You are currently viewing Ep. 35: Deep Dive into Sake Trends: an interview with Jim Rion and Andrew Russell, Sake Deep Dive

Ep. 35: Deep Dive into Sake Trends: an interview with Jim Rion and Andrew Russell, Sake Deep Dive

This is the second interview, which concludes the Emergence of Sake series and highlights the modern sake trends. This time with Jim Rion and Andrew Russell from the super interesting and informative Sake Deep Dive podcast. 

Andy has already been on Sugidama Podcast before passionately talking about sake yeast in Episode 19. He is a sake brewer at Imada Shuzo and the author of the Origin Sake blog.

Jim is a freelance translator and writer working primarily in the tourism, sake, and entertainment fields. He is based in Japan in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Besides the podcast, Jim also publishes the Ochoko Time newsletter.

Both Jim and Andy possess an enormous amount of sake knowledge. It was great fun to discuss with them what is cool in the sake world in Japan!

Don’t forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.

Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.

Episode’s Content:

  • Introduction and background
  • The Sake Deep Dive Podcast
  • From Kimoto to Sokujo
  • Sake trends:
    • Back to the Roots
    • Low Polish Ratio
    • Lower ABV Sake
    • Modern Juicy Style
    • The Growth in Namazake Export
    • The Emergence of New (Newish) Sake Breweries
  • Future Trends 
  • Sake of the Episode: Kanenaka Kimoto Junmai (Jim) and Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri Junmai (Andy)


Sake mentioned:
Kanenaka Kimoto Junmai
Nakashimaya Sake Brewery
Sake Shoten Online Store

Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri Junmai
Miyasaka Sake Brewery
London Sake

Sake Deep Dive Podcast
Intro music
Lotus Lane by The Loyalist – Preconceived Notions Available at
Under a  Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream:
Music promoted by Audio Library 

Yamaguchi Sake + Ochoko Times (Jim Rion)

Origin Sake (Andrew Russell)

Discovering Yamaguchi Sake (Jim Rion’s new book pre-order page)

Sugidama Podcast on Podchaser – please review if you don’t use Apple Podcasts

Music used:
Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown


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.

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