Seasonal Release: Carpenter’s Mikan Ale
Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:
For both the fan of American football and the passionate imbiber of Japan craft beer, this time of year means two things: Super Bowl and the Carpenter’s Mikan Ale. The latter is being released today and most certainly will be the beverage of choice for football fans gathering for the live viewing of the Super Bowl on Monday morning at three of our Taproom pubs (Fishmarket, Nakameguro, Bashamichi — doors open at 8:00 am).
It was back in the fall of 2001 that the builder of our Fishmarket Taproom, Nagakura-san, who since had become a stalwart Taproom patron and loyal friend, brought to me in my little backroom brewery a crate of mikan fruit freshly picked from his family orchard. “Can you use these in a beer?” he inquired. “If not, just share them with customers and your family.”
I, like many professional brewers, harbored a prejudice against fruit beers. Why? Because most of the ones available tended to be gimmick beers, brewed not with real fruit but rather processed extracts, that were designed to appeal to people who didn’t like beer to begin with. However, I quickly decided to formulate a beer that incorporated the carpenter’s mikan fruit. Not only did the idea of using a fresh, local, minimally processed ingredient fit perfectly with the Baird Beer philosophy, but the mikan fruit was delicious. It’s vibrant citrus character, I thought, could be combined in a wonderfully complementary way with various citrus-forward hop varieties being cultivated in the western United States.
The first batch of the Carpenter’s Mikan Ale (all 30 liters of it), was poured, with a tiny bit of trepidation, to Fishmarket Taproom customer-friends who had gathered there at 8:30 am on a Monday morning to view the 2002 Super Bowl (a game that pitted the then powerhouse St. Louis Rams against the upstart Tom Brady-led New England Patriots). The Patriots won their first Super Bowl; the Carpenter’s Mikan Ale won the hearts and the drinking loyalty of all who gathered that morning.
New Baird Beer Seasonal Release:
*Carpenter’s Mikan Ale 2013 (ABV 6%):
The mikans used in this brew are fresh, succulent, and local — harvested on the Heda land and by the hand of our carpenter friend, Nagakura-san. The Baird brewers hand-process the harvested mikans, shaving off the outer skin of the peel and pressing the juice. Both peel shavings and juice are added to the brew during wort production and before fermentation. The mikans serve to add depth and complexity to an already sumptuous ale; their role is to complement, not dominate.
Once again the character of this year’s version is marked most notably by the succulent aroma and piquant flavor of sweet-tart mikans and their wonderfully symbiotic interaction with our selected hop varieties (Summit, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, NZ Cascade).
The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is available for immediate release in both kegs and bottles (360 ml). It begins pouring at our four Taproom pubs tonight (Friday, February 1). If you visit our Fishmarket Taproom in the coming days, you likely will find the Carpenter perched on his window-counter stool sipping his namesake ale. Be sure to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you.’
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents
HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City