Celebrate Sake Day with the American Sake Association

Sake Day USA

Thursday, October 1 from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Live Zoom Webinar

Admission: $5

The American Sake Association is celebrating World Sake Day online!

Join the American Sake Association and esteemed members of the sake community to study, explore, enjoy, and KANPAI together!

The online “Sake Day USA” gathering will run from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. ET on October 1 and will feature a diverse schedule of sake tastings, seminars, cooking demonstrations, and other fun presentations that will bring the world of sake to you.

Register at the American Sake Association’s website!

Sake Day USA Schedule

3:00 p.m. – Sake Day Official Event Opening from Ambassador Yamanouchi

The Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York, Kanji Yamanouchi, will officially open Sake Day USA 2020. He will offer a greeting and a traditional “Kagami Biraki,” or sake barrel opening ceremony.

3:10 p.m. – Hawaii: Islander Sake Brewery Tour and Grand Opening (Live)!

Explore the return of sake to Hawaii. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the opening of Hawaii’s first sake brewery in 33 years. The grand opening begins with a welcoming Hawaiian chant and traditional blessing. The islander sake was formed in February 2016 but spent several years securing a suitable brewing location.

4:00 p.m. – Cooking Demonstration: Salt. Fat. Acid. Umami.

Monica Samuels and Tamiko Ishidate are here to explore the science behind matching food and sake, inspired by the building blocks of salt, fat, acid, and umami. This session might just take your home drinking and dining to the next level. Featured Sakes: Tensei “Endless Summer” Tokubetsu Honjozo, Toko “Divine Droplets” Shizuku Junmai Daiginjo, Fukucho “Seaside” Sparkling Junmai, Mana 1751 “True Vision” Yamahai Tokubetsu Junmai Muroka Genshu.Monica is the Director of Sake and Spirits for Vine Connections. Tamiko is the Director of Sake for Young’s Market California.

4:30 p.m. – Sake Discoveries: Koshu Sake—How Old Is Too Old??

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton discusses aged sake (koshu) with a focus on Daishichi Rakutenmei, Nanbu Bijin All Koji, and some special aged sakes from her personal collection, which are aged more than 20 years . . . or more! Tune into find out new information on OLD sake!

5:00 PM ET – A Sakeman Workout!

Join Sakeman for quick and easy workout tips (with sake bottles) to work off those extra calories and also put your empty bottles to use! As part of their mission to bring “Sake to the World,” they also believe that everyone should work hard to provide for themselves and their families, train hard to keep the body healthy, then most important, PLAY HARD by enjoying a glass of sake with friends and family . . . as safely as possible.

5:30 p.m. – Brooklyn Kura: Citric Koji Deep Dive

The folks at Brooklyn Kura will introduce us to Citric Koji and how it can be used in sake making.

6:00 p.m. – Arizona Sake: Japanese Tradition Meets Navajo Tradition

Tuning in from a tiny town on the legendary Route 66, Atsuo Sakurai and Ayaka Ito will introduce unique pairings of locally brewed Arizona sake and traditional Navajo home-cooked meals.

6:30 p.m. – Henry Sidel: Does Glassware Affect the Aroma and Taste of Sake?

In this session, Henry Sidel will evaluate and compare the same sake in four tasting vessels: a small glass cup, a saucer-like “cup,” a “kiki-ochoko,” and a large wine glass. Feel free to taste along with what you have!

7:00 p.m. – Sake Revolution Podcast Live!

Join this LIVE taping of America’s first sake podcast, “Sake Revolution.” This week Tim and John discuss—what else—Sake Day! No doubt they’ll sneak in a couple of tastings and perhaps a guest or two. Kanpai!

7:30 p.m. – Marcus Pakiser: The Amazing History of Apple Yeast!

Many breweries have a “mystery sake” that is normally not released to the public. This was the case for Nakao Sake Brewery. Learn how it came about and the impact of a new form of yeast starter that is used across Japan today.

8:00 p.m. – John Gauntner: The Infrastructure of the Sake Industry in Japan

In this session, learn about how the sake industry works in Japan: how many producers, where they are, who brews the most and who brews the least, which arm(s) of the government have sake under their jurisdiction, how they help the industry, and how sake styles vary across the land.

8:30 p.m. – U.S. Sake Brewers’ Roundtable

Let’s meet some fantastic US-based sake brewers and discuss the state of the industry. The panel features Moto-I, SakeOne, Den, Colorado Sake Co., and Kato Sake Works.


At 9:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. PT) raise a glass to the revival of sake in the USA and across the world. Let us take a moment on Sake Day to envision a bright future ahead!

9:30 p.m. – Namazake Paul: Sake and Pizza Pairing

Join Namazake Paul as he shows us how to make great pizza at home and waxes poetic about which sakes pair best with various pizza.

10:00 p.m. – “Nijikai”

Hang out with the American Sake Association organizers after a fun day of sake panels and cooking! Grab your sake and chill at the nijikai, or “after party.”

Your $5 donation grants you access to all of the panels, and you can come and go as your schedule allows. To register, please visit the American Sake Association’s website.

(Disclosure: The author is on the steering committee of the American Sake Association and will co-host some of the panels.)