Bryan Baird’s Newsletter

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2007 #30

-Seasonal Releases — Jubilation Ale & Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale
-Taproom Holiday Events and Shogatsu Business Hours

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Warm holiday season greetings. December is a special, celebratory month. In the beer world, there is a tradition of crafting celebratory holiday season ales that incorporate festive spices or other special ingredients. These ales tend to be rich and hearty, but above all else, they are joyous in character. This year, we are introducing two special ales that fit this
description: (1) Jubilation Ale and (2) Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale.

(1) Jubilation Ale 2007 (ABV 6.5%):

This is our annually crafted holiday season ale. It’s hallmark flavor stems chiefly from the addition of two special ingredients: (1) fully ripened figs candied in Japanese red sugar and (2) cinnamon-like twigs culled from a Japanese Nikki tree. A sublimely balanced interplay of sweet and spice reminiscent of the yin-yang duality in life results. The ruby red hue and the wafting aroma of Japanese nikki warm the heart and furbish the soul.

(2) Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale (ABV 8.0%):

The inspiration here is all Belgian. The immensely imaginative brewers from this eccentric land are artisans par excellence, particularly in terms of the following practices: (a) incorporating sugar as a central brewing ingredient, (b) utilizing other unusual ingredients (fruit, spice, etc.) in subtle but impactful ways, and (c) combining yeast strains in complex fermentations. Well, we have tried our hand at all three of these wonderful practices in this one extremely unique brew. For starters, we incorporate a blend of Japanese dark sugars which account for fully 20 percent of the fermentable extract. Second, we add pureed Shizuoka strawberries, picked fresh by the Baird Beer team and its helpers, to the kettle near the end of boil. As a final touch, we begin fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain and then add our house ale yeast to the effort midway through primary fermentation. Snow Storm has been conditioning (warm and cold) for five months since packaging.

The result is a furious flurry of stormy eccentricity. Neither fish nor fowl, Snow Storm Strong Dark Ale becomes a category unto itself. The aroma is piquant and playful (strawberries?), the flavor is indescribably complex (multiple yeast strains?), and the finish is warmingly dry (sugar and alcohol?). A disorientation results, as if you were caught unprepared in a winter snow storm. Seek guidance back to safety from your friendly bartender!

Both holiday season brews are now on tap at the Fishmarket Taproom in Numazu and available for enjoyment through select Baird Beer retailers in Japan.
May your cup of holiday joy runneth over!

Please mark your calendar for these upcoming Taproom events: (1) Christmas celebration beginning at noon on Christmas-eve day (Monday, December 24) and featuring a sumptuous buffet of culinary Christmas treats, and (2) Taproom countdown party beginning at 5:00 PM on Monday, December 31 and featuring a Mexican-style food fiesta along with the ritual tapping of Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA at the stroke of midnight. Details regarding each event will be
forthcoming soon.

Finally, as for Taproom business hours for the kick-off of 2008: closed on
January 1-2 (Tuesday-Wednesday), open from noon to 6:00 PM on Thursday,
January 3 (special Shogatsu dishes prepared and served by Sayuri and
Kyoko-chan and discounted pints of Hatsujozo 2008), normal business hours
resume on Friday, January 4.


Bryan Baird


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