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 • 27 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.

    A Message from Sake On Air

    A Message from Sake On Air

    Back in October of 2018 when we released the very first episode of Sake On Air, none of us had recorded or produced a podcast before, and there was no precedent for what a podcast about sake and shochu could or should be. At the time, the number resources with quality information about what sake is were both growing and improving – which was fantastic! So instead of retreading that same material, we set out with the goal of “expanding the dialogue around sake and shochu.”Having a basic understanding of these incredible beverages and the common themes and terminology surrounding them is as important today as it was when we started. But given the geographical home of all of our hosts and our connections throughout the industry here in Japan, we felt that our role wasn’t only to inform our listeners as to what sake and shochu are, but to hopefully convey why it is they’re important and worth caring about. That’s why we emphasized the idea of “dialogue,” because to truly appreciate these magnificent beverages, we felt that engaging with a wide range of questions is equally – if not more – important than the so-called “answers”, and that the opportunity to examine the world of sake and shochu from a range of perspectives and appreciate the different values attributed to their beautiful complexity is what’s truly going to result in more individuals around the globe developing a life-long relationship with sake.  We’d like to think that we’ve succeeded to certain degree in achieving fraction of that lofty goal that we initially set out for ourselves. We’re certainly proud of what we’ve put out into the world as Sake On Air, but we also recognize that there’s a great deal of work still to be done, as well as plenty of room for improvement to our formula.Working on the show over the past 3.5 years, as a team we regularly discuss the nature of the work that we feel we ought to be engaging in, not only as a podcast, but as a team. Throughout that time the sake industry has grown significantly, but so has our crew. The lives and professional obligations and directions of each individual here at Sake On Air has morphed and evolved, and Sake On Air needs to not only grow together with our listeners, but also together with our dedicated hosts and production team. Over the years there have been a lot of ideas and ambitions that we’ve been unable to realize for one reason or another, however in order to continue to make the show meaningful, we feel that the show needs to evolve to reflect the growing needs of our listeners, the changes in the industry, and the motivations of our crew.After a lot of discussing and planning internally, we’ve committed to making that transition, which is why the show will be going on just a brief hiatus.At the time of this recording we’re unable to announce a specific date upon which the show will return to the airwaves, but rest assured, you won’t have to wait long. When the show does return, you likely won’t notice any big changes immediately. However, in the months that follow, you should start to get a feel for what it is we’re working toward. Up until now we were limited as to the scope and nature of projects that Sake On Air was able to engage in. Moving forward we’ll be able to further commit to offering not only the kind of programming that truly leverages our team’s unique position within the sake industry, but also opens up possibilities for a wider range of projects and partnerships that further utilize the skillsets, knowledge, and resources of our team, hopefully leading to more kinds of meaningful engagement with sake and shochu for more people here in Japan and around the world.While the show is in downtime we’ll be continuing to share information across our social media channels, so we’d love it if you’d join us at @sakeonair on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. As the relaunch of Sake On Air approaches, we’ll be keeping you informe

    • 6 min
    A Brewer’s Evolution with Mehdi Medhaffar

    A Brewer’s Evolution with Mehdi Medhaffar

    We’ve welcomed more than an a few non-Japanese kurabito to the show in the past that have made sake brewing here in Japan their chosen path for a day or a lifetime. As the number of breweries integrating more diverse members into their workforce increases, it’s becoming difficult to keep track of the range of characters immersing themselves sake-driven careers here in the land of the rising sun.This week’s guest, however, has been on our radar for some time. Having spent roughly a decade brewing at a diverse range of highly respected breweries across Japan, including Okazaki Shuzo (Nagano), Yoshida Shuzo (Shimane), Kamoizumi Shuzo (Hiroshima), Banjo Jozo / Kuheiji (Aichi), and now, Terada Honke (Chiba), Mehdi Alexandre Medhaffar has gradually been refining his craft while exploring the depth and breadth of his relationship with the beverage that’s become a pillar of his life and livelihood.While Mehdi’s relatively recent transition to Terada Honke marks a very significant and personal change (which we discuss), his path to the present and his learnings along the way all contributed significantly to the development of his values in relation to this miraculous beverage that we celebrate. Sebastien Lemoine and Chris Hughes join Mehdi this week as he retraces his steps and recollects on how his life and evolution as a kurabito has inspired an evolution within himself.For those interested in following along with Mehdi’s adventure, you can do so on Instagram at @nomad_sake_brewer.







