SSA Certified Sake Sommelier Course (Mon 20th May - Wed 22nd May)


Tickets available through the links in the description.

Enquires to:

$1550 inclusive of ticket, tastings, and certifcation.
$185 for examination re-sits or remote examination

Attention all prospective Sake Sommeliers: the Sake Sommelier Association's Certified Sake Sommelier Course is here! 

Designed for those looking to elevate their career, receive formal accrediation recognised at an international level, pr just to try and learn a whole bunch more about sake, this three-day course takes its attendees through the history, production, distribution and service of sake at an intermediate professional level.

It only comes around one every six months, so if you work with sake, are looking to get into the game, or just a very enthusiastic sake drinker, then this course is a fantastic opportunity for you to really dive into Japan's national beverage and become one of Australia's leading sake experts.


Returning to Sydney for its third iteration, the Certified Sake Sommelier Course is designed and accredited by the UK-based Sake Sommelier Assocciation, operating as their flagship course and entry point to an expansive network of Sake Professionals, Sommeliers, and Educators across the globe. 

As mentioned above, the course takes its attendees through the history, production, distribution and service of sake at an intermediate professional level. However, a signifant portion of the course is also dedicated to tasting sake, writing your own tasting notes, and experimenting with various styles, temperatures, serveware, and food pairings. Blind tastings, a Japanese lunch experience, and a cheese and chocolate pairing will also be provided, with two Japanese dining experiences available as an optional add-on. 

At the end of the course, participants will undertake a certification exam with both theory and tasting components (70% pass mark is required). Upon successful completion of the exams, participants will receive the title of Sake Sommelier as well as their SSA Certified Sake Sommelier certificate & pin, granting them access to SSA's global network of Sommelier, Educators, and Resources, as well as the opportunity to participate in the SSA's international Sake Challenges and Sake Sommelier of the Year competitions.

In contrast to previous sessions, this course will be hosted by none other than our own sake specialist Thomas Hart, and will take place over a full three days to allow more time for questions, conversation, and in-depth exploration and experimentation. Additionally, the course will feature presentations from two very special guests: Masahiro Takahashi from Sakenet Australia and Hideko Im from Pidego Art Sydney, who respecitvely will take you through the nuances of kanzake (warmed sake) and traditional sake service. 

Further details on the course structure, requirements, and individuals involved are provided below. Tickets are available through Kodawari Sake Education (the franchisee for the SSA's Courses in Australia), to which a link has been supplied. 

Places are strictly limited (6 spots only!) and will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. We encourage all who are interested to reach out with any questions they may have about the course.

We hope to see you there!


 - Kowdawari Sake Education's webpage on this course
 - Sake Sommelier's Assoication's webpage on this certification
 - Sakenet Australia
 - Pidego Art Sydney

WHAT: SSA Certified Sake Sommelier Course
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW, 2000
WHEN: 9am-5pm, Monday 20th May - Wednesday 22ndMay
TYPE: In-person only
PRICE: $1550 ($185 examination re-sits or remote examinations)
ASSESSMENT: 40-point MCQ + Blind Tasting Exam (70% pass mark required)

Day 1

 - Introductions
 - History & Culture
 - Production 1 (Rice, Water, Koji, and Yeast)
 - Lunch Experience
 - Theory of Flavour
 - Sake Tasting 1 (Methods of Tasting)

Day 2
 - Production 2 (Fermentation & Post-Production)
 - Sake Tasting 2 (Sake Pairing)
 - Warm Sake Workshop
 - Cheese & Chocolate Workshop
 - Optional: Japanese Bar Experience

Day 3
- Sake Labels
 - Industry Trends
 - Sake Service Workshop
 - Questions & Review
 - Examination
 - Optional: Japanese Dining Experience

The Sake Sommelier Association is the first and only UK-based organisation that is solely committed to sake education and promotion around the world. Established in 2000, the SSA has been the world’s leading sake education provider with innovative courses expertly tailored to suit students from all backgrounds and cultures. 

In addition to the Sake Sommelier Course, the SSA also operates the Introductory Sake Professional Course in Australia, the next session of which will take place at The Oak Barrel on Sunday May 26th. 

Masahiro Takashi (Sakenet Australia)

Sakenet Australia was established in 2008 in Sydney as the first Japanese Sake specialists and importers/distributors in Australia. Their key concepts of sake are Junmai (pure rice), Jukusei (ageing) and Kan (warm). They believe these concepts are the keys for passing one of their mother country's cultures sake sustainably to the next generations, so their approaches of introducing sake to the Australian market are quite different from the other sake specialists.

The directors of SAKENET, Rey Takahashi and Taka (Masahiro Takahashi), are the 2nd generation of this family owned business. The founder, Sakae Takahashi, is now one of their loyal customers. During this iteration of the course, Taka-san will be taking students through the intricases of kanzake, exploring the effect of temperature, humidity, and serveware. 

Sake is hot!

Hideko Im (Pidego Art Sydney)
Hideko Im is the creative mind behind PidegoArt Sydney and Hana SAKE bar in Osaka.
An international Kikizakeshi since 2019, Hideko is an expert in the world of sake. She is set to serve as an Australian Sake Award Judge in May 2024 thanks to her keen palate and passion for the craftsmanship of sake brewers.

Hideko's goal is to promote Japan's most iconic drink here in Australia and she is particularly skilled at sake pairing. To this end, she will be taking participants of the Sake Sommelier Course through traditional sake service as part of her special guest segment.

No Sake, No Life!

Sandra Gwee (Kodawari Sake Education)
Sandra Gwee - 'The Queen of Sake' in Perth - has been a SSA Certified Sake Educator & Scholar since 2019 and a core part of the WA sake scene in years prior and following. Through her sake education & consultancy company Kodawari Sake and her specialty liquor store Sake World, she aims to bring sake and Japanese hospitality to the forefront of Australia's retail, dining, and entertianment scene.

Through Kodawari Sake Education, Sandra operates as the Franchisee and Lead Coordinator for the SSAs programs in Australia. Without her support and guidance this course would not be possible, so to her we extend our gratitude and appreciate.

Here's to elevating your sake experience in Australia!

Sake & Shochu