Black Market Sake was established in 2010 by Matt Young & Linda Wiss. At the time the availability of great Sake in Australia was very limited. Having extensively travelled throughout Japan for almost 20 years Matt understood that the successful future of Sake would rely on showing Australia the amazing potential of artisanal Sake and providing access to these wonderful products. Thus Black Market Sake was born.

Matt Young

Matt Young

Matt has a long career in hospitality. He worked previously in wine as Head Sommelier, first at ARIA Restaurant (Sydney), then at Rockpool Bar and Grill (Sydney). Most recently he was working in the industry as the Director of all things beverage for Fratelli Paradiso and 10 William St from 2010 - 2017, alongside running Black Market Sake.

Why Sake? 

  • Sake is one of the most unique and exciting beverages in the world.  Also one of the least understood. This combination makes sake a fascinating brew to work with.  Having travelled extensively in Japan, we knew the quality of sake being made, yet the best wasn’t making it to our shores. After years of trying to get importer friends to import quality sake into Australia, with no luck, we decided to do it ourselves. Black Market Sake was born! 

Why Junmai sake?

  • Junmai means ‘Pure Rice’ as the sake can legally only be made with 4 ingredients - rice, water, yeast + koji-kin.
  • Only 10-15% of the total production of sake in Japan is Junmai. The other 85-90% of sake has additions and cannot be classified as Junmai. These other categories of sake allow either limited amounts of added alcohol to copious amounts of additions from alcohol to sugars and acids. Each category can have variations of quality, but ultimately it is Junmai sake that we are passionate about supporting and drinking. We work with skilled brewers making quality sake from the best ingredients without relying on other additions. 

Our brewers & their sake:

  • We work with small artisan sake breweries making the best, most unique and most diverse sake we’ve tasted.
  • We have the fortune to work with some of Japan’s smallest and most sought after breweries. Their sake is hand crafted with traditional brewing techniques, the same as they have for centuries.
  • Our brewers work on the philosophy of quality over quantity and they want to make sake full of character.  
  • We only import the best sake from each brewery. That may mean one unique sake from a brewery or a selection of their sake if the quality level is exceptional across the range.
  • Our breweries have long brewing histories. Many have been brewing sake for hundreds of years. One of our breweries has been making sake for over 330 years!
  • Most of our breweries are family owned and operated. Many of which have been handed down through generations of the same family, one for as long as 11 generations!
  • In terms of quality and rarity the brewers and sake we work with, represent the top 1-2% of sake brewing in Japan. 
  • Most of these sake sell out locally so don’t reach bars or shops outside their local area. It would be incredibly rare to be able drink this range even in a sake bar in Tokyo. Many of these producers and their sake have cult status in Japan.

All of our sake are shipped from Japan in refrigerated containers & then stored in Sydney in a temperature controlled warehouse to preserve their quality.