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Why I started blogging about sake

It’s been just over 8 months since I started my sake blog. So far I’ve done sixteen posts, roughly 2 posts a month, which is not too much if I’m being honest. It definitely takes time to get used to writing regularly. While I have a lot of ideas about my future content, it’s the execution part which I still have to master.

So why did I start blogging in the first place? I think the first reason was to share my fascination with sake. I just wanted other people to discover the drink as I did and start enjoying it.

Sake barrel at the London Sake Challenge reception in May 2018
Sake barrel at the London Sake Challenge reception in May 2018

Why sake? Because it has its own magic. On the one hand, it is a very simple drink made with rice, water and some fermenting cultures. It’s easy to pair with various food as it’s not acidic as wine. It’s usually fairly priced: the more you pay, the more premium sake you get.

On the other hand, it could be very complex. The production process is really interesting and depending on a variety of factors you can get completely different styles of sake. It requires a lot of dedication, hard labour, skills and experience to produce a good sake.

In the beginning, the sake classification system with all those Japanese names could look daunting. However, as you begin to navigate through it, it gives you a great choice of different sake to try and enjoy. You can experiment with temperatures of the drink to see which one is best for you for any particular sake. You can try different styles and types of sake on different occasions.

Serving sake at the Japanese Sake Festival in London in April 2018
Serving sake at the Japanese Sake Festival in London in April 2018

When you start to learn about all that you just want to share the knowledge with other people realising that they also might like it. You want to bust the myths, provide some advice and help and share your own experience.

I guess the second reason for why I am blogging about sake is connected to the sharing part. I like the process of writing. My day job is an analyst, and I have been writing different types of reports for many years. But more often than not you have to write about things you are not really interested in. Here, in my blog, I can write about what really captivates me.

I enjoy planning my posts, doing the research for them and putting my thoughts and ideas into words and sentences. I find it very rewarding. The fact that it might be interesting for other people makes it even more enjoyable.

The third reason, why I have started this blog was to find people with similar interests. I always had not very common interests. For example, while a lot of my friends and colleagues love sport and follow football, I am more into foreign black and white movies with subtitles. So I often struggle to find people with similar interests.

Kosuke Kuji, a legendary owner of Nanbu Bijin Brewery
With Kosuke Kuji, a legendary owner of Nanbu Bijin Brewery at the IWC 2017 Award Winning Sake Tasting

The blog gives me an opportunity to connect with many people who love sake, interested in Japan and Japanese culture, and enjoy other things that could be interesting for me as well. So Sugidama Blog has become an opener into the world of like-minded people for me.

Another thing I would like to mention here is the direction of the blog. From the start, I wanted to journal my journey in the sake world. I didn’t want to pose as an expert in sake, but wanted to share the things I learn about the drink to a wider audience.

However, it proves to be a bit difficult. Probably because everyone wants to look like an expert and I’m not an exception. So I will try to rein in my ambitions and humble myself in my writing. I think it will make it more interesting for people who just started to learn about sake.

So after a short break from Sugidama, I am back into action. My plan is to write more regularly and achieve one post per week in the near future. I don’t promise that it all will be the original content. I plan to continue my article round-ups and probably will introduce some other interesting third-party content.

I also plan to attend a sake course in autumn to learn to better describe my sake experience so you should expect more posts about various sake after that. So I’ve got plenty of ideas I want to try out in the blog so stay tuned.



Alex is a London-based sake blogger, podcaster, IWC Sake judge and sake advocate. He is a publisher of the Sugidama Blog website and a host of the Sugidama Podcast. Alex has an International Kikisake-shi (Sake Specialist) qualification from SSI (Sake Service Institute). He sees his mission as expanding the awareness of Japanese sake among as many people as possible and helping the growing community of sake lovers to bring together beautiful Japanese sake and non-Japanese food as a way to build a better understanding between our cultures.