passionate PROFESSIONAL japanese sake consultation

My goal is simple: I want to promote and encourage Carolinians to try and experience real Japanese sake, "the good stuff," which has already begun to grow in popularity throughout the rest of the US. Whether you’re interested in taking a class, hosting an event or tasting party, or finding a good local “Sake Hot Spot” (retail or restaurant), I want to help. This site is designed to help any sake traveler reach their destination. 
I teach sake classes regularly at, and I have hosted tastings at restaurants like as well as private events. My photography has been published in Wake Living Magazine, and my writings has been published in the must-read True Sake newsletter ( translated and republished in Japan. My first formal instructor was Tiffany Dawn Soto (, and Beau Timken, author of Sake: A Modern Guide and proprietor of the nation’s first true sakaya, has been a longtime coach and sake sensei as well; he’s my role model. Most recently, I was fortunate enough to study under the legend himself, Mr. John Gauntner, and to become certified as a Sake Professional by his association, the Sake Education Council (
I have so much yet to learn, so many mountains yet to climb. But meanwhile I hope to share all that I have learned with you and to encourage you to try true high-quality craft Japanese sake for yourself.  You will find exploring sake is an adventure brimming with treasures.        

-Brad Russell