EP 5 – Shochu Mixology and Sake in Paris



In recent weeks we’ve had the opportunity to sit down with some exciting guests for special events and interviews, and this week is no different.

First, we’re finally giving some much-deserved attention to the world of shochu this week. Better yet, we were able to round up an amazing group of bartenders, mixologists and all-around beverage specialists that have been resetting the standards for quality and innovation in some of the world’s most recognized and lauded drinking and dining establishments across New York, London and Sydney. For those following the cocktail scene, everyone on the show this week likely needs little-to-no introduction.

 

We’re joined by Thomas Waugh, bartender and director of bar operations for Major Food Group in New York, overseeing establishments such as Dirty French, ZZ’s Clam Bar, The Pool Lounge, and others; as well as heading up the bar operations at Karasu, the izakaya-style Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar.

We also welcome Mike Enright, owner and bartender at Sydney’s famous gin bar, The Barber Shop, often popping up on many Most Influential Bar and Bartender lists, both in Australia, as well is internationally. He’s even taken his mastery of gin to a new level with a line of gin-infused/inspired grooming products – a rather perfect pairing for a Barber Shop.

Then we have Ryan Chetiyawardana, likely better known to everyone as Mr. Lyan. He’s the man responsible for White Lyan in London, the cocktail bar that shook up the industry when it opened in 2013, as well as Dandelyan, voted World’s Best Bar 2018, Cub, and Super Lyan. He might very well be one of the busiest men in the business.

And last but certainly not least, we have Matthew Hunter, head bartender at the renowned Eleven Madison Park, ranked best restaurant in the world at 2017’s World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards.

 

A huge thanks to these gentlemen who were kind enough to join us for a quick chat, and a shochu tasting, following a whirlwind week-long journey throughout Kyushu, Japan’s southern island and motherland of shochu.

 

And, to top things off, for the second segment we travel to France to get our sake fix! Or shall a say, France comes to us! Right after successfully wrapping up another Salon Du Sake in Paris, Sake Samurai and organizer of France’s largest celebration of all-things-sake, Mr. Sylvain Huet, popped in to chat with us during his recent visit to Japan, where he was also organizing the first annual CMB-hosted Sake Selection awards in Mie Prefecture. We catch with Sylvain on what he’s been up to, the evolution of Salon du Sake, and what he’s excited about with regards to sake in Paris.

 

Sebastien and Justin guide you on this densely packed episode that traverses the globe, as well as bridges the worlds of sake and shochu. We hope you enjoy.

 

– 03:24 Interview with Matthew Hunter and Thomas Waugh

– 15:04 Interview with Mike Enright and Ryan Chetiyawardana

– 32:13 Interview with Sylvian Huet

 

@sakeonair is where you can find us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. You can also find us on Soundcloud and YouTube (hopefully) very soon.

Send your questions, comments, praise, criticisms, show ideas, and kind words to questions@sakeonair.com

A nice review is always welcome, as well.

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan, with Mr. Frank Walter making it all sound lovely.

Thanks for listening.

Kampai!

Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.


EP 4 – What Tea & Sake Share; Future of Sake w/ Masumi & WAKAZE [LIVE @ Aoyama Sake Flea]



As promised, we’re back again for two straight weeks of live interviews straight from Aoyama Sake Flea, the bi-annual celebration of sake and craft culture, hosted in collaboration with Tokyo’s iconic Farmers Market @ UNU (United Nations University).

This week, Sebastien and Justin are first joined by Dimitry Bulakh, director of twelv., Japan’s (the world’s!?) first premium organic sake bar, located here in Tokyo, as well as founder and director of Far East Grocery, specializing in organic teas from throughout Japan and across Asia.

Dimitry has settled on a significant fine cross-section of two worlds that are much more closely related than they may appear at first glance. We chat with him about how he is utilizing both these worlds to create amazing beverage experiences as twelv., what it means to focus on “organic” or “natural” sake, the shared histories of both tea and sake, and what these two incredible beverages (and their corresponding struggling industries; at least in Japan) can learn from one-another in order to shape an exciting future for both.

Next up, we delve into the relationship between tradition and innovation in the world of sake with two inspiring producers that are attacking the concept full-on from completely different ends of the spectrum.

Here, Christopher Hughes steps in as we’re joined by Katsuhiko Miyasaka, next in line for the throne at Miyasaka Brewing Company, producers of the internationally renowned and revered Masumi brand sake. Since his return to the brewery after a stint of work in various fields and international adventure, he’s proactively taking the roots of Masumi and leveraging them to create sake, promotion, and events that are designed to bring the Nagano brewer’s traditions to an entirely new generation of sake lovers.

