January 2018

Sake Realities – New Year’s Sake Resolutions

Posted by Beau Timken in 2018, January, Newsletter, Resolutions

I’m not a big resolutions guy. I don’t really focus on things that I need to change. I think they just change when they are meant to change. But, it is a good exercise to take note of your current situation to determine if there are things that need a little extra emphasis to help facilitate that change. So in the spirit of the New Year herewith is a list of my own personal Sake Resolutions for 2018.

Sake Realities – New Year’s Sake Resolutions A

1) I resolve to revisit some sakes that have drifted off my radar.
  • Let’s face it there are a lot of sakes out there. And add to that the fact that every distributor and importer wants me to try and carry new and newer sakes from here, there and everywhere. Because of this onslaught of wonderful new sakes added to our vast landscape of brews, certain sakes just simply vanish from our shelves. Out of sight and out of mind. It’s not malicious we simply lose them. In this spirit, I personally want to try some brews that I have not tasted in a while like Kamoizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Kaika Junmai Ginjo, Isojiman Junmai Ginjo, Tentaka Kuni Junmai, and several others.

  • 2) I resolve to take people up on offers that I would normally pass on.
  • Because of the nature of the retail sake business, I often get asked to make presentations, visit with governmental bodies, participate in forums, and other occasions to speak about sake. Some of these offers include paid for trips to Japan. Somehow, I always find an excuse that keeps me away from these endeavors. Not saying that they are bad or not necessary – they are – it’s just that I have been doing them for 15 years or so. Thus, I have decided to get back into the sake “forums” fold and will actually be flying to Japan in early February to meet with a group of folks who want to hear my opinion about exporting sake to the west.

  • 3) I resolve to freshen up the store for a better shopping experience.
  • I’ll be honest; I never thought that I would still be peddling sake 15 years later. When I designed the store I didn’t imagine it would still be drawing customers from all over the world. Time takes a toll on a retail store and sadly I chose a beautiful carpet but not a practical one. Sea-grass! Who uses Sea-grass in a space that is so heavily traveled? So this year we'll be making some upgrades to the look and feel of the store.

  • Sake Realities – New Year’s Sake Resolutions B4) I resolve to own our website rather than be owned by it.
  • This is a very touchy subject, and it elicits a lot of emotions. My goal was to update the website every two years. That hasn’t happened and that coupled with partnering with a vile person whose “specialty” was designing and operating websites but didn’t, I feel the time has come to create a brand new website that focuses more on selling sake rather than educating people about sake.

  • 5) I resolve to get the True Sake brand out into the market more. 
  • After hosting monthly tastings for 7 or 8 years in a row I burned out! Many of you recall the very amazing exploration tastings that we used to do all over San Francisco from Koshu Night to Pizza Sake Pairing Night. Sadly, the current amazing team at True Sake only knows the in-store pop-up tastings, so I will make a concerted effort to start hosting some special tastings this year!
  • There ya go! That’s my list. What about you? Why not resolve to buy a case of sake this year. Yes, just like you do for wine! How about resolving to buy an isshobin of sake to get a much better value. You did know that right? The 1.8L bottles (60oz) actually save you money! Also why not resolve to try a new category of sake? Have you had taru or cedar sakes? Have you ever tried a koshu or aged sake? What about sparkling? You have a whole year to resolve to do something new in your sake world.


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