Episode-56: Sake Future Summit 2020 Revisited (Part 1)

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Since hosting Sake Future Summit 2020 back at the end of November, we’ve since gone and spliced up that nearly 30 hours of dialogue and nearly as many programs into individual videos to help make topics, speakers and conversations easier to find and enjoy.

Having been conducted with a visual component, viewing these on the official Sake On Air YouTube channel is arguably the best way to take in a lot of these discussions, however there are a lot of great ideas and conversations that we felt ought to translate just as well to an audio-only format. That’s why this week we’ve decided to weave together segments from some of those sessions into a podcast.

For our listeners that have already exhausted everything from the actual Summit, this will likely be revisiting familiar territory. But for those that missed out on a lot of the programming, hopefully this will serve as a meaty digest of the depth and breadth explored, as well as prompt you to go back and visit or revisit the great conversations that are all archived over on our YouTube channel.

It’s worth noting, however, that a little more than half of the programming for the Sake Future Summit was comprised of interviews, tours, presentations and discussions conducted with individuals entrenched in the Japanese side of the industry, and as a result, were conducted in Japanese. On YouTube, all of those discussions have been translated, subtitled and made available and accessible. However, due to their nature, that means that roughly half of the programming is still tethered to YouTube. If you’re so inclined, we highly recommend checking those out, as well. It’s material that we feel uniquely privileged to have been able to organize and deliver, and offers a great deal of insight into the topics and conversations permeating the Japanese sake and shochu industries.

In this episode you’ll hear from hear:
- A convincing argument for selecting sake over wine with local Taiwanese cuisine with Wolfgang Angyal (President & CEO of Riedel Japan Co. Ltd.) and Michael Ou (Owner/chef of Hanabi Izakaya; President of Ho-Wei Sake Imports in Taiwan).
- How dedication to the craft of imo (sweet potato) shochu rises above all with Stephen Lyman (Author and Shochu Specialist), Tekkan Wakamatsu (Master Brewer-Distiller at Yamato Zakura Shuzo), and Maya Aley (Shochu Expert).
- About the true motivations behind saving a sake brewery through unprecedented partnerships with Marcus Consolini and Yasutaka Daimon of Daimon Brewery.
- Tips for getting the most out of Imo, Kome, and Mugi shochu with your food, both at the bar with Shingo Gokan (Founder of SG Group) and Joshin Atone (Brand Manager for SG Shochu), as well as at home.
- Why the future expansion of koji outside of Japan is potentially more exciting and dynamic than here in the homeland, with Jeremy Umansky (Chef/owner of Larder Delicatessen and Bakery; Author) and Koichi Higuchi (Director of Higuchi Matsunosuke Shoten Co., Ltd.)
- How music legend Richie Hawtin took what he’s built through ENTER.Sake and brought a new vision to life in the midst of a global pandemic with Sake 36.
- About ways to interpret and untangle the increasingly confusing relationship between mugi (barley) shochu and Japanese whiskey with renowned author and journalist, Brian Ashcraft.

With the Sake Future Summit, we recognize that we tried to thread the needle a bit, by hosting a mix of rather industry-centric discussion, alongside a good deal of more light-hearted entertainment focusing on the simple enjoyment of sake and shochu. Our thought was that, the people, places, processes and activities surrounding these amazing drinks are just inherently. Our hope then is that, whether you’re just getting to know what sake and shochu have to offer, or have long been committed to these koji-born beverages, you’ll agree.

If you enjoy Sake On Air, help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever service you depend upon for your podcast enjoyment. You can contact us at questions@sakeonair.staba.jp with any thoughts, feelings or kind words about the show. Go ahead and follow us on  InstagramTwitter, and Facebook as well, if you’d be so kind, and don’t forget to subscribe to us over on YouTube.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for choosing sake and shochu.

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.