August 2013

True Truth – The Motivation For True Sake

Posted by Beau Timken in 2013, August, Newsletter

My goal for opening the first dedicated sake store outside of Japan was to fulfill the simple notion that I didn’t want people to feel “that” way again when asking somebody about sake. It’s that simple. In my quest to understand sake I spent time in Japanese grocery stores trying to ask questions about their sakes. And nobody had any answers – not a single one. It was extremely frustrating and I swore that if I ever did open a store that sold sake we would be all about answering those questions that people have, and trust me people have tons of questions. Tons! True Sake I have been drinking “premium” sake and really trying to understand it for well over twenty years. Most of my learning came from sushi chefs, who would educate me about their hometown’s brews and why their rice and water were superior to all of the others in Japan. They told me what was good sake and what was “bad” sake. They would poor me “bad” sake and under my breath I would say, “this ain’t so bad” (personal note – I never say ain’t). Point being I was developing my own palate based on the palate of some of the best sake drinkers outside of Japan. (Or so I thought as I have come to learn and say time and time again, when it comes to sake we are all the champions of our own palate.)

Fast forward to twelve years ago when I found myself at a crossroads of sorts. Sake was a hobby. Sake was a passion. It was totally enjoyable. But what it was not was a reality. It didn’t fit my background. It didn’t fit my flesh tone. It was perfectly alien to me, but it was “me.” Imagine my confusion. I loved something that I had no real clue about, but I knew that it loved me back. The more I wanted to know the more there was to know. I love that! If only I had felt that way about all of my edumacation background. True Sake

The more I learned about sake the less that people could tell me. I was in a box of sorts, keep learning and keep insulating myself or do something about it. Then it happened (again). I was at my local Japanese food market standing in front of their dubious sake section and I had a – god forbid – question. “Excuse me sir, could you please tell me what this sake called Otokoyama tastes like?” I asked the Japanese employee in a blue store overcoat. He looked at me, lowered his head and shook it side to side. “WTH?” (Heck) that’s what my mind screamed, “That guy is totally blowing me off!” But as I would learn later, nothing could have been further from the truth. The guy knew nothing about the sake, but just didn’t want to say so.

Then that was it. That was the rice stalk that broke my back. I had a mission. I had a guiding light. And it was you! The customers of True Sake and all sake drinkers were my true inspiration to open True Sake. I wanted a store that did all of the things that my personal experiences did not. That is why whenever you enter True Sake the first thing a True Sake team member will say is, “Let us know if you have any questions!” (I should probably record one of us for the website so when you click on the home page a voice comes on and says, “Let us know if you have any questions.”)

In a sense we are not only a retail store, but we are an answering service. We answer your questions, and truthfully we have probably answered over a million of them over the past decade. And we do so gladly, because sake is so awesome. You need to know the answer.

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