Episode-116: Studying Sake with Michael Tremblay

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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.