This stunning guide invites you into the story of sake—an ancient beverage finding its way in a modern world.
Whether you're a sake novice or an experienced connoisseur, Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake offers fascinating insights, practical tips, and rich stories about this popular beverage.
Authors and experts Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay personally undertook the challenge of visiting 35 artisanal sake breweries in Japan, the US, and Canada to interview makers and document every stage of the sake brewing process. Nancy's celebrated journalistic background combined with Michael's sake sommelier experience has led to an engaging and informative look at the world of sake.
With over 300 colour photos and a lively narrative, this fascinating book provides:
- A comprehensive introduction to the science and history of sake brewing in Japan
- A look at how fine craft sakes are brewed today using traditional methods and no additives—only rice, water, koji, and yeast
- Histories of Japan's venerable breweries, some of them over 300 years old!
- An answer to why some breweries can turn out superior quality of sake
- A discussion of rice varieties and the contentious topic of terroir in sake making.
- Current trends in the world of sake, including the fine sakes now brewed outside Japan
- Tasting notes and recommendations for top craft sakes you have not heard about yet
About the Author:
Michael Tremblay is a Sake Samurai, and Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certified Educator residing in Toronto. He is the Sommelier at ki modern Japanese + bar, a Japanese restaurant with Canada's most extensive sake programs. He is the Founder of the Sake Scholar Course, a certification course that explores the regionality of sake. @mtrsake
Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sake, food, agroecology, and Japanese arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Toronto Globe and Mail, Food and Wine, and theAtlantic.com. She is the editor of By the Shore of Lake Michigan, an English-language translation of Japanese tanka poems, and a contributor to several other books and publications. The holder of three sake certifications, she divides her time between Toronto and New York City. Find her at nancymatsumoto.com and @NancyMatsumoto.
John Gauntner is recognized as the world's leading non-Japanese sake expert. A longtime Japan resident, he is well known among sake brewers and others within the sake industry. He wrote the Nihonshu Column in the Japan Times for many years before writing a weekly column on sake in Japanese for the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's and the world's most widely distributed Japanese newspaper. In 2006, John received the Sake Samurai award, the first year it was awarded. He has published five books on sake.
This sake book, woven like a road movie, will be a landmark in the contemporary world of Japanese sake.
--Gen Yamamoto, bartender/owner, Bar Gen Yamamoto, Tokyo.
Bringing clarity and intrigue to a subject so many of us wish we knew more about, this book is one of the very best I've read on Japan's national drink. With incisive prose, a breezily accessible tone, and vivid graphics, it unlocks the mysteries of sake like few other books ever have. By weaving in fascinating aspects of sake culture and transporting interviews with renowned brewers, the book makes you feel like you are getting a glimpse into a secret, sacred world. It will forever change how you approach dining out in Japanese restaurants. Sake ignorance ends here.
--Mark Oldman, award-winning wine author and founder of Bevinars.
Michael and Nancy are fearless in their pursuit of capturing the essence of sake and are the best mouthpiece to tell its incredible story.
-- Beau Timken, author of Sake: A Modern Guide (Chronicle) and owner of True Sake, the first dedicated sake store outside of Japan
Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay do a fantastic job telling the story of craft sake and the people who make it, shedding light on a growing international phenomenon. -- Jean-Georges Vongerichten,
Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay have written a groundbreaking tome on sake that goes far beyond the scope of anything available in the English language. ...it's an exhaustive, artful study that appeals to anyone who shares the authors' respect and adoration for Japanese beverage culture and history.
-- Anna Lee C. Iijima, Contributing Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Sake literature lacks a benchmark, authoritative, yet accessible book for pros and generalists interested in this fantastic universe. That is until now. Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake is a great addition to the literature, able to transcend sake geekdom thanks to its strong cultural narrative. A must-read for Japan-lovers and sake-freaks alike!
-- Pascaline Lepeltier, Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, Best French Sommelier 2018
The something special found in this book is conveyed in three words: depth, breadth and vibrancy ...Like a great sake, this book is well balanced, with all the necessary elements clearly discernible.
-- John Gauntner, Author, The Sake Handbook and Sake Confidential, publisher of Sake Industry News, Co-founder of Sake World (sake-world.com)