Alongside Katsuhiko we also have Fumi Yasuda, the young and ambitious international sales representative for WAKAZE, one of Japan’s newest sake breweries that is crafting brews unlike the world has ever seen. Initially collaborating with breweries across Japan to prove their concept and shock the sake world to attention, they’ve now established one of Tokyo’s only sake brew pubs, Whim Sake and Tapas, where they now craft their own experimental brews, as well as doburoku and original lines of sake. They have their eyes set on opening a brewery in France in 2019.

It’s a packed episode this week, and we’ll be back AGAIN next week with more interviews and insight from…someplace new!

Note that the next Aoyama Sake Flea is scheduled for the Spring of 2019, on March 30-31. Stay tuned here for updates! And be sure to swing by the Farmers Market @ UNU if you find yourself wandering Tokyo over any weekend and are looking for some fantastic food, beverage, and people.

As always, @sakeonair is where you can find us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. You can also find us on Soundcloud and YouTube very soon.

Send your questions, comments, show ideas, and kind words to questions@sakeonair.com

It also helps to leave us a nice review so that we can further share the sake love with more listeners like yourself.

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan.

Thanks for listening.

Kampai!

Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air


EP 3 – Farmers Markets & Bettering Our Food with Sake w/ Nancy Singleton Hachisu [LIVE @ Aoyama Sake Flea]



Over the next couple weeks (yes, we’ll be going weekly for a short stint!) we’ll deviate a bit from our standard format, but that’s because we have something special lined up!

 

The fine folks at Aoyama Sake Flea, the bi-annual celebration of sake and craft culture, hosted in collaboration with Tokyo’s iconic Farmers Market @ UNU (United Nations University), reached out to the Sake On Air crew to see if we might be interested in hosting a few live shows at the festival.

 

You had us at “Sake”. (And “Festival”!)

 

Hosting four live recordings over two days, we brought in a number of really fascinating guests, both brewers, as well as those championing sake through a number of unique and different avenues all their own.

 

This week, we’re sending you the first 2 sessions from day one of the festival. For the first half of the show we’re joined by Masaki Yamada, events coordinator for the Farmers Market @ UNU, along with Akiko Shibata, president of Tokyo Sake-ten and head of business development for Niigata sake producer, Myoko Shuzo. Together we explore the nature of the farmers market in Tokyo and its role in bringing people together with sake producers and creating a culture around sake for a new generation. Now in its 9th incarnation, Aoyama Sake Flea is now gearing up for its round 10, scheduled for March 30-31 in 2019 – and they’d love to integrate international brewers and artisans for the next round! To all those championing sake abroad, listen up on how you might be able to take part in one of Tokyo’s most homegrown, community driven sake festival that puts the producers at the forefront.

 

For the second segment, we’re joined by none other than the talented and inspiring Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of the recently released, Japan: The Cookbook, as well as the game-changing, Japanese Farm Food, and the lifestyle staple, Preserving the Japanese Way. We managed to coax her away from the farm (and work on her next book!) in Saitama to join us for a mid-day “Kampai!” to discuss, not only her new book and recent projects, but primarily how she views the role of sake in cooking. Now when we say “sake”, remember that in Japan, “sake” refers to all varieties of alcohol. For our purposes, we focus primarily on the sake that our listeners all know and love, as well as spend a good amount of time delving into the magic of mirin, as well. Not to mention the delicious and versatile offshoots from the world of sake, such as sake-kasu, amazake, rice koji, as well as sake crafted specifically for culinary purposes.

 

Links for some of the products and producers that Nancy mentions are below:

Mikawa Mirin

Yamaki Jozo

Terada Honke

Imayotsukasa Shuzo

Kidoizumi Shuzo

– Great “ryori-shu”, or, additive-free and naturally brewed “cooking sake”, like this one from Okidaikichi Honten, makers of the fantastic Shizengo line of sake. (Sorry, not much English info available…)

Black Market Sake

 

Part 1: Farmers Market & Aoyama Sake Flea (w/ Akiko Shibata & Masaki Yamada)

2:19-20:05

Part 2: Bettering our Food with Sake (w/ Nancy Singleton Hachisu)

20:30-49:08

 

Your hosts for these special outings this time around are Christopher Pellegrini, Christopher Hughes, and Justin Potts. (We try to keep good rotation around here in order to keep things fresh.)

 

As always, @sakeonair is where you can find us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. You can also find us on Soundcloud and YouTube very soon.

 

Send your questions, comments, show ideas, and kind words to questions@sakeonair.com

 

It also helps to leave us a nice review so that we can further share the sake love with more listeners like yourself.

 

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Kampai!

 

Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.


EP 2 – State of the Industry



EP 2 – State of the Industry: Japan

How in the world did we get here? Where exactly are we? Where is all this headed?

