Our team have spent most of their lives with some connection to the land where sake comes from: Japan. They have a passion to share their appreciation of not only Japan, but also the place that they call home, Queenstown, New Zealand. Our sake is an expression of the surroundings and the water sourced from the pristine mountains and lakes around our home.
Dave, Craig & Richard also run Tanken Tours Ltd and Wilderness Adventures Ltd in Queenstown, catering to Japanese visitors – see www.nzwilderness.co.nz
Dave first travelled to Japan as a 17-year old exchange student, many moons ago. He majored in Japanese at Auckland University then did post-graduate studies on Japanese culture at Shizuoka University and Hitotsubashi University in Japan. He is also a black belt in Judo. After years of research drinking sake, he is now our master of the brewing process and Zenkuro team leader.
Craig has completed many epic journeys on foot all over Japan, fueled by sake along the way. A 4th-dan black belt in Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate, Craig has an MBA from the University of Hawai’i and JAIMS (Japan America Institute of Management Studies), and is a co-author of Lonely Planet’s Japan guidebooks.
Richard graduated with honours from Leeds University, England and after years of travelling the world, including living in Tokyo, he settled in Queenstown. An outdoor enthusiast, he is the write and publisher of New Zealand flora and fauna books in Japanese and specialises in Japanese media visits for Tanken Tours Ltd.
Yoshi is one of Japan’s foremost ‘sake missionaries’. Passionate about the history and culture of sake in Japan, he actively promotes the spread of all that’s good about sake throughout the world. A graduate of Keio University, Yoshi is also co-owner of YK3 Sake in Vancouver, Canada, and is an enthusiastic member of the Japan New Zealand Business Council.
How Zenkuro Is Born – Our Founding Story
One night in late 2014, Dave, Yoshi, Craig and Richard sat down in front of a rugby game with a bottle of sake in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. They had drunk most of it when Dave piped up, “Why don’t we start New Zealand’s first sake brewery?”
Please click here for our founding story!