December 2018

“Ask Beau” – “Any New Year’s Resolutions?”

Posted by Beau Timken in 2018, Ask Beau, December, Newsletter, Resolutions

Ask Beau A

Ha Ha! You bet!

 

I’ve done a few of these over the years, but I guess it is a good time to get my sake bearings set for another dramatic year.

 

I resolve to rediscover some old favorite brews: 
-There is such a rush today to find the next excellent sake. It’s almost like a speed game to get to the next best thing. And I am guilty of being in that race. But when we are flying at 300 MPH to find the latest and greatest sake, we forget to visit old favorites. I look at our inventory and say things like, “I haven’t tasted Urakasumi since dinosaurs roamed Hayes Valley,” or “I have totally forgotten what Tsukinokatsura “Heiankyo” is all about!” and it doesn’t feel good. These wonderful sakes helped the industry become what it has become, and they have a definitive part in the here and now, but they are overlooked or passed by because they are “old” or “tired” labels. Screw that! I resolve to reacquaint myself to one “old” brew per week until I am caught up.

 

I resolve to stay positive for all things sake: 
-This is a big one. And for all of you in the industry, you know what I am talking about. Back in the day we were all such a small team flailing around the industry making sure we were all on the same team to get the message out. There weren’t a lot of us, and we mostly had each other’s back and supported each other in every capacity. It felt good, and it felt honest. But like all things, the industry expanded and grew and that small tight knit feeling slowly ebbed away. I am not saying that it is a dog eat dog sake world out there! It’s not. We still have a strong, passionate and compassionate community that tries to better sake. But along the way certain things, people, designs arise and it throws shade on the big picture big family nature of the industry. Again, I am guilty of being negative and saying certain things about certain group or efforts that I don’t think walk the sake walk. But this is bogus and I catch myself from saying certain things or pointing out certain aspects that I don’t think belong in or jive with the industry. I sort of consider myself a protector of sorts, but this should not be at the expense of being negative. Sake is a good thing. It always has been and always will be. So I better get sake “living” before I get sake “dying.”

 

I resolve to help more people get to where their sake path takes them:
-I am in a very unique position of being able to help a lot of people in and around the sake industry. I do it on many levels from helping brewers find importers to helping people find a home in the sake business. I’ve always been this way. Ask anybody. It is my great passion and desire to make the sake industry bigger, better, smarter, faster, and more amazing. And in doing this I have spent a lot of human capital to help others. Sometimes this takes a toll on my current condition, and sometimes I find myself pulling back and not extending myself as much as I could or should. But I remember an oath that I made to myself in Kyoto on the day that I became a Sake Samurai and that was to help others in whatever capacity possible to help them achieve their sake dreams and passions. It’s not like I have more free time, but I do have more free spirit to help whomever needs a hand. That’s the way it was and it’s the way it should be, so use me.

 

I resolve to learn more: 
-This is not necessarily an education implication. There are many ways to learn sake. The important thing is to learn your way of sake. Huh? What the heck does that mean? It means sake should fascinate you beyond a book meaning. It should grab at your brain and make you want to explore sake your way, by you, for you. One of my tag lines is that “You are the champion of your own palate!” This is very true, but you are also the champion of your own sake education and “learning path.” Let sake teach you! Just discover the best way to do that and then go for it. Sake exploration has been paramount to my sake education process. I’ve learned things by trying the unknown. There is no right or wrong in that, because it’s all right even if it’s wrong. So I resolve to keep my form of sake learning going forward, in fresh new directions.

 

I resolve to finish a few projects this year: 
-Yup! This is a big one. We put down new carpets in the store, which was a lot of work, but it reminds me that we have a certain style to maintain. Another project that has been dangling is the website. You know it. I know it. We know it. This is the year it will happen. I also have gotten out of the mud, dusted myself off, and am ready to pursue another expression for True Sake. We are working hard to figure out what that is, but we are working on it! I resolve to write about our completed projects next year!

 


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