75 episodes

SAKE ON AIR is an exploration into the stories, people, lifestyle, and what’s really happening in the world of SAKE and SHOCHU. The show is brought to you by a team of experts based here in the Sake Homeland of Japan, working and thriving on the front lines of the industry. Together with local and international guests from a range of fields, both sake-specific and sake-curious, each week we’ll be going beyond just, “What is sake?” and instead, exploring the excitement, challenges, depth, and possibilities in, what we think, is arguably the world’s most fascinating and enjoyable pair of beverages.

Sake On Air Sake On Air

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 26 Ratings

SAKE ON AIR is an exploration into the stories, people, lifestyle, and what’s really happening in the world of SAKE and SHOCHU. The show is brought to you by a team of experts based here in the Sake Homeland of Japan, working and thriving on the front lines of the industry. Together with local and international guests from a range of fields, both sake-specific and sake-curious, each week we’ll be going beyond just, “What is sake?” and instead, exploring the excitement, challenges, depth, and possibilities in, what we think, is arguably the world’s most fascinating and enjoyable pair of beverages.

    Future of Sake with Les Larmes du Levant & Kanpai London

    Future of Sake with Les Larmes du Levant & Kanpai London

    Seeing as how we haven’t featured any of our esteemed sake brewing revolutionist friends on the European continent recently, we thought it was about time we check in. This week we’re joined by Tom Wilson, co-founder and head brewer at Kanpai in London, as well as Grégoire Boeuf, kuramoto at Les Larmes du Levant, located in Pélusin, France.While often loosely lumped into the same category, both brewing (excellent) sake on the same continent, the approaches and philosophies of these two breweries, as well as their experiences in getting established, growing, and also working through the ups and downs of the past couple of years are entirely unique to themselves and their individual scenarios.Both Grégoire and Tom share with us a bit about the early days getting started and the initial motivations for making the leap into the sake world, but also open up about their thoughts (and actions) surrounding a vast range of topics, including the overall communication of the sake category, the honest nature of the sake brewery, challenges with taxes and regulation for sake in Europe, the balance between honoring tradition and the importance of creative freedom, and how getting back to basics and doubling down on quality and meaningful work has been a savior in times of trial.Sebastien Lemoine and Justin Potts are now highly motivated to figure out how to execute a Sake On Air European Tour following this enjoyable and insightful session. Each of these breweries deserve their own feature, so we’ll definitely be sitting down with this week’s guests again in the future – hopefully in person – while continuing our exploration of the sake brewing landscape across Europe and beyond.Be sure to follow along with the exciting endeavors of @kanpailondon and  @larmesdulevant as well.Thanks for tuning in this week. You can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you rely upon for your podcasting needs. Contact us at questions@sakeonair.com with any thoughts about the show, and feel free to follow us on  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Everything from Sake Future Summit 2020, as well as a number of other recordings, are all archived over on our YouTube channel, as well.







    We’ll be back in two weeks with plenty more Sake On Air.Until then, Kampai!Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Three-year Anniversary Special

    Three-year Anniversary Special

    On October 18th, way back in the distant past that was 2018, we released the first official episode of Sake On Air. Exactly three years to the day, we got the entire crew together to commemorate and celebrate (virtually) along with our listeners and supporters  from across the globe.Back at the end of September we still weren’t sure what we would be able to do in order to share this special occasion. The Japan Sake and Shochu Information Center still wasn’t able to host and serve sake or shochu, the same being true for bars and dining establishments across most of Japan. We were at the tail end of what was essentially an extended ban on the service of alcohol extending back into mid-summer, a move that surprised everyone.So when word got out at that from early October we were going to be able to share a space – and a drink or two – we scrambled to make it happen. It was a bit short notice, but we wanted to share that time with all of you out there that have been listening, following, and supporting the show throughout these past three years.For those that would like a visual component to this week’s episode, we did indeed livestream the get-together on both YouTube and Facebook. Due to a few technical hiccups it’s a black screen for a majority of the time up through about the 28:00-minute mark (our apologies), but there are some great tidbits of insight and food-for-thought during that time as well, so do listen in.Thanks to the incredible support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association for believing in our vision back when sake-related podcasting ceased to exist, we’ve been able to gradually grow and develop Sake On Air into a show that shares not only the stories and information related to sake and shochu, but also the people and the joy that the community surrounding these incredible beverages have brought to all of our lives for so many years. To be able to share just a fraction of that with all of our listeners has been an absolute honor.But it doesn’t stop here! We’ve got plenty in the works for year four and beyond. Stay with us and we’ll keep on bringing you all of the sake, shochu and awamori goodness that you’re looking for – and then some.







    To all of our listeners we send a massive heartfelt ‘Arigato’ and enthusiastic ‘Kampai’ from the entire team here at Sake On Air.  







    We’ll be back again in two weeks.







    Until then, Kampai!







