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 • 28 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.

    Designing Your Own Sake with Nathaniel Hoy

    Designing Your Own Sake with Nathaniel Hoy

    This week Chris Hughes continues our discussion of contract brewing sake with a conversation with Nathaniel Hoy. We started this series with Episode-117: A Sake of Your Own: Contract Brewing Sake: in which Sebastien Lemoine, Chris and Justin Potts shared their opinions and expertise on the trend of sake companies brewing custom sakes for clients. We recommend you listen to that episode before listening to Chris’s interview with Nathaniel.Nathaniel describes himself as just a sake enthusiast, but he is much more than that. Aside from collecting professional sake certifications, Nate worked at Kintora Shuzo in Nagoya during the Pandemic. He still spends much of his time promoting the brewery. He is also the creator of “En” a custom-brewed sake that he made with Sekiya Brewery Ginjo Koubou. The way he went about deciding what kind of sake to make left even Chris rather surprised.In this episode we learn more about the process of custom ordering sake. We also learn about Nate’s special relationship with Sekiya Brewery, and how that enabled him to make a fully unique sake.If you want to know what “En” tastes like and are in Japan, you can reach out to Nate via his Instagram. His sake may also start being sold in some sake shops, as he is making more of it every year!Of course and as always, if you have questions or comments please do share them with us at questions@sakeonair.com or head over to our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook we would love to hear from you! We’ll be back very soon 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 brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.

    • 51 min
    Craft Sake Week with Rebekah Wilson Lye

    Craft Sake Week with Rebekah Wilson Lye

    In this week's episode of Sake On Air Sebastien Lemoin and Cindy Bissig are talking about the World’s largest sake event, which just so happens to be a project that one of our other regular hosts; Rebekah Wilson Lye is deeply involved in. We are of course talking about Craft Sake Week in Tokyo!







    Japan’s most prominent sake event, which was founded by no other than Hidetoshi Nakata in 2016 is not it its 8th installment and is promising to top everything we have seen before. With even more “extra time”, this year CSW will be over the duration of 12 days (kicking off on the 18th of April and finishing on the 29th of April 2024), showcasing 120 breweries from all around Japan bringing some of the best brews available including sake we do not often see at similar events. Accompanied by some of the best food Tokyo has to offer in a stunning space featuring Taichi Kuma’s fabulous art installations, as well as the chance to experience an electrifying lineup of DJs and performers that will elevate your evening with unforgettable entertainment.







    But aside from the obvious, CSW is so much more and in this episode we are digging a little deeper than just mentioning the breweries or how to navigate it. We were lucky to have Rebekah share with us not just her extensive knowledge of the sake world per se, but also the trends she has been witnessing over almost a decade of CSW, how the industry evolved and how that is reflected in this very special festival.







    We hope that this will help you enjoy this special event and of course if you are having questions or comments please do share them with us at questions@sakeonair.com or head over to our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook we would love to hear from you!







    We’ll be back very soon 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 brought to you by 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
    Preserving the Flavors of Sake with Coravin & Toku

    Preserving the Flavors of Sake with Coravin & Toku

    During the recording of Episode 115 “Should sake be promoted like wine?”, Sarah Stewart mentioned a research project between some members of the British Sake Association, and Coravin, the US firm selling a device aimed at preserving the flavors of wine in the bottle after indulging oneself with one glass or two. Intrigued, Sebastien Lemoine reached out to Grace Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at Toku Sake, a premium Junmai Daiginjo produced in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, for the UK market, as well Greg Lambrecht, inventor of Coravin and Chairman of the company, based in Boston.







    You will hear about Coravin’s history and how the device works, in general and for sake (in effect the results of the research project launched by Toku Sake), as well as how Coravin is helping Toku Sake to open new doors at bars and restaurants. 







    If you ‘d like to share what devices you are using to preserve the flavors of your favorite drink after opening a bottle, you can do so on Instagram, X, or Facebook, and you can reach us all directly with your thoughts or questions at questions@sakeonair.com.







    There’s more Sake On Air headed your way again in just a couple of weeks.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 brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew.

    • 1 hr
    A Sake of Your Own: Contract Brewing Sake

    A Sake of Your Own: Contract Brewing Sake

    This week Justin Potts, Chris Hughes, and Sebastien Lemoine discuss the growing trend of sake companies making special sakes for clients and/or partners. The conversations covers the benefits to both established breweries and entrepreneurs trying out their ideas before having to create their own brewery. Their conversation also goes into the differences between partnership sakes, private brand sake, and OEM sake. Check out Episode 41 on Link 8888 for more insight into the world of sake collaboration projects. If you have some of your own sake (or shochu) education experiences that you’d like to share with us here at Sake On Air, you can do so on Instagram, X, or Facebook, and you can reach us all directly with your thoughts or questions at questions@sakeonair.com.







    There’s more Sake On Air headed your way again in just a couple of weeks.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 brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew.

