Entries by Timothy Sullivan

Stunning Sake Production Video from Matsumoto Brewery

Mastumoto Brewery is a well known Kura in Fushimi, Kyoto. Recently, they’ve produced a video that shows the beauty of the sake production process unlike anything I’ve seen before. Looks like the filmmakers also used a drone to get aerial shots of the brewery. However they did it, it’s stunning and worth a look for […]

Sake Dispatch from 1907 – “Potent Liquor is Sake”

I recently came across this century old description of Japanese sake and was thrilled to learn about it’s author, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), a greek born writer who became one of the first western writers to document Japan. He had a Japanese wife and lived in Japan from 1890 until his death in 1904. The article […]

New Cup on the Block: Azasu!

Longtime readers of Urban Sake will know that I am a devoted fan of Cup Sake! So much so, I organized a cup sake week back in 2009! Cup sake week never took off, but I still love my single serving cup sake every chance I get. My hopes for a cup sake renaissance got […]

4th World Sake Sommelier Competition

Calling all Sake Sommeliers! SSI and Sake School of America are hosting the 4th World Sake Sommelier Competition! Are you a sake professional and want to get in on the action? Email by May 20th to apply your spot for regional competitions in LA, Chicago or NYC. Details below! Sake Service Institute International presents 4th […]

Sake Tourism to Japan: Sake Journeys!

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Japan’s best Sake regions, meeting the sake brewers and drinking the very best sake on the planet? Now you can! I hope you’ll consider joining me on our next Sake Journey to Japan from March 12-19! The best way to learn about our tour is to visit the […]

2013 Golden Masu Awards

Another year has come and gone. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the sakes of 2013… Year after year, I produce this semi-serious “Golden Masu Award” roundup, which is my totally biased take on the superior sakes, bodacious brews and nihonshu of note of the past year. The biggest change for me was that […]

Sake and Nobu at De Gustibus Cooking School

Recently, I had the good fortune to get invited to introduce some sakes at a cooking class – but this wasn’t just any cooking class, this was a cooking seminar from the chefs of Nobu New York, Nobu Next Door and Nobu 57 at the renowned De Gustibus Cooking School inside Macy’s. I was presenting […]

Joy of Sake Friends & Family Discount

We’re all sake friends here, right? Well, lucky us because I have a discount code for friends and family of Urban Sake to get $15 off the cost of admission to the Joy of Sake! When you are buying your tickets use code “FAFNY”. Act fast this offer expires Sunday Sept 8th!! Friends & Family […]

Urban Sake Upgrade 2013!

Back in 2006, just one year after starting my website, I was proud as a new papa of my fledgling Urban Sake website redesign. I was crowing about my new Sake Directory filled with a whopping 20 sakes! Well, as they say… times have changed! I’ve known deep down it was time for a facelift, […]

New Film: The Birth of Sake

I’ve visited many sake breweries over the years and always have my camera or video camera in tow. I am always sure I’ll capture the perfect video to help convey the magic of sake making on film. Well – it doesn’t quite work out that way. Reviewing my raw footage, I am usually foiled by […]

The 10 Commandments of Sake

Well, good heavens! I’ve been teaching about sake since 2007 and believe me, I get it – sake can be confusing and even downright intimidating for those just getting started. I always thought it would be a good idea to pull together a cheat sheet of core concepts to help everyone understand more about sake […]

Daishichi Baccarat Sake Night at Hakubai

Daishichi is a sake brand that is famous for two things – its exclusive use of the Kimoto brewing method, and it’s extreme elegance. That elegance was on full display at a recent sake dinner featuring Baccarat Crystal at the Hakubai Restaurant in the Kitano Hotel. This was another amazing night at Hakubai. When I […]

Urban Sake on NBC

The upcoming “Sake and the City” event on February 12th in NYC is going to be an amazing evening of enjoying Nihonshu. As part of the promotion for this event, I was invited to appear on NBC as part of their live (LIVE!!) 7pm local NYC newscast to talk about sake and the event. Luckily, […]

2012 Golden Masu Awards

2012 zipped by in a flash. Where has the time gone!? I can only stare into the bottom of my empty sake cup and wonder. For me, this year was a whirlwind of great sakes, old and new. It’s also been a year of learning and teaching. I’m discovering that sharing my love and passion […]