    Be sure to also keep tabs on Sake On Air over on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, as well. Please also take a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite listening service, as it helps new sake lovers discover the show. Any additional comments and questions can be sent to us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp.We’ll be back with more Sake On Air in a couple of weeks.Stay tuned, and 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 10 min
    Awamori with Maurice Dudley

    Awamori with Maurice Dudley

    It’s been way too long since we’ve spent an entire episode dialing straight into the world of awamori. That’s why we’re thrilled that your host Christopher Pellegrini’s recent trip to Okinawa brought him together with Maurice Dudley, a man who has been slightly behind the scenes but at the absolute center of the concentrated efforts to bring the glory of awamori to spirits and cocktail connoisseurs throughout his hometown of Okinawa, as well as to regions across the globe.Maurice is a literal veteran in Okinawa, now having called the islands of the Ryukyu Kingdom his home since the mid-90s. This week he tells us about how during his time stationed with the U.S. military motivated him to double-down on his time spent with the local community on the island and the dining and drinking customs that accompanied the experience, how his bar and trade operation Blue Habu is playing a critical role in allowing him to communicate his love of awamori, and he also discusses with us takeaways from his recent promotional tour across Europe sharing Ryukyu 1429, followed by his aspirations for the future of the category.  We hope you’ll track down a bottle of awamori and pour yourself a glass (or several) and sip along with us for this personal and insightful interview. While you’re at it, follow along with Maurice and his Blue Habu exploits in Okinawa and beyond on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.







    Be sure to also keep tabs on Sake On Air over on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Please also take a brief moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite listening service, as well. Any additional comments and questions can be sent to us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp.We’ll be back with more Sake On Air in a couple of weeks.Stay tuned, and 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.

    • 33 min
    Where Beer & Sake Collide

    Where Beer & Sake Collide

    We finally have a great excuse to discuss beer this week.Despite a long history of (ongoing) misrepresentation as “rice wine” and the sake industry’s mild obsession with the wine world, we’re finally reaching a point where common sense (and basic science) have started to take hold. The result is a wider realization and acceptance that, when it comes to the act of brewing, sake exists in a place closer to the world of beer than that of wine. (That being said, don’t forget that sake is its own beast entirely!)Those making beer, however, latched onto this long before the sake industry accepted it, as it has been beer breweries and homebrewers that helped lead the charge for commercial sake production outside of Japan, as well as the adoption of raw materials such as koji and sake yeast both domestically and internationally for applications in the beer-making process.From a commercial standpoint, the space on the Venn diagram where sake and beer overlap used to be a mere sliver, however in recent years that surface area has grown, with more and more beer breweries borrowing ingredients from the sake world, along with more and more sake breweries collaborating with beer breweries and producing a range of products that likely no one had predicted even a decade ago.This week your regular host Justin Potts is joined by president of Bright Wave Media, Ry Beville, who is the publisher of both Sake Today, the world’s first English-language sake-specific magazine, as well as Japan Beer Times, the entirely bilingual publication exploring the ins-and-outs of Japan’s beer industry. Together with Ry we look at the historical development of Japan’s beer industry, how the evolution influenced the relationship between sake and beer, how both sake and beer breweries are working together today, and what we might expect from both of these worlds in the not-so-distant future.You can follow along with Ry’s contributions to the worlds of beer and sake below.







