Melbourne-based sake educator Simone Maynard had been planning to host a series of tasting events with four sake producers from Japan when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Australia to close its borders in late March.

The regular sake workshops that she had scheduled to hold at restaurants around the city were canceled as Melbourne, located in the hard-hit southern state of Victoria, entered a strict lockdown that continued for 111 days and was only lifted on Oct. 28.

Stuck at home, Maynard, who has worked as a sake consultant for more than a decade and goes by the moniker “Sake Mistress” online, began to worry about the effect the pandemic would have on the food and beverage industry in general, and the sake business in particular.