Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/10/28): Celebration of the Life of a Country Girl

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin

Celebration of the Life of a Country Girl

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

For many Japan craft beer enthusiasts, an annual autumn rite of passage is the release of a deliciously down-to-earth Baird Beer: Country Girl Kabocha Ale. Country Girl marks her 10th annual debut on Friday, October 28.

My mother, Sally Eshelman Baird, is the ‘country girl’ who inspired this earthy and elegant ale. Born and raised in pumpkin country in central Ohio, Sally embodied all of the great Midwestern virtues: modesty, honesty, earthy elegance and simple sophistication. She was the most earnestly forthright and candid person I have ever known. I remember during her final visit to Japan in 2005 to help us celebrate the opening of our new brewery, she opined to me while sipping a Baird Beer at our Fishmarket Taproom: “I’m not sure how much I really like Baird Beer, but I sure do like and appreciate the hard work and integrity that goes into it.”

I think she was proud of our efforts. She passed away on August 30, 2011 at the age of seventy-six. A son’s profound and eternal love for his mother is the spirit which has imbued the brewing of Country Girl Kabocha Ale over the past decade. That spirit is deeply manifest in this 2011 goodbye batch.

*Country Girl Kabocha Ale 2011 (ABV 6.2%):

Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin-like squash the taste of which is elegantly sweet. The kabocha we use is grown in the Heda garden of our carpenter-partner-friend, Nagakura-san. We first cook it in order to gelatinize it, then we add it to our mash where the enzymes from the malt help to further break it down into simple fermentable sugars. Several characterful varieties of malted barley produce a hearty wort that when married to the kabocha yields a flavor partnership of great depth and balance. After fermentation, re-fermentation and conditioning, the result is an earthy, rustic beer that manages to deliver an extraordinarily sophisticated yet subtle complexity of flavor. It is, to many resident beer enthusiasts, the flavor of fall in Japan!

Country Girl Kabocha Ale 2011 begins pouring from the taps of our Taproom pubs beginning Friday, October 28. It also will be served at other fine Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants in Japan beginning the same day. Bottles (633 ml) can be purchased direct from our brewery E-shop and through the family of Baird Beer retailing liquor shops in Japan.


Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan

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!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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