Looking Back on 2022

 

Thank you 2022!

It wasn’t an easy year, but thanks to great support from customers, restaurants and suppliers, we were still able to achieve our goals!

Here’s a review of the things the Inter Rice Asia team accomplished many things over the past 12 months.

Events
We did almost 30 private events in 2022. From intimate sessions for 20 pax in our office, to blocking out an entire hall of a corporate office for our first crack at catering and organising a 100 pax corporate networking event.

We ran 46 different online workshops since early 2020, and in July 2022, we pivoted back to in-person themed tastings in our physical tasting room. And we promise there are more to come!

And how can we forget the 2 Sake Matsuri. The June/Summer edition was the first one in two years, and received a very warm welcome-back from 1300 participants. And the most recently one in November saw over 2000 participants!

And on World Sake Day in October, we hosted more than 200 restaurant clients and retail customers in our office for a free flow sake party. Besides bridging both groups of customers together, the event also served as a great reminder of the support we’ve had over the past 14 years.

Awards
At the inaugural Singapore Sake Awards, we took home the Best of Show title for Nito Junmai Yamadanishiki 65 and Best Value-for-Money prize by Toko Junmai Ginjo Genshu. We're all impressed that a Junmai-shu won the best in show prize!

We also got silver prizes for Haginotsuyu Junmai Tankanwataribune Jikagumi Nama Wolf, Dewazakura Daiginjo, Nito Junmai Banzai 70.

New Breweries
Besides exploring new sakes from our existing breweries, we also welcomed 3 breweries (Narutotai, Nito, Lagoon) and private sake brand Concept Workers Selection into our warehouse this year.

This is in line with our theme of finding new high quality sake breweries for our customers, and our plan to represent breweries from every area in Japan.

Narutotai provides innovative sake at a very competitive pricing for their sake. Nito has very fantastic vision when it comes to branding, and the quality is excellent as seen from the great showing at the Singapore Sake Awards. Lagoon Sake brewery is a brand-new brewery in the craft sake segment. We are proud to represent such an entrepreneur spirit!

The collection of private brand sakes, Concept workers Selection, allows us to showcase unorthodox sakes to our customers and helped us reach a new group of customers with their eye-catching yet beginner-friendly labels and concepts.

We are now looking for sake breweries in Kyushu and Hokkaido.

Office
This is our first full year in our new office in Kallang. We have now more space, and have a well-used chiller-room to store all our ultra-premium sake and namazake. The tasting room, which intrigues all customers when they visit for the first time, has been very well-utilised in the latter half of the year.

To cope with the increasing number of opportunities, orders and deliveries, we welcomed a new member to our logistic team and are now looking out for a new Japanese-speaking Account Manager.

Visits to Japan
We made 2 long awaited visits to Japan this year, once in June and another in October. In June, we visited more than 10 breweries in Kyoto, Hyogo, Yamanashi & Nagano. We joined the WSET Educator group tour and was hosted by the Yamanashi Sake community to learn more about Yamanashi GI protection and their focus on their superior water sources. We also visited Nagano to learn about their GI, and was able to share with them more about the sake market in Singapore.

In October, we visited Niigata, Nagano, Fukushima. A couple of highlights of the trip was visiting the magnificent Daishichi Sake Brewery in Nihonmatsu, and the craft sake brewery Lagoon, located next to the scenic and tranquil Fukushimagata Lagoon in Niigata. Slowly but surely, everyone in our team will get a chance to visit Japan and learn more about Sake.

Education
Our head educator, Adrian was one of the first Singaporeans to pass the Japan Sake Diploma. And besides proving himself to be a dedicated student of Sake, Adrian also contributed as an educator, having conducted 5 classes of WSET Sake Level 1 in 2022.

In terms of staff development, 2 of our Account Managers attended WSET Sake Level 3, 1 Account Manager attended SSI Kikisake-shi course and 2 members of our retail team attended Certified Sake Professional course.

Footnote
We thoroughly enjoyed 2022 in all its ups and downs, and we look forward to bringing our customers better products and experience in the new year. Cheers!


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