What's Oh! Sake all about? What is your biggest dream for your business?
Oh! Sake, a play on the honorific term for sake (osake お酒), is a cheeky, off-beat and modern Sake pusher. We do sake differently with a guided tasting through our monthly SakeBox Club where we feature a new brew every month and introduce unorthodox pairings. We also offer unique, sensory gifting and experiences.
If I dare to dream, my biggest one for Oh! Sake is starting our own brewery where people can come learn all about sake — from how it is created to how it is best enjoyed. It would have a Sake & Record Bar where people can sit, sip and relax while listening to vinyl. A place where everyone feels welcome to explore their own weird & wonderful pairings — not just the Sake connoisseurs.
Afterall, this is what Oh! Sake is about. We’ve heard so many times how people find sake intimidating. We want to hold space for everyone to explore Sake openly, where there is no right or wrong way to sip and pair.
How did you fall in love with Japan and sake?
My love affair with Japan started when I was young and working in fashion. I fell in love with the distinctive, bold Japanese sense of style — something that continues to inspire our branding today.
I fall in love with sake whenever I try a new brew. The first time I experienced Rose sake, I was captivated. It was unexpected and mind-blowing, and it piqued my curiosity. Sake varies so much in style, flavour and method, and I have so much respect for the Toji (master brewers). The more I uncover the nuances and stories behind each brew, the more intrigued I am. And there is still so much to discover.
Tell us, could young Brooke have dreamed about creating experiences around sake? What did she want to be when she grew up?
I do not think young Brooke could have ever dreamed of this, even with an overactive imagination. Growing up, I dreamed of being a prima-ballerina (who didn’t?), an Olympic figure skater and then a fashion designer.
How many young girls can say, “creating sake and cheese pairings is my calling”? Little does young Brooke know...
What’s your favourite way to pair sake at home?
Cheese and sake are a match made in umami heaven. This is a well-known pairing in the sake industry yet, somehow, it is always a surprise whenever I introduce someone to this pairing!
This is also how I like to enjoy sake at home. Quirky, uncommon pairings are my raison d'être! Sake doesn't always have to be consumed with sashimi. You can have it with chocolate, buffalo chicken wings, even pizza! Sake is made to be enjoyed with food. Think of your favourite food — there's a sake out there that is made for it. Try this — nigorizake (cloudy sake) with cheese ice cream. Trust.
You recently moved to the lush green outer regions of Melbourne from the inner city. What inspired the tree change? How have your days changed since you moved?
I feel guilty sometimes for wanting to take time off, but I make time knowing I always come back refreshed and more productive. Even just turning on my favourite tune and dancing my tush off for a couple minutes. I try to unwind for at least 15 minutes, especially when I'm really feeling the pressure. I light incense, put on a vinyl, sit in my favourite chair and read while I snuggle with Nimbus (the cat). If I have an hour, I like to go for a walk and explore one of the nature trails in our area.
BC (before COVID), we would make it a point to get out of the city on weekends. Rain, hail or shine, we were out exploring the wilderness or sailing along the coast. My soul really ached for it in the seemingly endless months of lockdown. We wanted to live somewhere we can be in nature as soon as we step out the door. Now we just look out the window and see the kangaroos and wild birds in the yard (just helping themselves to my plants) — something that will never cease to amaze me.
We’re also learning so much living in the hinterland. Even though we considered ourselves greenies, there’s nothing more humbling than living somewhere you really have to be mindful of your consumption — we ran out of water during the holiday break. A chapter in our journey I like to call ‘When City Kids Move to the Country’ aka ‘how we found out we’re on tank water only.’
We take things slower now and are learning to have a better sense of harmony between business and pleasure, as well as with nature.
Reading: The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen; My Tidda, My Sister
Watching: The Great — brilliantly hilarious
Listening to: I can't get enough of Kerala Dust (The Chain is on repeat); Woodkid's 10th Anniversary Album for Iron; Karen O (with Danger Mouse) Lux Prima is my go-to
Smelling: Murmure de la Foret is still my favourite and it perfectly suits our new habitat
Drinking: Kinmon's new X3 sake range: Rose, Pink and Blanc — featuring different modes of brewing red rice
Plus a special offer for our Kin family— use code "sipwithkin" to get $10 off your first purchase with a minimum spend of $75. Includes subscriptions.