Sake Tasting with Philip Harper

Japan House London

Come to Japan House on Saturday 10th August for a unique tasting session with Philip Harper, toji (sake brewmaster) of Kinoshita Brewing Company in Kyoto. Philip is the only British brewmaster working in Japan, and has written extensively on the subject of sake.

During this tasting session, visitors can try a variety of Kinoshita sakes and discuss all things sake with a true expert. For those favorably impressed, Tamagawa sakes will be available to purchase at The Shop in Japan House.

Dates Saturday, 10th August 2019
Time 3:00pm-6:00pm
Place Japan House London
101-111 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA [map]
Sake List Tamagawa “Red Label”
Tamagawa “Tokubetsu Junmai”
Tamagawa “Time Machine”
Ticket Free (walk-in)

About Kinoshita Brewing Company

Tamagawa Time Machine
Tamagawa “Time Machine”

Tamagawa Sake has been made at the Kinoshita family brewery on the same site for five generations, since 1842. The brewery is situated five minutes from the Japan Sea coast in the far north of Kyoto Prefecture. The area has long been a highly regarded region for rice production, and snowy winters and soft spring water drawn from the mountain behind the brewery are ideal for brewing fine sake.

When the toji (master brewer) who had served for over four decades passed away in 2008, the owner resolved to remake Tamagawa for the 21st Century, and took the bold step of recruiting Philip Harper, the first and only non-Japanese toji in Japan, as the brewer’s new toji. Displaying a broad grasp of the sake-brewers art, he introduced earthy wild-yeast brews and produced a fragrant prize-winning daiginjo in his very first season at Kinoshita Brewing Company.

About Philip Harper

Philip Harper
Photo by Anthony Rose

After arriving in Japan in 1988 Philip Harper quickly developed an appreciation for sake. Following a stint in a specialist sake restaurant he joined the Ume no Yado brewery as an apprentice in 1991.

Over the last twenty years he has worked in four breweries, joining Kinoshita Brewing Company as toji (master brewer) in 2007. The brewery’s line of “Tamagawa” sakes is exceptionally varied, ranging from aromatic daiginjos to rich, earthy labels that hearken back to the sakes of centuries past. In 2009 the brewery was awarded a gold medal for its entry in the Japan National Sake Appraisal.

Harper’s Insider’s Guide to Sake remains the best introduction to sake available, and was followed by The Connoisseur’s Guide to Sake. During the brewing season he lives in Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture. He spends the off-season in Osaka, and is supported by his wife, Yasuko, all year round.