Welcome to the BSA Website

Thanks for visiting the British Sake Association Website. We started back in 2006, with the express purpose of engaging the British public with Sake, the national drink of Japan.

On this page you will find our blog feed of regular news. Please navigate to the drop-down menus above to find more information about upcoming events, membership, FAQs and other sake related info.

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Learn the Basics with Ozeki – event review

ozeki one cup 50 yrs

Special commemorative coaster!

This year marks fifty years since Ozeki launched its famous ‘One Cup’, back in 1964.  To mark this historic occasion Ozeki sponsored a tasting with The British Sake Association in London on 17th November. Held at the newly-refurbished Tombo Café and Deli in South Kensington, the event was oversubscribed, with 30 attendees.

Some attendees were fairly new to sake, and others more familiar; but even the regulars members, who have been to events before, found it very useful to have a re-cap on the main categories.

Presented by Sarah Wedgbury from JFC guests were treated to a taste of eight different sake, under the heading ‘Learn The Basics’ .

Tasting began with a low alcohol sparkling sake, and moved on to a daiginjo,  junmai, tokubetsu junmai, honjozo and of course One Cup, a futsu shu, before finishing with a taruzake.

Tombo’s kitchen prepared generous and delicious otsumame: guided by advice from Sarah each dish was prepared to match the sake.  However, the last sake, the taruzake, was daringly matched with chocolate – filled with a divine matcha-flavoured ganache – and made by the talented London-based chocolatier Chika Watanabe. www.chikawatanabe.com

Future Events
Future events in the pipeline include: In January at United Ramen in Islngton -Warm Sake and Hot Ramen – perfect for warming you up in the chilly days after Christmas; then in February, in time for Valentines Day, Chocolate and Sparkling Sake. Details to follow.

 The Association is always happy to hear from breweries or importers who would like to sponsor an event – our aim is to educate the consumer, with as wide a range of tastes as possible.  

 Shirley Booth – President, British Sake Association

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Upcoming event: Learn the basics with Ozeki

An Introduction to Sake – 17/11/14


Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Ozeki’s iconic One Cup sake with Ozeki at the newly-refurbished Tombo.  There will be eight sake for you to sup ranging across all grades, from Futsushu (the most regularly consumed style in Japan) to the more elegant and aromatic Daiginjo, while enjoying a selection of Tombo’s delicious fare.

Whether you are a sake novice or a sake enthusiast, this is a great opportunity for you to learn more about sake.

Sake courtesy of Ozeki


Location: Tombo, 29 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2HQ
Date: Monday 17th November
Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Price: £28 members / £33 non-members.  Price includes sake and Tombo’s home cooked nibbles.  All welcome.
Book now by emailing events@britishsakeassociation.org

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East Meets West…An Exclusive Evening of Japanese Culture and Sake

In Dorset?  Then this event’s for you…

We’re delighted to announce the first Hive Beach Company event in partnership with the British Sake Association where we will host the Yasumoto family, from the Hakugakusen Brewery, who will present a selection of their premium sakes.

Explaining the sakes will be Sake Sommelier Ms Hitomi Kimura, from Japan and Shirley Booth; President of the British Sake Association.

A taster menu of Japanese-inspired food, specially prepared by Watch House Chef Steve Bant to match the sakes, will be served to accompany the tastings. You’ll be able to watch Steve demonstrating the dishes before each course so expect the evening to be interactive and fun!

Shirley booth

Shirley Booth

Shirley Booth lives here in West Dorset and has a wealth of knowledge and passion for this national drink of Japan, so a great opportunity to find out more about this intriguing drink.

This promises to be a very special evening, with the Sake brewers and Sommelier coming over from Japan for this event. But places are very limited so early booking is essential!

We hope that you will join us and look forward to welcoming you to this unique evening!


Date:     Friday 19th September 2014

Venue:  Watch House Café – West Bay West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EN (plenty of parking nearby)

Time:    6.45pm for 7pm – 8.30pm

Cost:     £35 per person

Booking essential!

To book: email events@hivebeachcafe.co.uk stating the number of places and names of attendees. You will then receive a payment request via email. Or telephone Caz Richards – 01308 459490.

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Event – An Exclusive Evening of Japanese Culture and Sake from Fukui 17/09/14

UK debut of Hakugakusen Award-winning sakes

Hakugakusen logo

We are delighted to announce the first UK visit of the Yasumoto family, including Master Brewer Takeshi Yasumoto, from Hakugakusen Brewery, who will present an exclusive selection of their Premium sakes, aided by SSI-certified  Sake Sommelier Ms Hitomi Kimura.

This a special preview for British Sake Association members and guests, of sakes which have never been available here before. *

 A selection of Japanese food, prepared especially by our hosts to match the sakes, will be served.

In addition the evening will include a presentation of exclusive sake ceramics by Ms Kazuko Sashita from Tokyo’s Space Q Gallery; Ms Kazue Shinohara will demonstrate Japanese Calligraphy and Ms Fumiko Kikuchi, Origami, with originals for you to take home as gifts.

All are coming over from Japan just for this event. This promises to be a very special evening, but places are limited so book early.

*soon to be retailing here in the UK, available through JFC


Date:     Wednesday 17th September 2014
Venue:  Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD. Tel: 020 7388 4539

Time:    6.45- 8.30pm

Cost:     £25 members / £30 non-members.  All Welcome.


To book email events@britishsakeassociation.org, stating the number of tickets, the names of attendees and whether a member of not.  You will then receive a payment request via email.

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Event – an introduction to sake @ the Japan Foundation 24/09/14

Originally posted on Tengu Sake Blog:

Not sure about sake? Want to discover the basics? Want to try a few and get your bearings?

If so then please join me for an introduction to sake at the Japan Foundation, London on 24 September 2014 from 6.30pm. Full PDF flyer can be viewed here with details on how to book. Admission free.

Japan Foundation Event 09.14

Full details and booking here (PDF flyer)

View original

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Tony McNicol on Sake in the UK

An article about the sake market in the UK from Japanese publication “Japan Spotlight” by Tony McNicol featuring BSA Director and founder Shirley Booth and BSA Sake Educator Oliver Hilton-Johnson.

PDF version can be read here.

Sake in UK 1 Sake in UK 2



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Taste of Gold

26th June – IWC Taste of Gold

A Taste of Gold is your opportunity to taste a selection of exceptional IWC 2014 gold medal-winning sakes (and wines). Producers at A Taste of Gold are also invited to bring along other IWC 2014 medal-winning wines from their portfolio.

6pm – 9pm at The Royal Horticultural Halls, London.  £20, members £5 discount (members will have received an email).  Click here to book.

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