Welcome to Sake Advocate.
This site was originally started as an Australian-centric approach to sake over at sakeaustralia.com as a source of info on what is available locally through restaurants and retail with the intention being to bring sake to a wider audience back home. However since I returned to Osaka (my second stint living here) to live in August 2013 this has meant a bit of a stray from the original MO and I felt it made little sense to keep writing under the Sake Australia moniker.
Nihonshu, sake, call it what you will (but don’t call it rice wine) is a rising force in the beverage world as well as something of a comeback kid on the local Japanese scene. Now more than ever information on sake abounds. However a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and it’s easy to get confused with conflicting viewpoints, half-truths and myths flying about the internet.
I am not an advocate of any particular style, region, rice variety or brewing method. If it’s done well, I like it. Simple. There’s no grading or scores here, it’s not my place to put a number to someone’s work. If I don’t like something, I won’t write about it.
Like any drink sake is susceptible to time and place. A sake drunk with old friends and lots of laughs often tastes infinitely better than the one tasted stooping over my laptop trying to get all forensic on the aromas and flavours, but maybe not as good as the sake drunk with my feet dangling in the pool on a balmy summer evening while the cicadas serenade none too subtly. It’s all subjective. All I hope to do is present good sake, food for thought, and maybe stir up the odd hornets’ nest here or there. But it all stems a from a good place; that is to see sake appreciated for what it is and the history, tradition and skill that goes into making this amazing drink.
As for my own background, a previous life as a bassist saw me move into the hospitality/liquor retail industry for over 12 years having worked in Japan and Australia in several different capacities. My interests in sake have seen me acquire the Sake Education Council’s Advanced Sake Professional Certificate as well as the Sake Service Institute’s Kikisake-shi (Master of Sake) accreditation (in Japanese). I can be found propping up the bar wherever good sake is found in and around Osaka.

Julian Houseman



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