Video: Nō Studios Launches ‘Speaking of Sake’ Interview Series

In the first installment, the studios’ sake sommelier speaks with Chris Griese, a sake expert.

This video was made in partnership with Nō StudiosMilwaukee Magazine is partnering with the video production company to showcase the stories of local artists and musicians. Watch for more content like this here.

Overlooking Milwaukee from Nō Studios’ top-floor Skyline Lounge, Clayton Biddle and Chris Griese sat down this week to talk sake.

Biddle is Nō Studios resident, certified sake sommelier, who curates and hosts tastings. Griese worked in wine distribution for decades before discovering sake 15 years ago.

“One cold, snowy Friday afternoon in February I got a phone call from a young man in New York who was starting a sake importing company,” Griese says. “He asked me if I’d be interested in bringing the sakes in – and I said no because I didn’t know anything about sake. But he said, ‘You sell amazing wine, and the whole thing with wine is you get to know the people behind the wine and you just tell their stories.’ … It’s the same with sake. … He was right.”

Griese has been working in the sake industry since. He joined Sake Story, a company that imports sake made using centuries-old methods. 

“[Making sake] is probably closer to brewing beer than it is to fermenting wine,” Griese says. “With sake, we are coaxing sugar out of the grain, and as we’re doing that we’re able to ferment it so it’s this long, continuous process that takes sometimes up to several months to get done.”

Hear about Griese’s many trips to Japan, sake studies, brewing experiences and much more in the interview above.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.