August 2006

"Ask Beau" August 2006

Posted by admin in 2006, Ask Beau, August, Newsletter

Trevor P from NYC asked:

"I just came back from Tokyo and had this really great sake, if I get the name of the brewery can you import it for me?"

ask beau aug 2006Oh man Trevor, in a perfect world I'd love to say hell yes! But we live in the most imperfect world when it comes to booze importing, distributing, and retail sales here in the US. Since I am retailer of sake, I cannot import nor distribute sake. We have the so-called separation of church and state at all three levels of "movement" of alcoholic beverages. Why? Well for one thing the government gets to tax all three levels of importation, distribution, and retail. If you could do all three, this would eliminate two levels of taxation. Thus the bureaucracy of alcoholic beverages dictates that only in rare instances (I am still trying to figure this one out) can an importer sell directly to the customer.

Trevor is by no means the first and only person to ask me this. I get 3-4 emails per week from breweries in Japan who have heard about True Sake, and ask me to import their sake. Sadly, I have to tell them - right after they offer to send me lots of samples - that I cannot act as their importer. It kills me! And in case you are wondering in terms of margins the importers make the most followed by the distributors, which leaves loser like me and True Sake in the dust with by far the smallest margins.

Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All correspondence should use info @

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