Who We Are


Yokoso – welcome! The BSA is a not-for-profit organisation (est. in 2006) that provides opportunities for people to taste a wide range of sake, and to meet brewers (Toji/杜氏) and others in the sake world by:

  • promoting understanding and enjoyment of sake.
  • promoting correct storage, serving and drinking of sake.
  • widening the scope of sake-drinking by pairing it with non-Japanese food.
  • strengthening and preserving the tradition of sake-making in Japan.
  • acting as a conduit between Britain and Japan.
  • supporting sake education leading to professional qualifications.

The BSA Team

Shirley Booth

Co-founder, President and Chairman

Shirley is an award-winning filmmaker and food writer. She has lived in Japan for several years and founded the British Sake Association in 2006.

Paul Masters


British Sake Association Chairman: June 2008 to March 2021. Paul is also a Director of Corney and Barrow Fine Wine Merchants (Shanghai) Limited.

Marie Cheong-Thong


Marie is the Sake Knowledge and Education Director at the British Sake Association. She is a WSET Certified Educator and also the International Sake and Shōchū Educator for the Sake School of America. Member of Circle of Wine Writers, Guild of Food Writers and on the Council Of Association of Wine Educators. 2021 Recipient of Guild of Food Writers Futures Fund Bursary.

Brian Smith

Company Secretary and Honorary Treasurer

Harriet Furze


Harriet is a freelance wine and sake consultant and educational publishing professional, as well as an International Sake Judge with the IWC.