Unlocking the Secrets of Sake: Join Our Free Seminars at the Sake Festival!👩‍🏫

Here at Sake Festival, we strive to create not only a fun experience, but also provide an educational aspect to our events. We believe that the more you’re able to learn about sake, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy all the wonders it has to offer.

As our festival grows, so too will the opportunities to not only taste a wide variety of sake, but also to learn alongside some of Australia’s and Japan’s industry professionals. 

We are dedicated to bringing you a truly memorable sake experience – this includes offering educational seminars that will deepen your understanding and enjoyment of sake – both its array of styles and versatility, along with its rich history and fine craftsmanship. 

We introduced our free educational seminar program in Melbourne earlier this year, and it was a great success. Melbourne-based Sake Samurai, Simone Maynard, and Kyoto-based Sake Brewer, Philip Harper, each presented insightful seminars on both days of our Melbourne event. The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, indicating that you, the sake lovers of Australia, want more of these types of educational opportunities.

Our aim is to deliver, and we are thrilled to announce that we have a wonderful program of free sake education seminars lined up for Sake Festival in Sydney. Whether you are a sake enthusiast looking to expand your knowledge, a curious newcomer eager to learn more, or simply someone who enjoys the rich cultural experiences that our festival offers, these seminars are designed to cater to varied levels of interest and expertise.

During these seminars, you will have the chance to delve into the fascinating world of sake, guided by dedicated industry professionals. Each seminar offers something a little different and will allow you to gain further insight, from various perspectives, into this unique and delicious beverage.

Join us as we endeavour to take you on a sake journey – unlocking sake’s rich traditions, techniques, and cultural significance. Prepare to be captivated by the diverse aromas, wide spectrum of flavours, and profound history of this beloved Japanese brew. Sip, savour, and discover a new realm of sensory delights with our engaging and enlightening sake seminars.


Melbourne-based Sake Educator & Sake Samurai, Simone Maynard, joins us again after delivering her Sake 101 seminar in Melbourne. Simone will focus on sake styles, going beyond the ‘grades’ in an attempt to find the kind of brew suited to you! 

You will learn a little about sake basics, ingredients and brewing process, however, this seminar pushes a lot of the ‘technical’ aside to make room for the practical and personal side to sake.

 “I ultimately want to make sake more approachable for people. When I hear people tell me they don’t like sake, I just tell them they are yet to find the right one and assure them that there IS a sake out there for them! My mission in this seminar is to help people find that sake, or at least the style of sake, that suits their palate best and start them on their journey of discovering how varied and versatile sake really is.”

During Simone’s seminar, you will not only have the opportunity to taste, and be guided through, a range of different styles of sake, you will also be presented with a selection of delicious bites to savour as you are guided through sake’s food pairing possibilities. Food packs are limited so be sure to get your seat early for this seminar!

** This seminar is sponsored by, and held in collaboration with, the Japanese government**

Duration: 45 minutes
Seminar times: Saturday 30 September: 2:40pm, Sunday 1 October: 3:10pm


New Zealand-born, Tokyo-based Wayne Shennen joins our seminar line-up in Sydney. Wayne is both an established sommelier and sake professional. His seminar will cover a range of topics including sake misconceptions, its history and culture, as well as helping to simplify the language surrounding sake.. and of course will include a sake tasting!

“Once you understand some of the basics, sake is actually quite an easy thing to grasp. I want people to understand how approachable sake is. Anyone who understands beer, wine or spirits will, with a little guidance, indeed be able to understand sake. Learning about sake shouldn’t be intimidating – it should be fun!”

Duration: 45 minutes
Seminar times: Sunday 1 October: 4:05pm


Perth-based Sake Educator, Sandra Gwee, is ready to help you decode sake and unlock the door to new and enjoyable sake experiences.

In this seminar, Sandra addresses some of the challenges encountered by consumers that can often hinder them from fully embracing the world of sake. 

This seminar aims to simplify some of the more intricate aspects of sake, and provide some accessible knowledge and clarity.

“Ultimately, the seminar’s mission is to remove barriers, enabling consumers to wholeheartedly explore and appreciate the diverse and rich universe of Japanese sake. My aim is to empower the consumers, allowing them to embark on a fulfilling sake journey with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Sandra’s seminar will also offer a guided tasting.

Duration: 45 minutes
Seminar times: Sunday 1 October: 1:30pm



If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about a Japanese sake brewery – this seminar is for you!

Yuichi Hashiba is our special international ‘brewery’ guest speaker.

Hashiba-san will present a seminar that showcases his brewery, Izumibashi Shuzo – covering their history, location, brewing techniques, rice farming, and lots more.

Izumibashi Shuzo is located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. They have been brewing sake since 1857. Their motto is – “Great sake begins in the rice fields”. 

The brewery is not only committed to producing fine quality, hand-crafted sake, they are also committed to growing their own, sustainably-farmed rice.

This seminar is a unique opportunity to learn more about Izumibashi’s sake, and their story, directly from the 6th generation owner of the brewery – in addition, you will also have the opportunity to taste some of Izumibashi’s delicious sake.

Duration: 45 minutes
Seminar times: Saturday 30 September: 4:15pm


All seminars include free sake tasting and Q&A session

You can read more about our seminar hosts on the Sydney page of our website!


To be notified about future Sake Festivals, please register your email address here