Japan floods

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan during the current devastating floods. We are hoping that all sake breweries are safe, but praying for those who have lost homes and loved ones.

From us all at the British Sake Association.

Make your own Choko!

Ceramic Workshop with Imahiko Kawamura: A SPECIAL event exclusively for the British Sake Association

You are invited to make your very own sake pots with the renowned Japanese potter Imahiko Kawamura. Ima-san will guide you as you make a choko (cup) and either a tokkuri (bottle) or katakuchi (lipped dish for pouring sake), using a slab or coiled technique (no wheels).

When: Saturday 28th April 2018. 1.30- 4.30 pm
Where: Redlees Gallery, Redlees Park, Worton Road, Isleworth TW7 6DW
(Free parking in Redlees Park; buses H37 from Richmond: 267 from Hammersmith)

Cost: £45 Members £55 non-members (includes all materials – for two vessels – glazing and firing.)Japanese nibbles and of course some sake to keep you going! Bookings via events@britishsakeassociation.org

Marie will present a couple of sakes, one chilled and one warm, so this will be a chance to try out different drinking cups, and different temperatures. Throughout Ima-san will chat informally with Shirley and Marie about ceramics, as well as introducing us to some of the guiding principles of Japanese tableware.

We will begin after lunch at 1.30 and pack up at 4.30. At the end of the session Ima-san will take your pots away, and glaze and fire them for you at her kiln. Finished pots will be returned to you after firing (details of how we do this to be confirmed)

Imahiko Kawamura is a ceramic artist who exhibits regularly at museums and galleries in the UK and Japan. She specializes in making decorative porcelain vessels and vases with a crystalline glaze, using methods based on Japanese tableware. She enjoys passing on her extensive knowledge of working with clay to all levels, as well as introducing Japanese tableware and the history of Japanese ceramics.


Photos courtesy Imahiko Kawamura (left), and Paul Polydorou (right)

End of Year Riverside Grand Tasting

Celebrate the end of 2017 ‘bonenkai’ style with a Grand Sake Tasting of miscellaneous Sakes

Location: The Star and Garter Pub 4, Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1JN (020 8788 0345)

Transport (lots!): tube District Line to Putney Bridge; overground Waterloo to Putney; river boat Westminster to Putney Pier

Buses : 14, 414, 22,  220, 430, 265, 485

Date: Tuesday 12th December

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm (or thereabouts)

Cost: £25 BSA members; £30 non-members and guests

Booking through the BSA not the venue


A selection of cheese and charcuterie on party-style platters will be provided. There will be a raffle, with a selection of prizes, mostly sake-related!

Thank you to our sponsors: Tengu Sake; SamSake; Harro Foods; Tazaki Foods; Akashi-Tai and SanRan (Japan)

Sake Course WSET Level 1

Flyer click here: A5 promo leaflet Sake 1 L 8.10

WSET ® Level 1 Award in Sake

For individuals new to the subject, this qualification offers a hands-on introduction to the world of Sake. You’ll explore the main styles and types of Sake through sight, smell and taste to develop an understanding of the key factors affecting flavours and aromas.

What you’ll learn:

-The basic principles of Sake production

-The main types and styles of Sake

-How to serve Sake

-Key factors affecting the flavour of Sake

-How to describe Sake using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake ® (SAT)

Where? – Central London

When? – Held throughout the year in  London, 9.00am to 5.00pm

How much? – £169.00 (cost as of October 2017, please inquire for latest prices) includes 8 different Sake samples, sourced from ‘Sam Sake’, food samples, workbook, tuition and examination…and unlimited tea and coffee!

Tutor: Marie Cheong-Thong

To book your place contact aspectwine@aol.com

Vivienne Franks 07931 796614

Special offer to BSA Members who pass the exam – £2.50 off next BSA event

Non-members who pass 10% discount on the first year subscription on joining the BSA. 

In conversation with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only British toji (sake brew-master)

Photo by Akagi Koichi

Thursday 17 August 2017 6:30pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

The Common Room

13-14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle)

London NW1 4QP

£30 British Sake Association and Japan Society members

£35 guests and others

Please note that this event is fully booked.

Toji is usually translated as “master brewer” referring to the person responsible for the entire brewing process in a particular sake brewery. Highly skilled in the craft of sake brewing, a toji has to work over the years to gain the necessary knowledge and training about the practical business of producing sake and, as a final step, to pass an exam on topics such as fermentation and chemistry to qualify as a sake master brewer.

In collaboration with the Japan Society, the British Sake Association is pleased to invite its members to an evening with Philip Harper, Japan’s first and only British toji. This is a very special joint event: expect a discussion and tasting of aged sakes, temperature and yeasts. Sake will be kindly supplied by SamSake and Tengu Sake.

Accompanying the sake, we will serve a mixed sushi bento box with a side dish of broccoli and aubergine sesame sauce (vegetarian sushi is also available).

In an informal atmosphere, Philip will talk about his experience in the sake world and discuss the production process of a sake brewery. It will also be a chance for you to ask Philip all those questions you have wanted to ask about sake.

Philip Harper was born in Birmingham and raised in Cornwall. After graduating in English Literature at Oxford University, he went to Japan in 1988 on the Ministry of Education’s JET Programme, and worked as an English teacher in public schools in Osaka. Following this experience, he started working at Ume no Yado, a Japanese sake brewery in a rural town within Nara Prefecture. After around ten years or work and training, he qualified as a master brewer and has worked at breweries in prefectures including Ibaraki, Osaka and Kyoto. Philip is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Sake (1998) and The Book of Sake: A Connoisseurs Guide (2006), both published by Kodansha International.