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A bi-weekly podcast exploring the stories of sake. Brought to you by experts on the front lines of the industry in Japan.

A bi-weekly podcast exploring the stories of sake. Brought to you by experts on the front lines of the industry in Japan.
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A bi-weekly podcast exploring the stories of sake. Brought to you by experts on the front lines of the industry in Japan.




Sake in Portland with Marcus Pakiser & Midori Nakazawa

Sake On Air has taken the show on the road! Well, sort of. The gang isn’t all here, but Justin recently spent a bit of time in the Pacific Northwest and along the way managed to sit down with a few of the individuals helping to shape the future of sake in the region. While […]


Know Your Hosts: Christopher Pellegrini & Sebastien Lemoine

Over the past year of doing Sake On Air, believe it or not, one of the most highly requested show topics that we get from our listeners has been for us to do a deep-dive exploring the backgrounds and stories of your regular hosts here on the show. Originally a bit hesitant – the entire […]


Guide to Japanese Drinks w/ Stephen Lyman

This week’s episode is especially timely, as Justin managed to squeeze in an interview with Stephen Lyaman to coincide with the launch of his brand new book, The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, co-authored together with Chris Bunting, author of Drinking Japan, which released October 1st in the U.S. and is already largely available internationally […]


Brewing in Japan w/ Cody Brailsford

Cody Brailsford is a rather rare breed. Now fuku-toji (assistant head brewer) as of this recording, at Watanabe Sake Brewery, makers of Hourai brand sake in the small countryside town of Hida Furukawa in Gifu Prefecture, Cody has been toiling away in the brewery for well over a decade. As more sake breweries open across […]


Zaku Interview w/ President Shinichiro Shimizu

This week’s episode is exactly what the title says: an interview with Shinichiro Shimizu, the president of Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten, better known as makers of the incredibly popular brand of sake, ZAKU. Zaku has taken both Japan and the world by storm in recent years, being awarded top accolades in just about every sake competition […]


Koji Basics

When you start talking sake (or shochu), you don’t get too far in before finding that you need to address koji. That’s what Justin, (big) Chris and Sebastien set out to do this week. As Japan’s magical mold, Aspergillus oryzae, begins to gain traction, not just throughout the world of brewing, but in the culinary […]


Rice Types

This week John Gauntner takes over as master of ceremonies, as Rebekah Wilson-Lye, Chris Hughes and Justin Potts combine forces to help flesh out an all-important and ever-evolving element of sake that sits at the core of some of the most important conversations: rice types. Aside from just the distinction between sake rice and standard rice varieties used in sake production, the […]


Sake in Spain w/ Pablo Alomar Salvioni

The rise in sake’s presence at notable restaurants and gastronomic celebrations across the globe in recent years is in no small part due to the individuals that have taken it upon themselves to craft the physical bridges for transport while also blazing new trails in their home territory. Albeit an entirely unintended development (story in […]


Sake Glassware Creation w/ Wolfgang Angyal of Riedel Japan (Pt. 2)

As promised, the Sake On Air team’s exploration into the sake-specific Daiginjo and Junmai glassware developed by Riedel continues with an interactive tasting led by Riedel Japan President and CEO, Wolfgang Angyal. Clocking in at roughly 90 minutes, this is by far the longest episode of Sake On Air to-date. Why? There turned out to […]


Sake Glassware Creation w/ Wolfgang Angyal of Riedel Japan (Pt. 1)

The Sake On Air team recently gathered at the Japan offices of Riedel, renowned Austrian wine varietal-specific glassware makers, to meet with Japan’s President and CEO Wolfgang Angyal in order to learn about the nearly two-decade process that went into producing two pieces of highly influential, sake-specific glassware: the Daiginjo Glass, and the more recent, […]


Talking Terroir

A topic of endless discussion and debate, this week Chris Hughes, Sebastien Lemoine, Marie Nagata and Christopher Pellegrini are joined by Eli Nygren, kurabito (brewer) at Chiyonokame Shuzo in Ehime Prefecture, to examine what exactly gives sake its “local” profile. From rice to water, yeast to koji, people to practices, the number of elements at […]


The Sake & Food Relationship Pt. 1

This week Chris Hughes takes the reigns as we set our sights on what feels to be an ever-moving target: the complex relationship between sake and food. While experience with wine and other beverages informs many expectations for sake, and a lot of concepts are somewhat transferrable, the reality is that sake is its own […]


Shochu with Maya Aley and Sake with Jamie Graves

We’re back this week with a boozy double-interview featuring one shochu meister and one sake maven. In the first half of this week’s episode of Sake on Air, Christopher Pellegrini interviews Maya Aley, the first non-Japanese to receive the prestigious certification of Shochu Meister. Maya has been living and working in Kagoshima city since […]


Live with Andre Bishop and William Stuart

EP 15 – Live with Andre Bishop and William Stuart In March we did four shows, all recorded live at the Aoyama Sake Flea, and who should we bump into than the Sake Samurai, Andre Bishop, and William Stuart, the CEO of Colorado Sake Co.? We managed to grab a few minutes with them to […]


Discovering Shochu with Stephen Lyman

Sake is out this week and Shochu is in! Christopher Pellegrini takes the hotseat to interview his partner in crime, Stephen Lyman. Stephen Lyman is the founder of and the East Coast instructor for the Sake School of America Certified Shochu Advisor Course. Currently based in Fukuoka city on the island of Kyushu, […]


Museum of Sake with Natsuki Kikuya / Return of Keith Norum

We’ve been telling you that it was coming (since last autumn!) and this week we finally delivered. We’re joined this week by none other than Natsuki Kikuya, founder of Museum of Sake, one of London’s foremost curators of the local sake industry. Why a “curator of sake”? The depth and breadth of Natsuki’s work and […]


Masumi Sake with Keith Norum

This week’s show title tells you all you need to know. For those of you unacquainted with Masumi Sake, the brilliant Nagano-based craft of Miyasaka Brewing Company, you’ve come to the right place. And there’s no one better equipped to deliver the goods on this topic than Keith Norum, a name synonymous with Masumi […]


Junmai & Aruten

We decided that it was about time we sat down and hashed it out over something that is becoming an increasingly divisive topic in the sake world: to aruten or not to aruten? That is the question that John, little Chris, big Chris, and Justin pose to one another, as well as our listeners, in […]


Brooklyn Kura with Brian Polen

What does it take to realize a dream of American craft sake? And even more specifically, Brooklyn craft sake? This week Chris Hughes and Justin Potts catch up with Brian Polen, co-founder and president of Brooklyn Kura, New York’s first sake brewery, on his (relatively) recent trip to the sake island in the pacific. […]


Sake 101: Unraveling the Basics

We’ve got a new twist on an old formula this week. In the interest of fairness, after having done a Shochu 101 episode, we thought it only made sense to give Sake the same treatment. However, unlike Shochu, the “basics” of sake have been well-treaded in many forms across books, videos, blogs, lectures […]