    • 54 min
    Rebroadcast: Matured Sake, Aged Sake

    Rebroadcast: Matured Sake, Aged Sake

    This week we’re digging a classic from out of the cellar – our episode exploring the absolute magic of sake that’s been crafted to stand the test of time.While still a relatively niche category within sake, more and more producers are leaning into clearly communicating the amount of time – and in what form – their sake spends maturing prior to release, and the wider beverage-loving community is finally taking notice.From a production standpoint, there are tricks of the trade that allow for all variety of flavor and style creation. The one quality that really can’t be replicated, however, is the unique and special character born only through the passage of time.We welcome you to take a step back in time with us this week, joining your hosts Marie Nagata, Sebastien Lemoine, and Justin Potts, revisiting this episode originally released back in the spring of 2021. If you’re looking to further explore the world of aged sake, I encourage you to check out the special session we hosted on the topic for the Sake Future Summit back in 2020, as well.Thanks for tuning in this week. We’ll be back with more Sake On Air for you very soon.















    Despite a rich and storied history spanning millennia, in certain terms, sake has yet to unequivocally prove its ability to stand the test of time.If you’re in some way associated with the sale or service of sake, likely one of the most common questions you get is, “How long can I keep my sake before it starts to go bad?” or, “How long does sake stay good after it’s opened?” As a buyer, these are both logical and very important questions. As an industry, having clear and concise answers to those questions is equally important. In order to keep things simple, as well as to help assure an overwhelmingly positive experience for as many sake drinkers as possible, the general message adopted suggests that sake should be consumed within 6-12 months from purchase, refrigerated both prior to and after opening, and then consumed within several days to a week once it’s been opened. This is sound advice that’s relevant to a great majority of the sake being produced and sold both domestically and internationally.There is, however, a paradigm that exists entirely outside of the above logic; where a greater element of time isn’t only a factor, but a necessity.Welcome to the world of matured and aged sake.Often referred to as koshu – literally “old sake” – often translated as “aged sake”, or jukuseishu, commonly translated as “matured sake”, bottles of sake referencing these qualities were crafted taking time into account. That amount of time can be anywhere from a few years to a few decades depending on the style of sake and the intent of the brewer, and in many cases the results are astounding.Yet despite plenty of beautiful examples of aged or matured sake on the market and countless historical texts singing the praises of what time can do to a bottle of sake, a rather perfect storm of circumstances coalesced to nearly erase aged sake culture, production, and consumer appreciation from the collective understanding of sake for about a century.Thankfully, a relatively small, but thoughtful, proactive and coordinated effort from a growing number of sake makers and sellers has been hard at work seeking to rebuild and redefine what time can mean (and cost) when factored into a bottle of sake. Whether it be the collective rebranding efforts of the Toki Sake Association, the Muni line from Kokuryu used in the first ever sake industry auction in 2018, the dedication to long-term aging in ceramic storage vessels by Tsuki no Katsura, or a handful of specialty bars dedicated to the unique and treasured style, awareness surrounding the magic that time can work on a bottle of the right kind of sake is slowly building.This week, Sebastien Lemoine, Marie Nagata and Justin Potts gather to discuss the historical and modern context of matured and aged sake

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Studying Sake with Michael Tremblay

    Studying Sake with Michael Tremblay

    It feels like only the very recent past when opportunities for more formal sake education and certifications were few and far between, and when they were available, they were often infrequent and hosted in only a handful of territories, which made learning from knowledgeable industry insiders and professionals relatively prohibitive for most of the world’s growing number of sake-curious. Thankfully offerings from formalized organizations and institutions expanded, and a handful of ambitious sake pioneers helped increase both the frequency and quality of these much-needed places and spaces.This week’s guest, however, not only positioned himself on the front lines of the sake education movement as a certified instructor of the WSET sake curriculum while raising the bar for service night-in and night-out as the Beverage Director of Ki Modern Japanese + Bar in Toronto, he also established the world’s first core curriculum and certification focusing on the regional qualities of Japanese Sake with the Sake Scholar Course. His extensive travel throughout Japan and relentless dedication to furthering the depth of knowledge available to sake professionals led to him being anointed a Sake Samurai in 2018. In 2022 he (literally) wrote the book on sake, together with Nancy Matsumoto, providing the world with the James Beard Foundation Award-winning (and fantastic), Exploring Craft Sake: Rice, Water, Earth.This week we’re thrilled to welcome one of the world’s leading sake educators, Michael Tremblay, as he joins Justin Potts to discuss the nature of teaching, studying, learning, and growing together with the ever-expanding sake-inspired community around the world.If you’d like to follow along with Michael’s tireless endeavors you can catch him @mtrsake or @sakescholarcourse. If you have some of your own sake (or shochu) education experiences that you’d like to share with us here at Sake On Air, you can do so on Instagram, X, or Facebook, and you can reach us all directly with your thoughts or questions at questions@sakeonair.com.







    Thanks so much for raising an ochoko with us this week. There’s more Sake On Air headed your way again in just a couple of weeks.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 brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 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!

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