Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:
We are three weeks into 2010 (the beginning of Baird Brewing’s second decade) and this is our first New Year email bulletin. This Internet silence has not been due to a barren beer cellar. In fact, we are bursting at the seams with a bevvy of winter seasonal brews awaiting release. Today, we announce the debut of several of these.
Dark Sky Imperial Stout (ABV 8.5%): This foreboding stout is a beer lover’s winter dream come true. It is pitch-black in color, unctuous in body, elusively complex in flavor, warming in alcohol and piquantly hoppy. This 2010-release version is slightly more British in character than previous versions: e.g. more British malt, lower IBU and milder hop varieties, less use of Japanese black sugar, and fermentation with a British ale yeast.
This year, due to my own forgetful blunder, only one double-batch of Dark Sky was brewed and all of it was bottled (633 ml). None of it, therefore, is available on draught. It will be available in bottle-conditioned form beginning Thursday, January 21 at all of our Taproom pubs and at other fine Baird Beer retailing establishments in Japan. Next year, so long as I manage to keep my job, I promise broad draught availability.
Okini Old Ale (ABV 6.5%): Old Ales derive their name from the fact that they undergo a long period of ageing in the package before release. The historical roots of this classic ale style are English. Old Ales tend to be moderately high in alcohol, medium to full in body, and somewhat sweet and vinous in flavor. Okini (meaning ‘thank you’ in Kansai dialect) Old Ale is the brainchild of our former brewer, Molly Browning. She formulated the recipe and brewed the beer on her final day of work back in August, 2008 and she did so in a spirit of thanks to all those who had given her support and friendship during her tenure in Japan with Baird Beer. Molly, we say ‘thanks’ in return.
Okini Old Ale is available both in kegs and bottles (633 ml). It will begin pouring from our Taproom taps on Thursday, January 21 and should be on the shelves and behind the bars of other Baird Beer retailers in Japan on or around the same date.
In addition to these two general releases, we also will be hooking up the hand pumps this Thursday at our Fishmarket and Nakameguro Taprooms to begin pouring a new small-batch Real Ale: Wheaty Porter (ABV 5%). This moderate strength, smooth drinking Porter has the unique attribute of being wheat-based (55%) rather than barely-based. It is a terrific winter session beer. Also relatively new to the hand pumps at all three Taprooms is another maiden-brewed Real Ale: Kiwi Single-Hop Dark Ale (ABV 4.8%). The single hopping of this fruity, low-gravity dark ale occurs with the New Zealand hop, Hallertau Aroma. It is another excellent moderate alcohol winter alternative in this season of otherwise very strong beers.
Finally, please mark your calendar for the dates of the upcoming Nakameguro Taproom Big Beer Winter Week (Thursday, February 11 through Friday, February 19). This is the week in which we feature a huge lineup of strong ales and lagers and match them with special treats from the kitchen. This year, we will be working in tandem with the team at Nagano Trading to offer a broad menu of Big Beers imported direct from the United States in addition to a robust lineup of Baird Big Beers. More event details will be announced shortly.
Baird Brewing Company
The Japan Blog List
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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