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2015 J-Pop Summit Announces S.F.’s First-Ever Sake Summit

SAKE SUMMIT Image 1The 2015 J-Pop Summit, the Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, is proud to announce the city’s very first Sake Summit, a festival to celebrate Japan’s national spirit taking place in the city’s downtown Union Square Park on the weekend of August 8th and 9th.

Organized by the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee and presented in partnership with a variety of leading Japanese and U.S. sake brands, brewers, distributors, and retailers, the 2015 Sake Summit Union Square will feature multiple sake tasting booths at Union Square Park. Attendees can try a wide range of premium Japanese sake and learn how to enjoy them with food-pairings. In addition to tasting, attendees can purchase select brands of sake on-site. There also will be live Japanese traditional music entertainment, Japanese food vendors, and Japanese Matcha (green tea) exhibitors.

Early bird tickets are on-sale now (until 6/30) for $25.00 each; advance tickets (until 8/7) will be $30.00 each; tickets purchased on-site the day of SAKE SUMMIT will be $35.00 each.

Sake tasting participants must be at least 21 years old (IDs will be checked). Each tasting session lasts 2 hours and 3 sake tasting sessions are scheduled each day. Tastings will take place at: 11:00 to 1:00pm / 1:30pm to 3:30pm / 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

A special panel discussion, “American Entrepreneurs on Sake, Matcha & Sushi,” will take place on Saturday August 8th at the Fort Mason Main Stage. The panel features prominent Japanese food and cuisine entrepreneurs that will share their experience; working with Japanese foods and serving Bay Area food lovers, what were their hurdles and triumphs along the way, and finally, what does authenticity mean to them?

Participating Sake Companies and Breweries Include:

Choya Umeshu USA

Choya specializes in producing Umeshu, a traditional Japanese liqueur made from ume fruit. More than half a century has passed since CHOYA began producing Umeshu. Today, it is a brand with country-wide recognition, available across the whole of Japan. The delicious tang of Umeshu comes from citric acid in the fruit, and the refreshing flavor stimulates the appetite.

Gekkeikan Sake USA

Gekkeikan Sake (USA), Inc. was established in Folsom, California in 1989. Today, Gekkeikan’s passion for pleasing the sake connoisseur remains unchanged. Dedicated just as the founder was over 370 years ago, both Gekkeikan Japan and Gekkeikan USA continue the tradition of both taste and quality.

Iichiko (Sanwa Shurui)

Japan’s best-selling genuine Shochu iichiko is a genuine distilled spirits produced from carefully selected barley and crisp cold water drawn. Produced by the advanced brewing and distilling technologies to meet the very highest quality, the refreshing flavor and crystal clear taste embody essence of Japanese refinement.

Ozeki Sake USA

With over three centuries of history in sake making, Ozeki started its U.S. production in Hollister, California, in 1979. Ozeki became the first Japanese sake brewer to locally brew sake within the U.S. As the popularity of sake has steadily grown, the product lineup of Ozeki has been expanded to retail, food service, and food manufacturing industries.

Sequoia Sake

Sequoia Sake is the first and only sake micro-brewery in the Bay Area. The company is founded upon a mission to create fresh, live and accessible sake. Producing small batches of hand crafted, premium sake to ensure the highest quality product possible, Sequoia Sake is proud to be a part of the new American micro-sake revolution.

Takara Sake USA

With more than 150 years of sake making history in Japan, Takara USA was established in 1982 in Berkeley, California. Takara Sake USA takes pure snow melt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and superior rice from the fertile Sacramento Valley and applies traditional sake-making craftsmanship and modern technology to produce a sake worthy of the Takara mark.


SAKE SUMMIT Participating Distributors and retailers include:

N.A. Sales

N.A. Sales has been an importer-wholesale distributor in San Francisco, Northern California area for 40 years and carries more than 4,000 products including Asian food, Japanese premium sake, shochu and other restaurant supplies.

Wismettac Asian Foods

Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc. (formally Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd.) was established in Kobe, Japan in 1912 and is one of the oldest and most experienced importer, wholesaler and distributor of Asian food products in North America.

JFC International

JFC International is proud of its roots, dating back to the early 1900’s. Today’s modern JFC company was formally established in 1958. Ever since, the corporation has broadened and enhanced its 15,000-item product line by penetrating new geographic and consumer markets in fulfilling its commitment of leading the way to tomorrow.

Hosoda Brother

One of California’s largest importers and wholesalers of fine Japanese and Hawaii products.  Since 1918, Hosoda Brothers is carrying a wide variety of specialty food and beverages products from Japan, Hawaii, the U.S. and other countries for distribution to restaurants and retail trade in the United States.

True Sake

True Sake is the first retailer in the U.S. devoted entirely and exclusively to sake. Located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, True Sake is the brainchild of sake aficionado Beau Timken, a professional sake taster and sake sommelier. The retailer offers American consumers sakes that have never before been available on a retail basis.