Bryan Baird’s Newsletter


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #6
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Topic:
-Seasonal Releases: Morning Coffee Stout 2008 & Up In Smoke Porter
-Ushitora Second Impact Anniversary Ale
-New Artwork: Angry Boy Brown Ale

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

We are pleased to announce today’s release of two wonderfully roasty and smoky Baird Beer seasonal brews: Morning Coffee Stout 2008 and Up In Smoke Porter.

*Morning Coffee Stout 2008 (ABV: 6.5%):

Brewing a rich and roasty export-style stout and enhancing it with a pinch of ground coffee beans is an annual rite at the Baird Brewery. This year’s coffee addition is an old favorite of ours — Chocolate Macadamia Nut from Hawaiian Kona Coffee. The result is an extravagantly complex Stout that manages both to sooth and stimulate simultaneously. Just plan to forget
about your morning coffee for the next few weeks! Available both in kegs and 633 ml bottles.

*Up In Smoke Porter (ABV: 6.0%):

A smoky character to some degree was likely evident in virtually all beers back in the time when malted barley was kilned over wood-fed fires. “Smoke” malt is now relatively rare. Bamberg, Germany remains one area where wonderfully characterful smoked malt continues to be produced. This Bamberg smoked malt is the defining ingredient used to craft Baird Up In Smoke Porter. The brainchild of our brewer, Molly Browning, this smoked robust porter delivers just that — smoke and robustness — but it does so in a supremely harmonious and balanced way. The ability of this uniquely flavorful ale to complement hearty food fare is, we believe, extraordinary. The Taproom kitchen will be preparing a few special dishes with just this thought in mind so plan to visit us in Numazu over the weekend. Available only on draught (no bottles).

For all you Tokyo area folks who can’t visit us this weekend, we highly recommend that you stop in at Ushitora in Shimo-Kitazawa for the 2nd Anniversary celebration of what is one of Tokyo’s great beer pubs. Baird Beer, upon request, has brewed a special anniversary ale, Ushitora Second Impact Ale, that will debut at Ushihtora on Friday, February 29. Be sure not to miss it while you are there congratulating Terasaki-san and Yoshida-san on a job well done.

Finally, we would like to announce the unveiling of special new artwork for our year-round beer, Angry Boy Brown Ale. Our passionate, combative and smolderingly intense Angry Boy has become a fierce young Samurai warrior. We hope and believe this new imagery will accentuate our efforts to tell a Japanese story through the medium of our beers. Have a look as the next
batch of Angry Boy is released and tell us what you think.

Cheers!
Bryan Baird
HOMEPAGE

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Vegetable Sashimi at Yasatei


The Japan Blog List

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It was another one of my quick “evening breaks” this evening, and I just decided to pop up at Yasatei as I knew I would be able to nibble on a great morsel or two.
Now, what I ordered should please vegetarians and vegans alike (I’m neither), but I suspect Simaldeff (because of his weight problems). Allison (she loves her veg) and Lindsay (always keen on Healthy food) would particularly be curious to find out what I ate.

Well, I ordered “yuuki yasai no sashimi”.
Translation: bio vegetables sashimi.

From left to right:
“Eshyaletto/Japanese echalottes”, “daidai piman/soft orange pimento”, “myoga/ginger sprouts”, “aka radisyu/red radishes”, “shiso/perilla”, “daikon/Japanese long radish”, and “kyuuri/cucumber”.
All vegetables, except for the orange soft pimento also have the merit to be grown in Shizoka Prefecture!

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As for “seasoning”, I was offered “goma abura/sesame oil” from Kyoto (see pic) with salt and miso paste.

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (6)


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Today’s bento, what with all the eating and drinking during the week-end, was a light affair.
It turned out to be of the “expat” (European/American) style and could well appeal to Rowena, Allison and Biggie!

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I wonder how I could call those “nigiri/rice balls”. They are of the “loose/soft” variety, made with “shari/sushi rice” mixed with chopped Japanese green cucumber pickles and “tobikko/flying fish roe” with a slice of French cucmber pickle and tartare sauce in its core and pieces of smoked salmon, seasoned with lemon juice and capers, randomly inserted. The nigiri are served in lettuce for easy eating as they tend to crumble away easily.

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The salad consisted of semi-soft-boiled eggs, greens, plum tomatoes and pieces of Shizuoka-made Gouda cheese.

Problem is that my (?) half forgot to include some dressing I had to buy in a local shop! LOL

Shizuoka Cheeses (3): Minami Hakone Gouda


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This is the third cheese variety from Oratche Co in Tagata Gun (vegetarians and health-conscious friends like Lindsay at DeLuscious Life, rejoice again!) I have recently found. I will actually travel to Kannami on March 2nd to interview them as they also have a great beer brewery!

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Extremely clean and tasty cheese with the right amount of salt. Reminiscent of a young Gouda from Holland. I really appreciated it with wine and beer.
As the other two cheeses I have already surveyed, thay are made with milk from cows raised in altitude near Mount Fuji, where they graze natural grass and are fed with real non-transgenic cereals.

Minami Hakone no Sakeru Cheese
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Where to Buy Original French Wines in Shizuoka?


