October 2011

Ask Beau - "What is one of your biggest peeves about the sake industry?"

Posted by Beau Timken in 2011, Ask Beau, Newsletter, October
Ha! Nobody has ever phrased a question this way before so for that David G from Vancouver you get a big smiley face! In a long and very kind email DG spoke freely about the difficult sake situation in Canada and I have written it about in the past. He then asked me about our situation here in the US and I have a tone of peeves. I am peeved about the "system" which does not allow us to ship sake across state lines legally without a lot of headaches. I am peeved about the pricing of sake now. I am peeved that there is no real marketing for sake in general. I am still peeved at consumers who don't support the industry by making an effort to understand sake more and remember the darn names!

But my biggest peeve - at the moment - is directed to the restaurant industry that is doing sake no favors with their pricing and how they deliver the product. Small little shot glasses for $15? Really? The price of sake at restaurants sucks, especially when you stack it up to beer and wine on the same menu. 6 oz wine pour for $11 or 3 oz sake pour for $15? Come on people. Your mark up is killing the advancement of sake. Give sake a chance for the love of god! Your 5 oz tokkuri (carafe) trick for $18 also stinks!

There is a sushi bar in SF that does a daily special on sake. They have older sake or sake that has been open for a while and they drastically reduce the price on two brews each day. Well done! Be creative instead of greedy. Offer a special every now and then, but if you keep charging more for less there will be a backlash. We are at the tipping point for the advancement of sake, and given the current yen situation it looks all the more bleak.

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

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