewery on the Fordham Abbey Estate after the East Cambs District Council’s planning committee approved its application yesterday.

Up to £9 million will be invested into the brewery and once built it is expected to attract 30,000 visitors every year.

Case officer, Rebecca Saunt says the brewery can “become an economic catalyst for the area” and a “leading tourism and visitor attraction.”

She said: “The broader plans for the site are equally as exciting. It has been apparent from the outset that Dojima are keen to work with the local community and develop a scheme which is sensitive to its location and historic setting and we are confident that this will continue to be the case.”

Fordham Abbey, part of which will be turned into a Sake BreweryFordham Abbey, part of which will be turned into a Sake Brewery

Disused agricultural barns on the historic Fordham Abbey site will be demolished to make way for the brewery, which is expected to create up to 100 jobs in East Cambridgeshire over five years.

There were no objections to Dojima’s application, which planning committee chairman, Joshua Schumann said potentially has “large community and economic impacts and has already generated a great deal of interest.”

A community consultation was held at Fordham Abbey in December last year to discuss the application and a Dojima spokesman said: “We can promise that we will do our absolute best to maintain the beauty of Fordham Abbey and make it as thriving as we can. We would also like to get more involved with the local community and do whatever we can do to help.

“We really appreciate your support and we need all the help we can get from communities far and wide.”

Fordham Abbey fact file

• The Fordham Abbey Estate was created in the 18th Century on the site of the demolished Fordham Priory, which was a Gilbertine Abbey founded in the reign of Henry lll in the 13th Century by Robert de Fordham.

• The current house was built in 1790 for William Metcalfe.

• It replaced a similar Georgian house constructed in 1710.

• Materials from this earlier house, such as bricks, were reused and constructed instead was a simple classical Georgian villa with symmetrical appearance.

• The Dovecote remains on the original site where the Gilbertine Monks used to live.

• The Lewyn-Smith family lived in the house since 1957 and they farmed on the arable land around the estate.

What is Sake?

• Sake is a Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.

• Sake is produced by a brewing process like that of beer, where the starch is converted into sugars before being converted into alcohol.

• In Japan it is often served with special ceremony – gently warmed in small earthenware or porcelain bottle called a tokkuri, and sipped from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki.

• Undiluted Sake usually contains 18-20 per cent ABV.


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