Certified Sake Sommelier | ONLINE | October 23, 30 & Nov 06, 2023



Become a Certified Sake Sommelier! If you work in the food or beverage industry or are a serious sake enthusiast, it’s the perfect time to become a Certified Sake Sommelier. This 3-day training and exam is intense, fun, and extremely educational. It gives you all the knowledge and tools you need to independently speak about sake with confidence.


Sake Sommelier (International Kikisake-shi)

Successful candidates will be able to list the principal categories of sake, and state their defining characteristics, and know the key principles involved in the storage and service of sake. They will consequently be in a position to answer customer inquiries and provide recommendations for the service of sake. (Click for more on what being a Kikisake-shi entails)

In preparation for your upcoming course, students are advised to commit 10-15 hours of independent study using the Master of Sake textbook (cost of textbook included in course fees).

This intensive 3-day sake education course is designed to build upon course material taught in the Sake Adviser course. Students without Sake Adviser qualifications are requested to contact us prior to course enrollment.

You must be age 21 or over to take this course and exam.

Course Date and Time

October 23, 2023 (ONLINE)

8:00am – 4:00pm PT | 11:00am – 7:00pm ET

October 30, 2023 (ONLINE)

8:00am – 4:00pm PT | 11:00am – 7:00pm ET

November 06, 2023 (ONLINE)

8:00am – 4:00pm PT | 11:00am – 7:00pm ET

November 13, 2023 (IN-PERSON Exam)

11:30am – 3:30pm ET | 8:30am – 12:30pm PT

Please adjust accordingly for your own time zone.

Course Location


via Zoom (link will be provided prior to course)

Along with the online sake lecture and instructions, students will experience 15 sake samples guided by the instructor to illustrate the variety of key sake styles.

If you are nearby Los Angeles, you can pick up your sake samples in person at:
Miyako Sushi & Washoku School

843 E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
If you are outside of the Metropolitan Los Angeles area, the sake tasting can be shipped to you.

After your registration is completed, be sure to be in contact with Sake School of America administration to arrange your sake sample delivery.


Applicants must possess Sake Adviser qualification or have a strong sake or wine background prior to enrollment in the course.

Important Notice

  • You must be age 21 or over to take this course and exam.
  • The exam for this course must be taken in person. You may choose to take the exam on the date above or at a later date (the exam must be taken within 1 year of taking the lecture portion of the course)
  • Online students will receive ZOOM information after registration.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the class two weeks prior to the date of the course if there is an inadequate number of registrants. In the case of a cancellation, your course fee will be reimbursed (minus the cost of course materials) or you may choose to register for a course at a future date.
  • International students are welcome! Samples cannot be shipped outside of the US but a list of suggested tastings will be provided. International students will receive a non-printable PDF or may receive a hard copy for an additional shipping fee.
  • Registration deadline is Friday, September 15, 5pm PT.


November 13, 2023 (In Person Exam)

11:30am – 3:30pm ET | 8:30am – 12:30pm PT

New York Mutual Trading– 77 Metro Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094

Sake School of America – 4200 Shirley Ave, El Monte, CA 91731

The exam is comprised of 3 parts and covers sake characteristics, production, and blind tasting. Students must pass all 3 sections of the examination in order to achieve the Sake Sommelier qualification.

The content is mainly based on Kikisake-shi, certified by SSI. The questions will be on the sake in the international markets, and its role in places with different cultures and traditions from Japan.

Example questions: https://sake-sommelier-japan.com/pdf/Example_Ver.English.pdf

First stage examination
Multiple-choice questions with some writing questions
Expert knowledge on sake
・Basic knowledge of sake and alcoholic beverages in general

Second stage examination
Writing questions  with some multiple-choice questions
・Questions on sake service and sales promotion, including planning by seasonal flavor characteristics)

Third stage examination
Writing questions with tasting and some multiple-choice questions
・Quality evaluation through tasting of sake, extraction of individuality (including classification by flavor characteristics)

Passing Requirements: Correct answer rate of 70% or more for each exam

Please note, exams are graded overseas. Students will be notified of exam results by email within 6-8 weeks.

Main Concepts

    • The main techniques that are used in the production of sake and how they influence style and quality
    • Requirements for success as a Kikisake-shi
    • The basics of alcoholic beverages
    • History of sake production
    • Ingredients of sake
    • How sake is produced
    • Sake tasting techniques and analysis
    • Serving sake in the restaurant/hospitality industry
    • Reading sake labels

Instructor: Timothy Sullivan

Founder, UrbanSake.com, America’s foremost sake website
2007 Sake Samurai, Japan Sake Brewer’s Association
International Sake Sommelier, Sake Service Institute
Certified Sake Educator Level 3, Wine & Spirit Education Trust
JSA Sake Diploma, Japan Sommelier Association
Co-founder, SakeJourneys.com
Official Brand Ambassador, Hakkaisan Sake Brewery

With his first sip in 2005, Timothy Sullivan simply fell in love with premium Japanese sake.  This inspired him to start the first sake blog in the United States: UrbanSake.com, America’s most popular sake blog & education website. His passion for sake has grown this site into America’s leading resource for sake-related news, events, and education.  In 2007, the Japanese Sake Brewer’s Association awarded Sullivan the title of “Sake Samurai” in recognition of his work to promote sake outside of Japan.


Instructor: Sara Guterbock

CBS, ISS, ASP, CS, CWE, DipWSET, JSA Sake Diploma
Certified Sake Educator Level 3, Wine & Spirit Education Trust 
Advanced Sake Professional, Sake Education Council

International Sake Sommelier (Kikisake-shi), Sake Service Institute International
Sake Adviser, Sake Service Institute
Shochu Adviser, Sake School of America

Sara spent a year living in Japan as a high school student and grew up in a family that placed great emphasis on learning and experiencing the Japanese language and culture.  Becoming proficient in Sake has brought together Sara’s passion for the beverage industry with her life-long love of Japan, its people, traditions, and cuisine.

Sara devotes a tremendous amount of energy introducing people to the complexities and beauties of Sake and its unmatched ability to pair with food.  She has developed a growing portfolio of 135 sakes, the largest in North Carolina, which she helps to distribute, market, and educate about throughout the state and beyond.

Additional information

Select Exam Location

Los Angeles, CA, Secaucus, NJ