Exploring Sake in Glorious Gifu

I recently visited Gifu Prefecture for the first time. I was lucky enough to be invited to tag along on Sake Discoveries’ tour of Gifu guided by JETRO this past October. Over just a few days, we crisscrossed the Prefecture, visiting many sake breweries and experiencing some truly unique parts of Gifu’s culture. It was […]

Visiting Tomita Shuzo – Shiga’s Shichihonyari

I first saw Tomita Shuzo in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture on a visit I took there in 2008. It’s interesting to note that it seems both a lot and nothing has changed. The brewery is still making small batches by hand with a small staff and achieving amazing results. But on the other hand, you can […]

Visiting Shata Shuzo – Ishikawa’s Tengumai

One of the most well known sakes in Ishikawa Prefecture is Shata Shuzo’s Tengumai. I recently had the opportunity for return trip to Ishikawa and didn’t want to miss another chance to see the latest goings on at Tengumai. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the brewery by the Master Brewer (Toji) […]

Visiting Miyasaka Brewery – Nagano’s Masumi

Miyasaka Shuzo’s Masumi is a well known and well loved brand of sake in the U.S. and one that was among the very first sakes I ever tried. It was therefore a long, long overdue visit, when the stars aligned and I got a chance to visit Nagano Prefecture for the first time and see […]

Sake Discoveries & Kaburaki Kutani Ware at BoConcept

Last night was a night of beautiful sake and Kutani Porcelain at the elegant BoConcept store in Chelsea. Organized by our friend Chizuko of Sake Discoveries, the event featured a range of top end sakes and a display of gorgeous porcelain made by Kaburaiki Kutani Ware and on hand as a special guest was kinomo-clad […]

Akita Fall Sake Tasting 2012

The genius behind the Akita Sake Club’s bi-annual tasting event is that, contrary to the name, they don’t limit their sakes to Akita sakes only. About half are from Akita, but it’s a wonderful chance to taste sakes from all over Japan with an emphasis on Akita. This event was also the debut of some […]

Fukuju Night at Sakagura

Last night, I enjoyed another fun night of sake at Sakagura. Fukuju brand, made by Hoygo’s Kobe Shushinkan Brewery was celebrated and they offered a tasting set for all the guests. Visiting directly from the brewery was Mr. Kubota. Each guest who ordered the tasting set received a cute ochoko (sake cup) with the Fukuju […]

Hiyaoroshi Hijinks: Nov. 2012 Urban Sake Tasting Club!

Last night was the second Urban Sake Tasting Club Event! We held our event at Sakagura and focused this time on Hiyaoroshi Sakes, which are also known as “Fall Namas”. We started the meeting with a fun “kagami biraki” which is a ceremonial breaking open of the sake barrel. We had a handy tabletop version […]

Fukuju Sake Tasting at Sakaya

Hyogo’s own Kobe Shushinkan Brewery recently made their debut of their “Fukuju” brand at New York’s most famous sake store Sakaya. Mr. Kubota came directly from the Brewery to introduce his sakes here in New York. On this night, he was pouring Fukuju Mikageko Junmai and Fukuju Junmai Ginjo. Fukuju Mikageko Junmai is an elegant […]

Kyoto Brewery Visit: Kinoshita Shuzo – Tamagawa

Earlier this year, Mr. Philip Harper, master sake brewer at Kyoto’s Kinoshita Sake Brewery came to NYC to promote his outstanding Tamagawa brand of sake. I used the opportunity to snag not only an interview with Philip, but also finagled an opportunity to visit his brewery in Kyoto. When I was planning my trip to […]

Kyoto Brewery Visit: Masuda Tokubee Shoten: Tsukinokastura

Masuda Tokubee Shoten, makers of Tsukinokatsura brand sake are famous in Japan and throughout the world. They sell their sakes from Kyoto to New York, Paris, Berlin and beyond. I received an invitation to visit the brewery and got to see what makes Tsukinokatsura special. This brewery was founded in 1675! Tsukinokatsura makes several wonderful […]