    Feel free to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you rely upon for your podcasting needs. You can contact us at questions@sakeonair.com with any thoughts about the show, and feel free to follow us on  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Everything from Sake Future Summit 2020, as well as a number of other recordings, are all archived over on our YouTube channel, as well.Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Interview with Gautier Roussille

    Interview with Gautier Roussille

    Back in Episode 65 during our discussion with the president of Sohomare, Mr. Jun Kono, another interesting name popped; that of Gautier Roussille.An agronomist and oenologist by trade, Gautier’s exposure to sake back in 2006, followed by years of proactively exploring and researching the category, eventually lead him to a brief foray as a kurabioto at Sohomare, which then inspired one of the most thorough examinations of the sake-making process to be outlined in print in a language other than Japanese. His book, Nihonshu: Japanese Sake, first published in French in 2016, with a Kickstarted English version appearing in 2018, has come to serve as an invaluable resource to the world’s ever-curious sake aficionados and budding sake brewers.With a professional background rooted in the science and related practices of winemaking and the agriculture supporting it, the lens through which he explores and communicates the world of sake is rooted in relatable, analytical, and practical experience. Currently co-manager of Domaine Guillemot-Michel, a celebrated winery that transitioned to biodynamic agriculture back in 1991, his experience in the field, in the winery, and through research, has informed his perspective on sake, a category that he now regularly educates for and consults on, also serving as judge for both the International Wine Challenge and Kura Master.Gautier shares his rational, logical and well-informed perspective on our favorite drink with Sebastien Lemoine and Justin Potts this week. It’s a thoughtful and inspiring conversation from which we think all of our listeners can find something that speaks to them and furthers their passion and interest in this fermented beverage we all love.







    Feel free to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you rely upon for your podcasting needs. You can contact us at questions@sakeonair.com with any thoughts about the show, and feel free to follow us on  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Everything from Sake Future Summit 2020, as well as a number of other recordings, are all archived over on our YouTube channel, as well.We’ll be back in two weeks with more Sake on Air.Until then, Kampai!Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Sake Brewing School at Gakkogura

    Sake Brewing School at Gakkogura

    Along with a general interest in sake expanding globally, the number of homebrewers curious to try their hand at sake making and professional brewers setting up formal production operations around the world continues to grow year-on-year at an ever-increasing rate.At the same time, as the population committing themselves to sake both personally and professionally across a range of activities - from sales and distribution to education and evangelism - more and more people are looking for ways to get a little bit closer to the process and craftmanship of sake in order to further develop their understanding from a more personal and experiential angle.The need to fill the gap between “brewery tour” and “full-on brewer” for a growing number of sake-curious and sake professionals has been growing for years. Thankfully, Gakkogura appeared.Officially operating in limited capacity since 2014, Gakkogura (literally, “Brewery School”) is the work of Obata Shuzo, makers of Manotsuru brand sake on the beautiful and historic Sado Island in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Niigata Prefecture.The project began, not with the intention of constructing a brewing school, but with a desire to save a piece of personal history on the island. Due to population decline and decreasing number of children on the island, the beautiful Nishimikawa Elementary school had already been committed to closure by the local government, ending more than a century of youth education that spanned multiple generations of islanders.Wanting to develop a means of saving the school and preserving it as a place for learning and connecting in the local community, president of Obata Shuzo, Mr. Ken Hirashima, along with his wife, Mrs. Rumiko Obata, the non-stop powerhouse leading the charge of the family business, together they settled on a community-centric, educationally-driven micro brewery as the means of breathing life into the historic structure.Brewing only a small number of batches each year from late-Spring through the end of Summer, each batch of sake made is crafted with a specific goal in mind for a specific group of individuals, with the hands-on component of the brewing process timed and organized to fit the needs of the small group of people that have committed to attending the school on Sado Island for a pre-determined week in the summer.Designed to be more than just a technical training establishment, each group of participants selected for each program are each attached to a single batch of sake, through which they are introduced not only to the production process, but also to life and culture on Sado Island and the role that sake plays in the lives and livelihoods of the people. Each group is taking part, not only in making sake, but in becoming a contributor and ambassador to the majesty of the island and the unique role that each batch of sake is crafted to play upon being introduced to the world at large.Due to some peculiar legal regulations surrounding the production of sake in Japan, it wasn’t until 2020 that Gakkogura was finally able to really open up its operations and promote and share the fruits of their labor in a more outward-facing capacity. Having obtained that additional bit of freedom amidst the COVID pandemic, it’s really just now that Gakkogura is beginning to transform and grow into a new phase of community development and brewing education.For this episode, in the first half we’re joined by Mrs. Rumiko Obata, representing five generations of Obata Shuzo and the communicative force behind Gakkorua. In this short interview, Obata-san shares with us some insight into the origins of the brewing school, the values driving the project, and the relationship between the unique brewery and the special place that is Sado Island.For the second half, to offer a bit of an experiential perspective, we have a short roundtable discussion between this summer’s final group of brewing students, who were assigned to help craft the bre