    Instagram:@japanbeertimes@saketodayTwitter:@JapanBeerTimes@SakeTodayWeb:Japan Beer Times: https://japanbeertimes.com/Sake Today: https://www.saketoday.com/







    Be sure to keep tabs on Sake On Air over on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, as well. Those keen to revisit the Sake Future Summit can do so here on our YouTube channel. Please also take a brief moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite listening service. Any additional comments and questions can be sent to us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp.We’ll be back with more Sake On Air next week.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 16 min
    Restoring Tradition: Kame Brewing with Yucho Shuzo

    Restoring Tradition: Kame Brewing with Yucho Shuzo

    In Part 1 of this special two-part series visiting the producers reviving the lost art of kamejikomi, we spoke with Ken Kojima of Kojima Sohonten, makers of Toko sake in Yamagata Prefecture.This week we travel to the town of Gose in Nara Prefecture to chat with Chobei Yamamoto who represents 13 generations of sake-making at Yucho Shuzo, best known for their sake brand, Kaze no Mori. Yamamoto-san has not only reinstated the use of traditional kame earthenware pots into brewing, but he’s restored and reconstructed an entirely new brewery committed to traditional brewing practices utilizing kamejikomi.Having been dormant for the past 100 years, the new Kyoho Kura is dedicated entirely to the new soon-to-be-released Mizuhana brand sake. Mizuhana sake is not only brewed in traditional kame, but is also made in-line with traditional brewing recipes from start to finish. In this episode, Yamamoto-san gives us a bit of background into the role of Nara and the temple brewing that took place there which laid the groundwork for modern sake brewing, communicating why it makes so much sense for Yucho Shuzo to be dedicating the resources it has to these all-but-lost brewing traditions.You can learn more about Yucho Shuzo and Kaze no Mori here, as well as follow along with their work, their sake, and exploits in brewing and agriculture on Instagram at @kazenomori1719.







    Be sure to keep tabs on Sake on Air over on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, as well. Please take a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite listening service. Any additional comments and questions can be sent to us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp.We’ll be back with more Sake on Air next week.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.

    • 30 min
    Restoring Tradition: Kame Brewing with Kojima Sohonten

    Restoring Tradition: Kame Brewing with Kojima Sohonten

    Back in Episode 51 we explored the hard work being invested in restoring kioke, the large-scale traditional wooden tanks that transformed sake brewing in the Edo Period. Thanks to the hard work of many, supply can’t keep up with demand and as more and more breweries are wanting to reintegrate kioke back into their brewing practices and more woodworking craftsman are stepping up to learn the craft.But brewing using kame has been completely abandoned for (probably) at least the past couple hundred years; that is until now.As with the historical vessels commonly used for brewing during more primitive times in cultures all around the world, earthen ware pots, or kame, were long the standard containers where fermentation took place. Having been retired entirely following the development of the craftsmanship that led to larger wooden tanks and vessels that allowed brewers to significantly scale production, kamejikomi – brewing in earthenware pots – long ago became a thing of the past.But in hopes of restoring brewing traditions, as well as the craftsmanship and lessons associated with them, a pair of breweries have recently managed to bring kamejikomi back to life in their respective kura. Across a pair of episodes featuring these respective breweries, we’ll hear about how this exciting challenge is being realized at a time when there’s still no real precedent in recent history.In this episode, we’ll be hearing from Ken Kojima who represents 24 generations of Kojima Sohonten, makers of Toko brand sake, as well as both the Retsu and Kojimaya labels. Tune in to learn how it is that one of the oldest breweries in Japan decided to make a brewing dream a reality in their beautiful winter wonderland of Yonezawa in Yamagata Prefecture.You can read more about Kojima Sohonten in this recent piece over at Japan Today, as well as follow along with the world of Toko Sake on Instagram at @toko_sake.







    Don’t forget to follow along with Sake on Air over on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, as well. You can also leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite listening service. Any additional comments and questions can be sent to us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp.We’ll be back with Part 2 of this special series that will feature Yucho Shuzo, the makers of Kaze no Mori, before you know it.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.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 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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