Episode-14: Discovering Shochu with Stephen Lyman

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Sake is out this week and Shochu is in! Christopher Pellegrini takes the hotseat to interview his partner in crime, Stephen Lyman.   Stephen Lyman is the founder of Kampai.us and the East Coast instructor for the Sake School of America Certified Shochu Advisor Course. Currently based in Fukuoka city on the island of Kyushu, Stephen now splits his time between Kyushu and New York. Every season for the past 6 years he has been helping Yamatozakura Distillery with their shochu production. He and Chirstopher have gone into business together to open Yokaban, a new shochu bar in Fukuoka, and Stephen is also finishing up with his first book, The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, which he co-authored together with Chris Bunting, author of Drinking Japan.   02:25 Stephen’s journey to Japan 04:40 Meeting shochu in NYC 07:00 Starting Kampi.us 08:30 Shochu Tasting Competition 10:53 Meeting Sekai Ishizuka and traveling to Japan together 13:30 Meeting Takkan Wakamatsu 15:02 Interning with Yamatozakura 17:40 The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks 23:10 The Certified Shochu Advisor Course 30:15 How Stephen and Chris met 35:00 Chris and Stephen’s Shochu Bar (Yokaban NY) 38:00 Drinking Games 39:40 Looking toward the future 46:10 Drinking Shochu and Awamori at home 49:45 Challenges selling Shochu abroad 56:40 Shochu as an artisanal Spirit 58:58 Final remarks   We’d love your thoughts and feedback on this week’s episode. Let us know what excites you about shochu at questions@sakeonair.com You can always follow us on Instagram, Twiiter, and Facebook, if you’re so inclined. And while it has been rather quiet for a long time now, expect updates to our YouTube channel very soon. Also, reviews are great. If you have a moment, please do share a few kind words. It helps the show like you wouldn’t believe.   A big thanks to Frank for another great production this week. The Export Japan team is helping us with a few other show-related things at the moment, as well. We’ll have more to share here very soon. Thanks for listening!   Sake On Air is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center and made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and is a joint production between Potts.K Productions and Export Japan. Our theme is “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.