    • 54 min
    Listener Questions: August 2021 Edition

    Listener Questions: August 2021 Edition

    This week at Sake On Air we tackle a wide range of sake and shochu-specific topics based upon questions submitted by you, the listeners!Even though we’re always available and eager to engage with our listeners, viewers and followers across all of the online spaces you can find us on, we also recognize that there’s still a great deal more that we could be doing to facilitate that dialogue. This episode is just one small piece of a larger initiative in-the-works to help make that happen.In order to help improve and expand the flow of communication between our listeners and everyone here at SOA, we’ve actually welcomed a new partner-in-crime to the crew!It was thanks to Cindy Bissig that we were able to make this episode happen, and if you happened to submit a question or interact at all with us here on social media over the past couple of months, chances are it was Cindy that you were talking to.A talented, ambitious, sake-loving and ever-traveling documenter of the Japan experience, we were incredibly lucky to have our world collide with Cindy’s despite a year of limited interaction and travel. For the past few months she’s been keeping a close eye on the world of sake to share up-to-date info with our listeners, while also going out of her way to create more opportunities to dialogue with the people that make this show a joy to create: you.On this week’s show, Cindy joins a handful of your regular hosts, Rebekah Wilson-Lye, Justin Potts and Chris Hughes, to tackle your questions and offer perspective from our position over here on the fine island of Japan. Consider this “Part 1”, as we still have many more questions that we weren’t able to get to and we’re always accepting your thoughts and questions. It’s an ever-expanding, never-ending quest that we’re on.







    Be sure to send along a big “Kampai!” to Cindy and welcome her to the show! And while you’re at it, let us know what you think of this week’s format and if you’d like to hear more of this type of discussion-based Q&A from your hosts and guests. You can go ahead and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you rely upon for your podcasting needs, as well. Contact us at questions@sakeonair.com with any thoughts about the show, and feel free to follow us on  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Everything from Sake Future Summit 2020, as well as a number of other recordings, are all archived over on our YouTube channel, as well.We’ll be back in two weeks with more Sake On Air.Until then, Kampai!







    Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Sparkling Sake Interviews: Ichinokura & Shichiken

    Sparkling Sake Interviews: Ichinokura & Shichiken

    Continuing this month’s series examining the world of sparkling sake, this week we bring you a pair of interviews with sake makers that have been instrumental in both evolving and improving the sparkling sake category.Regular host Chris Hughes first sits down with Mr. Hitoshi Suzuki, president of Ichinokura, and sales representative Ms. Erina Nakamura, to discuss what’s largely considered to be the industry’s first commercialization of a naturally fermented sparkling sake product, the Miyagi-based brewery’s beloved Suzune, along with the sake’s roots in their other popular Himezen line of sake.Following that discussion, Chris then invites CEO of leading sparkling sake producer, Yamanashi Meijo, makers of Shichiken, Mr. Tsushima Kitahara, to discuss not only the technical evolution of their sparkling sake, but also how committing to the style as a core of their business has resulted in sparkling sake now making up more than 30% of their overall sake production, with a dedication to ever-improving quality and communication around the style leading to opportunities and partnerships that are opening new doors for the wonderful world of sake.If you have more questions about the fascinating world of sparkling sake, please do reach out to us. We welcome both your questions, as well as stories of your own experiences and discoveries with the style. We’ll be revisiting this topic again down the road, so any thoughts and feelings you’re willing to share now will serve as fuel for developing a future episode of Sake on Air.







    You can always help us out by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you rely upon for your podcasting needs. Contact us at questions@sakeonair.com with any thoughts about this week’s show, and feel free to follow us on  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Everything from Sake Future Summit 2020, as well as a number of other recordings, are all archived over on our YouTube channel, as well.We’ll be back in two weeks with more brand new Sake On Air.Until then, Kampai!







    Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is a co-production between Export Japan and Potts.K Productions, with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

tahomafuji ,

Sake on air

Thanks for creating this platform. Can’t wait to hear what the future holds.

Goldwynn12 ,

Great podcast on sake.

Great podcast with interesting aspects

Aesymen'tes ,

It Certainly Has Some Roots To Grow

It is next to impossible to find any sake related podcasts at all in the present moment. And fewer with anything relevant or interesting to discuss. As an American sake enthusiast, I would love to devour as much knowledge and history on the subject as I can!

This podcast has been a rather valuable insight into the world of sake, but unfortunately with some glaring flaws that I sincerely hope they address in the future. First off, the group is almost near impossible to hear, even at the highest volume. A lot of talking points go completely unnoticed or don't stick due to half of the words being lost in the patchy silence.

And second, there really doesn’t seem to be that much structure to their discussions. While I do like these round table talks, it seems like the hosts are just spitballing around thoughts instead of giving me a more concise narrative. I do like it, but I wish they were a little more structured.

As it stands I appreciate this pod but I’m a little disappointed. Hopefully the show will continue to improve with time, cause they’re really the only game in town!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

You Might Also Like