Sake Embassy Germany (SEG) is a non-profit and independent industry association based in Berlin.
The association is intended to be the platform for all those involved in sake professionally – this includes above all the catering trade, the hotel industry, sommeliers, organizers, sales companies, shops, consultants, agencies and institutions.

The SEG initiates its own projects, event formats, mediation offers and campaigns with the aim of clearly explaining the Japanese drinking culture around the topic of sake in German-speaking countries and bringing it closer to people.

Board of Directors and Advisory Board

Alexander van Hessen - Board Member

Alexander is a real Berliner and enjoys the city’s multicultural environment. As the initiator of the Berlin Food Week, which he is still strategically active in shaping, he always receives new culinary and cultural inspiration from all over the world. The Japanese drinking culture around sake particularly touched him a few years ago. Since then he has been using his marketing expertise and his network to finally give sake a cautious bigger stage in the western world.

Jörg Müller - Board Member

Born in Lübeck, he has been enthusiastic about the Japanese culinary culture since studying in Japan and is passionate about promoting it. He has completed further training as a sake sommelier and successfully completed the Japan Sake & Shochu Academy, the WSET Level 3 Award in Sake and the Sake Diploma of the Japan Sommelier Association. Jörg Müller is now bringing his joy in premium sake and his knowledge of the Japanese folk drink as the owner of Ueno Gourmet closer to other pleasure lovers.

Alexander Angelus - Secretary

Alexander Angelus has been working at the Japanese Embassy since 2004. Here he came into contact with sake and Japanese cuisine for the first time. In the many years of his work he has always seen himself as a mediator between Japan and Germany. He has organized cooking courses for German and Japanese chefs, organized sake tastings for sommeliers, participated in the semifinals of the Sake Sommeliers of the Year Contest of the SSA in London in 2015 and operated a website on sake until 2016. He sees sake as a drink that will enormously enrich the western gastronomic world in the years to come.

Herbert Schmitz - Treasurer

The man generally loves Asian and especially Japanese food. At first as an alternative to beer or wine, sake became more and more the ultimate companion for him. Especially when it comes to quality when it comes to ingredients and preparation. For him, sake menus are the fulfilling combination of brain food and liquid meditation. Schmitz is founder and managing director or partner and managing director of the strategy consulting company Markendrama and the lifestyle PR agency Schröder + Schömbs in Berlin.

Yoshiko Ueno-Müller

Yoshiko Ueno-Müller, who was born in Tokyo, feels committed to the harmony of European and Japanese tastes. Yoshiko Ueno-Müller is an IHK-certified sommelier, sake expert assessor (NRIB) and the first female person who does not live in Japan to pass the difficult “Master of Sake Tasting” exam. As the founder of UENO GOURMET and the Sake & Shochu Academy Europe, she pursues her commitment to the Japanese world of pleasure and to the training of sake sommeliers.

Dr. Bastian Schwithal

Dr. Bastian Schwithal is the managing director and co-founder of Go Sake. The company, which was founded in 2017, came up with the aim of bringing the Japanese national drink closer to Germans and dispelling many prejudices. After studying sociology, modern history and political science in Bonn, Utrecht and Münster, Bastian founded his company “Berlin Food Tour” and has been dealing with innovations and trends in the food and beverage sector for many years.

Arnd Henning - Heißen

Arnd Henning – Heißen cocktail whisperer, perfumer, poet and alchemist we call him- Arnd Heißen is the creator of the noble and extravagant avant-garde drinks that are still mixed today in the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, where he spent the last nine years. After living abroad for many years, Arnd ended up visiting the most renowned hotel bar addresses in Germany such as the Main Plaza, the West Grand Frankfurt or the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich. His love for Japan then solidified in Tim Raue’s Shochu Bar from 2011. In total, Arnd Heißen received four Mixologx Bar Awards and later became part of the jury himself. In this country he is considered one of the pioneers in the use of sake and shochu in creative drink compositions.

Goya Kobayashi

Director General, Department for Innovation, Yamagata Prefectural Government

Nicole Renger

Projekt Manager Außenwirtschaftsförderung bei der Japan External Trade Organization