I was lucky enough to hear about a true “underground” tasting at Decibel, the much beloved downstairs sake bar in the East Village. The vibe was very much a Japanese speakeasy crossed with a flash mob. It was crowded, but fun to see all the regular Decibel customers enjoying a taste of some fantastic sakes.
The sakes featured were Wine of Japan imports and included Tenzan, Sawanoi, Shirayuki and many others and were being introduced by the brewers themselves!
Tenzan Brewery President Mr. Shichida called on his friend Tenzan Man to step in and help introduce his sake to Americans. Although he looks like he might bodyslam you ala Hulk Hogan, Tenzan Man is all about the sake. His mask even has “Tenzan” written in Japanese Kanji! The most well known of their sakes is the ‘Jizake Tenzan’, which is the very strong Genshu style sake. Powerful and delicious!
I also met up with Mr. Kodama who was kind enough to show me around Sawanoi Brewery on my recent trip to their brewery. Kodama-san was introducing his Tokyo Prefecture sakes to the large crowd at Decibel. The sakes from Sawannoi are fantastic and despite making a lot of sake, they maintain the hand crafted, micro brewed feeling. Delicious.
Shirayuki is a brewery I have not had the chance to visit yet, but I was happy to meet Mr. Minamikawa who let me taste a selection of their brews. They are a large producer of sake and have a big distribution both at home and abroad. Minamikawa-san was great at explaining the ins and outs of each of his sakes.
This was such a fun event! I hope you all have a chance to visit Decibel sometime soon. It’s the ultimate east village “underground” sake bar! Tell ‘em Urban Sake sent you!