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People certainly think twice when they want to order the better kind of French wines at あny restaurant いn Shizuoka, or anywhere else for that matter!
There is a limit to what you might afford to pay for them, then.
If you have enough confidence in your culinary talents, or alternatively in your hosting savoir-faire, why not enjoy higher quality wines at a home party for a reasonable price?
Keep in mind that whenever you buy a wine at a liquor shop in Japan, you must understand that the same bottle will fetch at least twice, and more usually, three times as much in amy restaurant.
Now, the wines you will find at Cafe-Labo in Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City have the merit not only to be very fine wines with great value, but also to be very original. You will not find them anywhere else in Shizuoka Prefecture, and you may have a hard time looking for them elsewhere in Japan.
They were all imported directly from from the cellars through personal contacts. I went as far as to e-mail to each cellar to check!
Here are the wines currrently on sale:

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Cave de Bissey, Cote Chalonnaise, Bourgogne Rouge, 2004.
Matured in oak barrels. 11.5 vol.. 2,901 yen.
This is a wine that should interest Trine as she is so fond of Bourgogne/Burgundy wines!
Growers in the Cote Chalonnaise, located between the Cotes de Beaune and Maconnais, decided some thirty years ago that their wines warranted a better destiny than to be bought by the large wineries which blended them to spice up their Bourgogne Rouge.
This particular cellar lies in a village where I spent many summers as a kid and still vividly remembers my pranks in the vineyards.
Light ruby red hue with mid-level intensity. The berry bouquet tends towards blackcurrant or blackberry. Agreeable to the palate, perfumed by fresh berries. Very easy to drink.
Most delectable served with pâtés, fine charcuterie, white meats, poultry, and soft cheese. It goes very well with Japanese food, too.

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Chateau Bonnet, Saint-Amour, 2006.
13 vol. 2,901 yen
I can hear Melinda cream for that one, what with her wine tasting classes in Tokyo!
Beaujolais wines certainly deserve better treatment than being associated with the crass “Beaujolais Nouveau” inundating us regulary in this country.
Chateau Bonnet is a solid Saint-Amour, a great appellation in its own class, which goes so well with meat, pate, stews, without overpowering your senses. It is a true Beaujolais which certainly ought to be better known. At least it name would reflect your feelings!

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Alsace, Clement Klur, Pinot Gris Katz, 2005. (bio wine)
13 vol. 3,801 yen
I have a special love for Alsace wines in spite of my Burgundian roots, and Clement Klug in katzenhal has produced a beauty here. Complex, lots of personality, fresh and long in mouth. Preserved fruit with a hint of fume. Perfect for aperitif and foie gras. Certainly a beauty with sushi! I can see Chuckeats checking his notes!

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Alsace, Clement Klur, Cremant de Clement, brut. (bio wine)
12 vol. 3,901 yen
Here is another beauty by Clement Klur. Cremant is simply (figure pf speech) the same type of wine as the vaunted Champagne brews. But I’m sure Chrisos will agree, than yen for yen, they are certainly better value than their overpriced neighbours!
Vinified only from Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois old vines, it reveals a great structure and elegance. Very fine bubbles. To be savoured as aperitif, or with fish and white meats.

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Banyuls, Le Dominicain, 6 years old.
Matured in oak barrels. 16 vol. 3,301 yen
Banyuls, in Roussillon by the Spanish border, is famed for it great port-like wines, which also represent better value again yen for yen than some disappointing vintages from Portugal.
Am I hearing Gaijin Tonic‘s ears rising to attention?
Sweet, without being cloying, it drinks so well as an aperitif. Perfect with blue cheese sprinkled with fine honey. A wine that will marry perfectly with chocolates!

Sushi Ko Morsels


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Visited (pilgrimage?) Sushi Ko Restaurant In Shizuoka City again with the Missus last night.
We happened to a few morsels only available in season.
I woneder if Chuckeats had ever the occasion to sample such delicacies in the same manner. I hope he will find inspiration for his next visit at a sushi Restaurant in New York!
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We could not resist the “Sayori/halfbeak” (look at the “mouth”, and you will understand its name!) as it is at its best right now. Sprinkle a little lemon juice and wasabi on it before dipping it (just a little, please) in soy sauce.
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The fish was cut whole for the two of us. Notice how the dressed fish was used as support for the sashimi. The skin was lter offered grilled around a short wooden brochette.

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We were fortunate enough to find “botan ebi/large sweet prawns fresh with their eggs. two provided enough eggs for a single “botan ebi ko gunkan”.
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Not an easy treat to find, as it must absolutely fresh. The eggs were sweet with not any disagreeable “fishy” background. By the way, this is the only sushi featuring the colour “blue” that comes to my mind!
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As any botan ebi served fesh, the heads were served deep-fried later. Crunchy and delicious. Fine, I admit they would have come with all kinds of “decorations” in New York, but you would certainly not get them at the same reasonable price!
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Of course we did have quite a few morsels I have described in other postings, but the last is wirth mentioning:
“Gyuu Aburi Menegi Nigiri”/slightly grilled prime beef topped with leek sprouts. That one is for the carnivores. LOL.

Sushi Ko
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae Cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 on Sundays
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advised
Credit Cards OK

Homepage (Japanese)

Shizuoka Cheeses (2): Minami Hakone “Sakeru Cheese”


The Japan Blog List

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oratche-cheese1.jpg

This is the second cheese from Oratche Co in Tagata Gun (I have a third one to introduce, so vegetarians and health-conscious friends like Lindsay at DeLuscious Life, rejoice!).
The name “Sakeru Cheeze” means “Cheese to be split”.
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As its name indicates, it is easy to split, shred or cut in very thin strips, allowing it to be added to all kinds of salads, and even, Allison at Sushi Day will be happy to learn, added in nice combinations inside sushi rolls.
Very light texture. Pleasant to eat. In my case I eat it with a glass of sake or beer.

Minami Hakone no Sakeru Cheese
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)