The Void Sake Company, Kentucky’s only sake brewery

Learn about The Void Sake Company — Kentucky’s only sake brewery + Lexington’s hidden spirited gem — found in the Warehouse Block.

Two men standing behind a bar

Co-owners Justin LeVaughn (left) + Joe Rice (right) explain what makes sake rice special. | Photo by LEXtoday

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We know that bourbon gets all the buzz when it comes to Bluegrass beverages. But, did you know that Lexington is home to another specialty drink?

Say hello to The Void Sake CompanyKentucky’s first + only sake brewery.

We met with co-owners Joe Rice, Justin LeVaughn, and Brandon Floan, who proudly invite everyone to stop by, “Drink Kentucky sake,” and learn more about how this fascinating spirit is made.

A lineup of glasses, bottles, and cans from Void Sake

Void Sake just started canning bubbly seltzers in September. | Photo by LEXtoday

What is sake?

Also known as Japanese rice wine, sake is an alcohol made from fermented rice. The grain is smaller as it is milled to concentrate the starch of the rice.

Fun fact: The brewery goes through ~2,200 lbs of rice per month.

Here’s a quick overview of bringing grain to glass in sake production:

  • Polishing, washing + soaking — This helps remove the husk, bran, and nutrients leaving a starchy rice grain.
  • Steaming — You know the process, but this time with a lot more rice.
  • Koji-making — A Japanese mold spore is dusted on top of the cooled, steamed rice producing sugar, which yeast turns into alcohol.
  • Mashing — Water + more rice are continuously added as it continues to ferment.
  • Pressing — The fermented rice is placed in small bags and then pressed to create the sake. The leftover yeast (kasu) can be sold to restaurants, chefs, and farmers.

The process takes about six to seven weeks. And the result? Void Sake’s lineup of fruitier, smoother flavors.


This weekend, Friday, Nov. 4-Sunday, Nov. 6, the Warehouse Block bar is hosting “Cyberpunkadelic” — a pop-up art gallery + live show with local painter Joe King. He’s the artist behind the mural outside of Void Sake + this piece at Fourth and Jefferson. Other highlights of the weekend include:

  • Live painting + a meet and greet with Joe
  • Teppan food truck
  • Original art + prints for sale

Pro tip: You have to try City Editor Molly’s favorite, “The Shining One,” which tastes like a melted creamsicle bar.

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