Welcome to our new Sake Ambassador 2023
Mr Andre Bishop


Enchanted by Japanese culture since a young age, Andre Bishop’s deep-rooted passion for sake has been a cornerstone of the ever-growing sake community across Australia for decades. Pioneering the Australian sake world by opening the country’s first sake bar, Andre has been an inspiration for many wanting to learn more about this wondrous beverage and share their excitement for it. From those humble beginnings, Andre has been involved in every facet of the sake industry. From venue owner, event organiser, importer, educator and even working an entire brewing season in Japan. Andre’s love for sake was always his drive though, as he recounts, “I never really thought about how my legacy would evolve since I was very much caught up in just sharing my passion” – sharing his passion had the right results though! As one of the leading members of the Australian sake community, and a mentor to many developing Sake Sommeliers across the nation, Andre noted that he now sees the people he has taught and worked with “[taking] up the torch that I first lit and burning very bright indeed”.

To commemorate Andre’s amazing dedication and work towards developing & growing the sake industry in Australia, the Sake Sommelier Association is honoured to commemorate him and name him our Sake Ambassador 2023-2024!

The work isn’t over just yet though! Andre shared his vision with us:

“I want to walk into any bottle shop and see a well-stocked sake fridge backed with staff that have the knowledge to educate and recommend… when I look at where sake has come from in this country 25 years ago, I think it can happen.”

Young Sake Ambassador 2023: Yuma Wada


Moving from the corporate world, Yuma began by opening his own sake bar in Tokyo. He built upon this by offering sake and gourmet tours to tourist and Japanese people alike, with a focus on introducing people to sake's delights. In particular, Yuma aims at bringing the younger generation into the world of sake! He "thoroughly enjoys learning something new from my guests", believing that everyone - from the sake beginner to our Master Sake Sommeliers - always has something innovative & unique to offer sake lovers!

Particular to Yuma's approach, he said that he "believes there is a great opportunity for more storytelling within the world of sake", which is laced throughout his tours and experiences, promoting the mystique and intrigue found throughout each sake's story!

About the Awards

Sake Ambassadors

Every two years one individual is honoured for their outstanding dedication to the World of Sake. They are people who have been advancing sake diplomacy, contributing to the understanding & appreciation of sake throughout their country and the world. We take great pride in celebrating the very best in the industry!

Young Sake Ambassadors

The aim of this award is to bring a fresh mind-set into the sake industry. Selected biennially, Young Sake Ambassadors are chosen based on how they bring new ideas to the craft and fuel the winds of progress. They are expected to spend their time contributing to the promotion of sake in their region.

Awarded only to individuals under 30, the Young Sake Ambassador award highlights the young, the new and the revolutionary individuals who keep the World of Sake constantly adapting & evolving.

First Sips Bursary

The First Sips Bursary is an initiative by the Sake Sommelier Association to help individuals enter the sake industry who might otherwise struggle. Even with its booming popularity nowadays, the field can be difficult for those who don’t know how to take their first step – or their first sips.

The bursary is open to all applicants who have no formal training in sake and want to progress their career. This can be related to any goal in the sake industry: a sommelier, a brewer, an importer, a distributor.

All applicants must submit an essay highlighting any relevant experience and illustrating why they believe they should be awarded the First Sips Bursary, and obtain a recommendation from their nearest Sake Educator®. Once selected, the winner of the bursary will be immersed in sake culture and rewarded with a place on their nearest Certified Sake Sommelier course at a reduced cost.

Note: the recipient of each First Sips Bursary must be located in a country with a licenced SSA Sake Educator who can train them.

How to Enter:

Do you work in the wine and spirits industry and want to broaden your horizons? Are you a Japanese culture enthusiast searching for a specific field to become an expert in? Or do you simply love sake?

Application is open to anyone aged between 18 and 30 without prior education in sake.

If you are interested in applying for the next Young Sake Ambassador of the Year, please email info@sakesommelierassociation.com

The Organisers:

The Sake Sommelier Association (SSA) is an independent organisation formed to develop the understanding and appreciation of Japanese sake through Sake Sommelier education. It was the first organisation to offer formalised sake education outside of Japan, and now has a world-renowned network of well experienced & professional Sake Educators spread across the globe. SSA Sake Educators can be found across 6 different continents in many, many, countries. Alongside the range of accessible Sake Sommelier courses, there are also more advanced sake education available in key locations, allowing for the widest range of sake courses available with any single provider. Our hope is to become the key network for the training & connecting sake lovers around the world.

Previous Ambassadors

Sake Ambassadors


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