Meet a Sake Samurai (and Get a Buzz on) Tonight at Sakamai


A bit of sippable good news came by way of the folks over at Sakamai sake lounge: the crew will be hosting its inaugural “sake samurai happy hour” tonight.

Not only is this evocative of a delightfully drunken daimyo, it means that tonight and one Thursday per month from now on, sake sensei Tim Sullivan (who runs the Urban Sake website) and certified sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa will be behind Sakamai’s pour bar filling glasses full of premium sake while offering tasting notes and sagely sake suggestions and fielding questions from drinkers.

The event is built into Sakamai’s regular 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday sake happy hour, and Sakamai’s proprietors say they hope the event will gain an impassioned following similar to the crowd the spot draws for Tuesday shochu happy hours.

Natalie Graham, one of Sakamai’s owners, also said that there will always be a theme at play during the sake samurai happy hours, be it a particular brewery or sakes made with certain strains of rice or yeast.

The inaugural theme is that of Iwate prefecture, a rural region in the northeast of Japan’s main island Honshu that’s home to 27 sake breweries and the Nambu Toji collective, the largest group of sake brewers in Japan. Tonight’s event is sponsored by two companies from Ninohe City in Iwate’s extreme north, and you’ll see Kuji Brewery’s Nanbu Bijin junmai, junmai gingo, and junmai daiginjo sakes.

Iwate is also famous for lacquerware, and Iwate-based lacquerware company Joboji Urushi is also an event sponsor; you’ll be able to examine the products on the scene.

Head on over to the Sakamai website for more details on the event.