Interview: Philip Harper – Toji, Kinoshita Brewery

Philip Harper is well known in the world of sake as Japan's first foreign-born Master Sake Brewer or Toji. He arrived in Japan in 1988 to teach English on the Jet Program and later began working in sake breweries. By 2001 he had passed the…

Interview: Kazuhiro Sakurai, Dassai Sake Brewery

I had the pleasure of visiting the Dassai Brewery in January and February of this year for an extended stay. I learned a ton about sake brewing and life in Japan. The Brewery's Vice President, Kazuhiro Sakurai, was kind enough to sit down…

Interview: Junko Igarashi, Sake Sommelier

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Junko Igarashi who is a sake sommelier at Jewel Bako restaurant in New York City's East Village. I wanted to ask Junko, From her unique perspective as a sake sommelier, regarding her feelings about all things sake.

Interview: Koji Kawakami, Yoshinogawa Sake Brewery

Founded in 1548, Yoshinogawa Sake Brewery is the oldest in Niigata Prefecture. That is 462 years of sake making in Niigata! I recently had the distinct honor of sitting down with Yoshinogawa's 19th generation company President, Mr. Koji…

Interview: Kazuo Matsuura, Honke Matsuura Brewery

Honke Matsuura Brewery makes the famous Narutotai brand sake. When I recently met the brewery President, Dr. Kazuo Matsuura, he kindly agreed to answer some questions about his sake, his brewery and his native Tokushima. Narutotai is wildly…

Interview: Jihei Isawa, Katsuyama Brewery

I had the distinct honor of meeting the president of Miyagi Prefecture's Katsuyama Sake Brewery, Mr. Jihei Isawa, earlier this year. I tasted several of his sakes and can report they were a revelation! Isawa-san was kind enough to sit down…

Interview: Yohei Ito, Akita Seishu Brewery

Late last year, had the opportunity to meet Mr. Yohei Ito of Akita Seishu Sake Brewery. Akita Seishu is well known for many delicious sakes including both the Kariho and Dewatsuru brands. Mr. Ito was kind enough to agree to answer some questions about the sake world from his point of view.

Interview: Jouji Sato, Hinomaru Brewery

I was delighted to get the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Jouji Sato, president of Akita's Hinomaru Jozo Sake Brewery. Sato-san was in New York promoting his sakes and my friend Linda Noel Kawabata arranged for us to talk. Linda is the…
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Interview: Chizuko Niikawa, Sommelier & Cup Sake Fan

Our friend Chizuko-Niikawa-Helton of SakeDiscoveries.com is a famous Sake Sommelier and a fan of "cup sake". I recently caught up with Chizuko-san at the beautiful
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Interview: Maki Osugi, Cup Sake Blogger

I first discovered Maki Osugi's 'One Cup Sake' Blog, bq69 collectibles, when I was searching the internet looking for any information I could find about Japanese one cup style sake. You can't imagine my surprise when I wrote to Maki-san and discovered he spoke fluent english! Below is the interview!

Interview: Sake Social’s Marc Smookler

Well, it's been the 21st Century for a few years now and while we don't yet have flying cars in every garage, there has been some pretty cool stuff happening! We've elected the first African American President, driven remote controlled rovers…

Interview: Paul Tanguay

Mr. Paul Tanguay is well known as a real sake authority and a go-to guy for sake education in the US. I first met him when he was Corporate Beverage Director for SushiSamba, and developing a special interest in Sake.

Interview: Lannie Ahn at Izakaya Ten

Izakaya Ten is a great Japanese style sake pub in Chelsea. Becoming ever more sake friendly, they recently expanded their sake list and also expanded their hours (Thursday-Saturday 'til 3:00am). Who's behind all this wonderful sake expansion? It's Lannie Ahn, Izakaya Ten owner, but also a true sake aficionado. I recently sat down with Lannie to discuss the world of sake.

Interview: Dewey Weddington at SakeOne

My recent trip to SakéOne in Forest Grove, Oregon gave me a chance to visit with Dewey Weddington, their Vice President of Marketing. Dewey was kind enough to answer some of my questions about SakéOne and the sake industry.

Interview: Chris Pearce and the Joy of Sake

The annual Joy of Sake tasting event is considered the "not to be missed" sake event of the year. Luckily, there is still time to get a ticket for this veritable sake-palooza, which is happening this year in New York on Sept 25th. I've enthusiastically…

Interview: Johnnie and Taiko of Sake Nomi

Johnnie and Taiko Stroud have something really unique in Seattle. I haven't yet had the chance to visit, but it sounds like a little piece of paradise... they operate a Sake store called Sake Nomi, that also happens to be a sake tasting bar!…

Interview: Mr. Yageta of Fukumitsuya Brewery

I recently got the chance to sit down with Mr. Junichi Yageta, who works for the very well regarded Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery. Fukumitsuya Brewery, founded in 1625 in Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture, is the producer of the "Kagatobi"…

Interview: Miho Imada of Imada Brewery

I had the great pleasure of meeting Miho Imada, Master Brewer for the Imada Sake Brewery, for the first time at Sake Hana back in 2006 and again in April 2008. Imada-san's sake is a splendid example of hand crafted Hiroshima Sake. There are…

Interview: Rick and Hiroko of SAKAYA

SAKAYA is already a New York City landmark for the emerging Sake community in the City. Owners and my dear friends Rick Smith and Hiroko Furukawa have been running the shop now for over 6 months with great success, working 7 days a week to…

Interview: Akiko Ito of Akita Seishu Brewery

I have had the pleasure of enjoying many Akita Sakes, and recently caught up with Akiko Ito, Overseas Sales and PR Executive for Akita Seishu Brewery, makers of the well-regarded Kariho Brand of sake. Ito-san was kind enough to be interviewed…
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Brewer Interview: Tsushima Kitahara

I recently had the chance to try Shichiken Junmai Ginjo Sake (SMV +4, ALC 14.5%) once again. It's really an amazing brew. The one thing I hear again and again about this sake is that it's versatile and can be easily enjoyed both chilled and…