These are the themes that Christopher Hughes, Sebastien Lemoine and Justin Potts share, ponder and discuss on this episode of Sake on Air.

From tax laws to land reform, market perception to distribution, we try to apply a bit of context for the current state that the sake industry (in Japan) is in.

Looking strictly at the numbers, things appear a bit dire.

But looking at what’s been taking place here on the ground in recent years, there’s nothing but excitement as to how far the industry could develop, the shape it could take, and what sake has the potential to become.

Here’s the thing: this is a massive topic.

Here’s the reality: there’s a bit of rambling.

Here’s what we’d love: for you to let us know specifically what you’d like to know more about.

If you are interested in and care about what sake has in store for the world (we hope you do!), mail us at questions@sakeonair.com and tell what you’d like us to find the answers to. What about the state of the industry interests you? What are you curious about?

Give us the questions, and on a future episode, we’ll give you the answers. As this is our final warm-up(ish?) episode, we’re already planning a follow up on the topic. For the next round, instead of making it our episode, we’d rather make it yours.

@sakeonair is where you can find us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. You can also find us on Soundcloud and YouTube very soon.

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan.

Please subscribe and maybe after a couple more episodes, once we’re up to speed and have ironed out the kinks a bit, you’re more than welcome to leave us a nice review to help us share the sake love with more listeners like yourself.

Thanks for listening!

Kampai!

Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.


EP 1 – The Cast of Characters



And characters they are indeed! We’re giving ourselves one more “warm-up run” before we really dig in, so we thought it only made sense to round the team up at the bar and pass the tokkuri as we reminisce and share, “How did I get here?” stories. Plus, we wanted our listeners to get to know exactly who it is that will be guiding them on these twice-a-month journeys into the depths of the sake and shochu world – never to return!

This week John Gauntner, Sebastien Lemoine, Christopher Hughes, Christopher Pellegrini, Shuso Imada and Justin Potts are all here playing musical chairs. For sake and shochu aficionados, these may be old friends, or possibly new faces (voices?). While we’re all here with the same goal in mind, we have rather different backgrounds and inspirations that have led us to where we are today, and as a result, equally unique approaches and perspective.

This week’s episode serves as more of an introduction of sorts, but over the coming weeks and months we think you’ll find that the team’s varied experiences and interpretations on how the world of sake is expressing itself might inspire as many new questions as answers.

We want to empower our listeners, not only with the information to help you all make the most out of your own sake and shochu experiences, but to also provide context and stories for how the industry got here, where it might be going, and empower everyone to find their own unique connection to the world of sake. As with just about anything, there are different opinions, styles, values and schools of thought. We hope that by trying to inspire a more diverse and varied dialogue around sake, we can inspire more people to engage with the infinitely deep and fascinating (not to mention, just really, really delicious!) world of sake.

So this week, just kick back with your ochoko in-hand and a bottle of hiyaoroshi by your side (it’s autumn!) and get to know your navigators. This is just the beginning.

As always, please send questions, feedback and show ideas to:
questions@sakeonair.com

@sakeonair is where you can find us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. You can also find us on Soundcloud and YouTube very soon.

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan.

Please subscribe and leave us a (good) review to help us share the sake love with more listeners like yourself.

Kampai!

The Sake On Air theme is: “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew


EP 0 – Sneak Peek



Episode 0 – Sneak Peek

 

Welcome! You’ve just stumbled upon a “sneak peek” at the new Sake On Air podcast, what is soon to be a bi-weekly production examining the stories, people, questions, and future of sake and shochu directly from Japan.

 

Recorded at the Japan Sake and Shochu Information Center, located in the heart of Tokyo, your hosts and members the SAKE 2020 team are setting out to deliver news, interviews, live broadcasts, and introduce new dialogue into the international sake stream of consciousness, straight from the front lines of the sake industry in Japan.

 

Your rotating team of hosts are:

 

John Gauntner
Sebastien Lemoine
Christopher Hughes

Christopher Pellegrini
Shuso Imada
Justin Potts

 

This episode offers up just a small sip of what’s to come. Give it a listen, share with your sake-loving and shochu-curious friends, and come back to join us for more Sake On Air very soon.

 

Feel free to send questions, feedback and show ideas to:
questions@sakeonair.com

 

You can follow us for the latest updates by searching @sakeonair on both Instagram and Twitter, as well as on Facebook.


You’ll also be able find us on 
Soundcloud and YouTube very soon.

 

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan.

 

Please subscribe and leave us a review to help us share the sake love with more listeners like yourself.

 

Kampai!

 

Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

*Snippets from this Sneak Peek also include the voice of Brian Polen, co-founder of Brooklyn Kura. The full interview will be coming your way very soon!