Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/12/14): Holiday Season News: Beer Releases, Upcoming Events, Taproom Schedules

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
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Holiday Season News: Beer Releases, Upcoming Events, Taproom Schedules

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The end-of-the-year holiday season is upon us once again. Although 2011 has been a trying year in Japan, we hope everyone may enjoy more than a little peace and happiness during the Christmas and O-shogatsu season. We take great joy in our fortune to be able to celebrate this special season each year with our many customer-friends. We hope to provide you many reasons to get out and share the holiday happiness with your fellow beer enthusiasts. Let me list several of these reasons below.

New Baird Beer Holiday Seasonal Releases:
*Midnight Oil Export Stout (ABV 6.5%): In a change from tradition, we are moving up to December the release of our annually brewed foreign export stout, Midnight Oil. Why? I tasted a test bottle a few days back and felt it so richly delicious, and so appropriate to this warm and festive season, that I couldn’t hold back.

Export stouts generally are rich and roasty in flavor, moderately high in alcohol strength, and sport some noticeable hop character (normally registering in terms of bitterness and flavor). Baird Midnight Oil Export Stout enjoys a complexly layered roasted malt (barley & wheat) character that is balanced beautifully by just a kiss of caramel sweetness. An unctuous, oily smoothness brings about a perfect finish.

Midnight Oil Export Stout begins pouring from our Taproom taps today, December 14. It also will be available at other fine Baird Beer retailing pubs, restaurants and liquor shops beginning December 15. The bottle-conditioned version (633 ml) will also be available for purchase direct from the brewery through our online E-Shop.

*Upcoming Holiday Seasonal Releases: Mark you calendar for Friday, December 23 (which is a Japan national holiday). This will be the release date for our special holiday season spiced ale — Jubilation Ale. Brewed with Japanese figs (ichijiku) and cinnamon twigs (nikki), Jubilation Ale is a Christmas and O-shogatsu celebratory standout.

As many of you know, we also have established the custom of ringing the arrival of each new year with the December 31 stroke-of-midnight release of a special Hatsu-jozo (First-brew) beer. Hatsujozo 2012 is a strong golden ale fermented with our house Belgian ale yeast. Kampai toasts will be made with it at the countdown parties of many Baird Beer retailing establishments in Japan, including our own Taproom pubs (which will pour a complimentary glass to attending patrons to celebrate the first toast of 2012).

Upcoming Taproom and Beer Events:
*Special Cheese & Beer Tasting @ Nakameguro Taproom on Sunday, December 18 (1:00 – 3:00 pm): We are teaming with Nagano-based cheese expert, Ms. Tomoko Tsuyuguchi, to introduce a marriage made in heaven — six gourmet cheeses paired with a selection of Baird Beers. We’ll provide a bit of history and guidance (in Japanese); the fun part, though, will be arriving at your own conclusions with regard to the perfect beer/cheese matchup. Cost is 4,500 yen per person. There are only a few spaces remaining, so kindly RSVP to the Nakameguro Taproom staff as soon as possible (nakameguro-tap@bairdbeer.com or 03-5768-3025).

*Grand Opening of Goodbeer Faucets on Sunday, December 18: A brand new 40-tap craft beer pub in the heart of Shibuya called Goodbeer Faucets is opening its doors for business on December 18. In addition to other great domestic and international craft beers, this will be the first non-Taproom pub in Tokyo to pour the entire lineup (year-round and seasonal) of Baird Beer. These guys have a great concept in a great location. Check them out at http://goodbeerfaucets.jp.

*Christmas Celebration @ Nakameguro Taproom (Friday-Sunday, December 23-25): Opening at noon each day of this 3-day Christmas weekend, the Nakameguro Taproom kitchen will be featuring a special menu of Christmas dishes. Jubilation Ale will debut on Friday, December 23.

*Countdown Parties @ Nakameguro, Bashamichi and Fishmarket Taprooms (Saturday, Dec. 31): Each of these Taprooms will be hosting festive New Year’s countdown parties. Nakameguro will be featuring a tasty all-you-can-eat buffet @ 1,500 yen per person and pouring Baird Beer at our low Numazu prices. Chuck and Ken at Bashamichi are busy formulating their own special New Year’s menu as I write. At our Numazu Fishmarket Taproom, we will be hosting, per our custom, an all-you-can-eat Mexican food buffet (1,500 yen per person; served from 5:00 – 10:00 pm) which will be spiced up with a open-mic karaoke night. Hatsujozo 2012 will be tapped at the stroke of midnight and one complimentary glass will be served to all patrons.

Taproom O-shogatsu Schedules:
*Numazu Fishmarket Taproom: Closed on January 1. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 2-3 (noon to 9:00 pm). Closed on January 4-5. Resumes normal hours on January 6.

*Nakameguro Taproom: Closed January 1-2. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 3 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 4.

*Harajuku Taproom: Closed on December 31 (Tokyo countdown party @ Nakameguro). Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 1-4 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 5.

*Bashamichi Taproom: Closed January 1-2. Open for special O-shogatsu service on January 3-5 (noon to 9:00 pm). Resumes normal hours on January 6.

We are looking forward to celebrating the season together with you.

Warm Holiday Cheer,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

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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