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exploring the world of japanese craft sake

March | 2022

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. It is a rice-paddy-to-glass journey through one year of sake brewing in Japan that opens with the authors planting sake-grade rice in a muddy field in Yokawa, and closes in an izakaya (traditional Japanese pub) with the authors tasting sake brewed from the very rice they helped plant. In between readers travel from snowbound Tohoku in the north to hot and humid Kyushu in the south, from the centuries-old breweries where sake is made, to the farms where sake rice is grown, to the hidden specialty bars where it is sipped and savored.

The authors’ reporting skills and deep subject knowledge pair like sake with sashimi. Nancy Matsumoto is a Toronto- and New York-based writer and editor who covers food, agriculture, and the environment for publications including The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Civil Eats. Michael Tremblay is a global leader in sake and wine education and a sake sommelier.

Together, Nancy and Michael personally visited 33 artisanal sake breweries in Japan, the US, and Canada to interview makers and document every stage of the sake brewing process. With over 300 color photos and a lively narrative, this fascinating book provides a comprehensive introduction to the science and history of sake brewing in Japan, and a look at how fine craft sakes are brewed today using traditional methods and no additives—only rice, water, koji, and yeast