Visiting Ontario Spring Water Sake Company in Toronto

On the second last day of our trip to Canada this summer, Kazuko and I stopped by the Toronto Distillery District to visit the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company, which makes Izumi (泉) brand sake. It is a bit of a long story, but through some sake connections here in Nagano, I was able to introduce the current Toji of OSWSC to the general manager, Kaz, on his visit here to Miyasaka Brewery (maker of Masumi). Anyway, Kazuko and I were happy to meet with the Toji, Takahashi-san, Kaz, and the owner, Ken, who are all pictured here:

Visiting OSWSC in the Distillery District, Toronto, July 2011

The brewery just opened this year, and has a nice compact set-up that allows visitors to view the brewing and nestle up to the bar for tasting of fresh, unpasteurized (nama) sake. After touring the brewery, we sampled all of Takahashi-san’s sakes, which were crafted towards the Canadian palate; sweet, full-bodied, and fruity.

If you are in Toronto, definitely plan on making a visit to the brewery and the Distillery District.


3 Responses to “Visiting Ontario Spring Water Sake Company in Toronto”

  1. 1 Will Auld July 18, 2011 at 21:42

    How does OSWSC compare in size and capability to the kura you work for? Brewing capability steamers, polishers…

    • 2 gjnewton July 20, 2011 at 13:31

      Hello Will. It has been a while, nice to hear from you (my fault for not posting much recently). OSWSC is pretty small- it is right in the heart of the Distillery District where space is at a premium, but has everything a brewery needs to function. They don’t have a rice polisher, nor does the brewery here, as they both get their rice pre-polished. OSWSC ordered a steamer and a fune-press from Japan, had a Finnish sauna maker build a koji-mura, they have 3 fermentation tanks (around 600-800 L capacity each, I am guessing), an electric boiler, walk-in fridge, and a small, hand bottler. The space is definitely compact, and the half of the walls are glass, so customers can see the brewing process in action. All and all, I think they have done a great job setting the brewery up, and are making good sake. Do you have plans to visit Toronto anytime?

      • 3 Will Auld July 25, 2011 at 01:46

        No plans really and I have never been to Toronto, well except passing through it when I was a kid.

        How is your brewing going? Do you enjoy it as you thought you would?

        I just visited Yasutaka-san 2 weeks ago, he is looking really good.

        Did you or are you still working on translating a brewing book? I have been working on writing one for the homebrewing community and it is coming along well.

        Stay well

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