Awamori Sunrise | Feb/Mar 2021

View the Awamori Sunrise
with THREE amazing guest speakers.

DateGuest SpeakerTimesRegistration
WED 02/10w/ Nick Korn3pm PT | 6pm ETCLICK Here
WED 02/17w/ Christina Veira3pm PT | 6pm ETCLICK Here
WED 03/03w/ Kellie Thorn3pm PT | 6pm ETCLICK Here

What’s that on the horizon?
It’s the Awamori Sunrise!

See the Recipes | See the Winners
Japanese Craft Spirits

Set sail with Sake School of America’s Toshio Ueno as he introduces you to one of Japan’s craft spirits: Awamori. We will go further in-depth about the three featured awamori (Hanashimauta, Sakura Yamakawa Aged Awamori, and Mizuho) and more exciting information! Our guest presenter, an Awamori Jinbner, will share their thoughts on awamori, cocktails, and fun food pairings outside of Japanese food. All sessions will be followed by a Q&A section.

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*** MM Sake is currently offering 15% off their shochu/awamori! ***
Taste with us or try out something new using the discount code: JCS15 

Awamori Sunrise will be held during February (Shochu Month) and the first week of March, with different guests from the professional bar and restaurant scene! Please be sure to follow Sake School of America on our website, Instagram, and Facebook for updates on upcoming events.

—-WIN the Shochu Adviser Class for FREE!—-

At the end of each session, we will have a mini quiz and if you’re able to answer all the questions correctly, you will have a chance to win our Shochu Adviser Class! We will have one winner per session. Those who answer the quiz correctly will be entered into a randomized drawing and winners will be announced the following day. Join us every session for more chances to win!

What is an Awamori Jinbner?

“Jinbun” means “wisdom” in the Okinawan dialect, and an “Awamori Jinbner” is someone who will spread the beauty of awamori with wisdom across the world.

Fascinated by awamori, they have learned its history and culture, the unique ingredients and methods, and a variety of ways of enjoying and tasting it, and are qualified for the title. So far, there are only eleven Awamori Jinbners in the world.

The awamori specialist will show you the world of awamori that brims with originality, and you will surely be attracted to a joy you never experienced before.

Learn more: click here

About Our Guests

Host, Toshio Ueno | Vice President & Co-Founder @ Sake School of America

Certified Master Sake & Shochu Sommelier, Certified Sake Educator. Born in Japan where his family has grown Japanese wine grape, Koshu, for generations, Toshio grew up helping the business from a young age. Following his college education in the US and employment at an international trading company in Tokyo, Toshio joined Chateraise, a pastry and wine company as Director of Sales. There, he was put in charge of overseeing the personal wine collection of the company’s president, which intrigued him to enter the world of wine stewardship and research.

Toshio joined Mutual Trading Company in 2002, where he is Director of Sake Specialist Division in marketing Japanese foods, Jizake, and Shochu to the mainstream American trade. With his passion and expertise in Jizake, Shochu, and Wine, Toshio aims to further promote Japanese food and Sake cultures to new, international audiences.

Toshio Ueno was awarded the prestigious title of Sake Samurai in 2016. He is the only one in the world to hold Master of Sake, Master Sake Sommelier, and a WSET Sake Educator diploma.  Since 2010, Toshio has been the Vice President & Executive Instructor at Sake School of America and continues to judge some of the top wine and spirits competitions in the U.S. and internationally.

Photo ©Caitlin Cunningham, 2017

Nick Korn | Principal @ OFFSITE
Register for Nick’s Session!

Nick Korn is a life-long student and self-identified nerd; with a background in anthropology, and an addiction to travel, he brings an academic lens to eating and drinking the world over. A dedicated professional in the bar industry in Boston for over a decade, he has pursued study—both in the classroom and in the field—into the ways that food and beverage tie into larger themes of human experience.  A fierce advocate for his community, Nick currently owns and manages OFFSITE, a boutique experiential marketing and strategy firm focused on changing paradigms in the liquor industry. Nick believes that education and professional development are the cornerstones of the elevation of this industry. Nick self-identifies as a bartender and isn’t ready to be put out to pasture yet: in more normal times, you can find Nick opening beers and making drinks behind his friends’ bars.

Christina Veira | Certified Spirits Educator, Hospitality Leader, Consultant
Register for Christina’s Session!

Christina was chosen as one of Imbibe Magazine’s 2019 Imbibe 75, selected as one of the 50 under 40 future influencers of the global drinks industry by WSET and IWSC, and #44 by Drink’s Internationals 2020 Bar World list. She has occupied every front-of-house position (and a couple in the kitchen) while pursuing certifications in wine and beer and winning cocktail competitors. Currently, she is Director of Programming for Toronto Cocktail Week, a Bar & Beverage Curator for Restaurants Canada, a national coordinator for Speed Rack Canada, a Spirits Educator with WSET, and a consultant.

Over the course of the last few years, she has been able to harness her skills while raising over $100k for charities, with a strong focus on womxn (especially WOC), LGBTQ communities, and food insecurity. Christina is highly recognized as an influential leader in the beverage industry and continues to leverage her platform and valuable experience to build out workshops and programming around rethinking hospitality – especially its management – in ways that center intersectionality, empathy, and safety as guiding business principles.

Kellie Thorn | Spirits Educator (Freelance), Beverage Director (Hugh Acheson Restaurants), Drinks Consultant (Freelance)
Register for Kellie’s Session!

Kellie Thorn has been in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years and bartending for the last seventeen. Kellie, born in Atlanta and raised in various cities along the Southern coast, has received considerable critical recognition for her talents and skills. In 2010, Kellie joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to open Empire State South, Acheson’s vibrant reimagination of traditional southern fare, to develop a creative program balanced by a reverent nod to the classics. Her success in this role led her to the position of Beverage Director for Acheson’s restaurants in 2013.

Kellie is highly committed to furthering her education in spirits and wine, she has taken and passed the Introductory Course for Court of Sommeliers, participated in and passed the reputed BAR Five Day program in New York and most recently participated in the WSET Level Three Award in Spirits and received a Pass with Distinction. She believes that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and she has turned her attention to utilizing her knowledge base to educate her peers. Kellie is a BNIC Certified Cognac Educator, passing the Certification in Cognac France in April 2015, as well as a WSET Certified Level Three Spirits Educator. She has been a panelist for educational seminars at Tales of the Cocktail, Bar Convent Brooklyn, and Bev Con.

Kellie is also very involved in her local community as well as the broader hospitality community. She has served on the Advisory Council for Atlanta Food and Wine, helped to organize annual charity events for Wholesome Wave Georgia and Community Farmer’s Market, and is currently serving on the Grants Committee for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

In 2017 she was awarded the Les Dames D’Escoffier Legacy Award, and in 2018 she was named one of Wine Enthusiasts 40 under 40 Tastemakers.