Things are changing up for Singapore’s largest craft sake festival as it heads into its sixth time running from April 1-2, 2023.
Sake Matsuri, having been held at UE Square for all its past editions, is now heading to an even more convenient location at Guoco Tower. The event will take over the atrium and Urban Park space found right outside Tanjong Pagar MRT.
What remains the same is the format. As usual, a ticket entitles entry into one of two sessions (11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm) happening each event day, where you’re free to sample the sakes being offered by the various vendors for those 3 hours.
[Read more: Sake Matsuri festival guide]
With travel to Japan fully opened up, this Spring 2023 edition is promising a greater diversity of breweries than before. Festival goers can expect even more variety – including seasonal releases and award-winning labels – than what they had experienced in past editions.
What many can look forward to is the debut of a collaboration bottling by mod-sin chef Willin Low with Hyogo-based brewery Yaegaki. The brewery partnered with the celebrated chef to create RASEN, a blended sake made specifically to pair with Singaporean cuisine.
Attendees will get to have a taste of the sake ahead of anyone else, as the brand is only slated to officially launch later in April. Said Low regarding the collab: “The acidity and umami of Japanese sake actually complements our local dishes extremely well, and in that light we decided to create a unique sake that accentuates that.”
Other sake highlights include the Frozen “Tono 60” Special Junmai from Kamihei Shuzo in Iwate, that’s meant to be enjoyed immediately after thawing. This unpasteurized sake is flash-frozen at the brewery to preserve its flavour, and is usually only available at the brewery itself.
A sake-adjacent showing comes in the form of the Yaesen Awamori from Yaesen Syuzo in Okinawa. This alcoholic beverage unique to Okinawa prefecture is akin to shochu, with this particular label defined by a robust and fragrant aroma, coupled with a deep and balanced sweetness.
Those who wish to extend their experience beyond the festival itself can look forward to the various dinners and masterclasses happening around town.
Top on our agenda is the Sake Pairing Soirée (S$199 per person) that’s held right after the end of the second session each event day. Essentially a hosted sake pairing dinner, it takes place conveniently right beside festival grounds at modern Japanese restaurant Wagatomo.
Our curiosity is also piqued by the Sake – Au Natural (S$60 per person) masterclass being held a few days before the festival. The class will attempt to clarify what natural sakes are by going through five bottlings that have undergone minimal intervention during its make.
For those wondering if the Singapore Sake Awards is taking place once again, well, the answer is yes, but not during the Spring edition. That will only happen once a year, and will be held during the next Sake Matsuri happening later in 2023.
Until then, we can continue getting our sake fix at this upcoming run of the festival. We’ll see you there.
Sake Matsuri Singapore Spring Edition 2023 takes place April 1-2 at the Urban Park @ Guoco Tower. Tickets are S$55, inclusive of entry into one of the sessions and a Riedel tasting glass.
[Read more: A beginner’s guide to sake]