Tag Archives: Numazu City

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #2
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Topic: Seasonal Release — Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2008

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Winter is a time of hibernation for many species. The Barley Wine style of beer is not one of these. Winter is the season that this big bear of the beer world comes out to play. Baird Ganko Oyaji (“Stubborn Ol’ Man) Barley Wine 2008 is being released from his cellar cave today. Beware!

*Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2008 (ABV 9%):

Brewed in May 2007 and packaged the following month, Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine 2008 has enjoyed ample time for maturation and flavor evolution. The depth and complexity derived from this long period of conditioning is further augmented by a grist bill dominated by rich English Maris Otter pale ale and caramel malt varieties as well as a hop schedule that combines the strength of American varieties (Simcoe and Nugget) with the nuanced subtlety of English ones (Fuggle and East Kent Golding). At packaging, Ganko Oyaji was kraeusened with Amber Ale wort which promoted a superb secondary
fermentation and vibrant natural carbonation.

Ganko Oyaji is now on tap at Baird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom in Numazu and will be available at select Baird Beer retailers in Japan beginning Friday, January 25.

Please mark your calendar for a special upcoming beer event to be hosted at the Fishmarket Taproom: Baird Big Beer Winter Week 2008 (Wednesday, February 13 through Monday, February 18). This week long event will allow us to focus the spotlight on the wonderful world of strong ales and lagers and highlight the affinity they share with fine food. Every strong ale and lager brewed by Baird Beer over the past year will be served during this strong beer bonanza. A unique menu of specialty cuisine to match these strong libations will also be featured. Precise details regarding the beers and the food will be provided in the next bulletin.

Cheers!
Bryan Baird

HOMEPAGE

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #1
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Topic:
-Seasonal Releases: Three Baird Beer Bocks
-Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock Debut Party at Popeye’s in Tokyo (Sat. Jan. 12)

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Warm New Year greetings! 2008 promises to be yet another excellent year for the beer enthusiast. To seize your early attention, we are debuting three brand new Baird Beer seasonals (all lager-style Bocks): Braumeister’s Bock, