Singapore is familiar ground for numerous wine, whisky and cocktail festivals happening across the year, but when it comes to sake, enthusiasts have only one occasion annually to celebrate their preferred rice wine: the Sake Festival.
Organised by Orihara Shoten, which most know as a quaint standing sake bar along Robertson Walk, this year’s iteration of the festival will be held at the Suntec City Convention Centre on 22 June. A purchase of a ticket guarantees you to free tastings of the product range from over 52 breweries, which totals more than 460 sakes and Japanese spirits for your drinking pleasure.
Orihara Shoten has remained the pioneering organisation for sake appreciation in Singapore, as they have brought in a multitude of small batch sakes across its decade of operation here. With this, patrons can expect a spread of boutique sakes rarely seen outside of Japan at the festival, alongside new releases from established brands. Take, for example, the Dassai 45, which debuts from the acclaimed brewery of the same name. This product replaces the signature Dassai 50, with 5 percent more polishing on the rice used to make the junami daigingo as compared to before as the brewery drives towards ramping up the existing quality of its wares.
Sake Festival 2019 will also be perfect hunting ground for collectors of rare or limited edition sakes. One of the highlights at the festival is the Phoenix Junmai Daiginjo and Phoneix Sparkling, two wines created by Tatenokawa, an award-winning Yamagata-based brewery, in collaboration with French pop-rock band, Phoenix.
Those who have been to earlier editions of the Sake Festival will be pleased to know the organisers have doubled down on the food available this time round, with four restaurants setting up stalls on site to serve up regional Japanese bites to the crowd, including the likes of Okinawan cuisine, which most may never have been exposed to in Singapore.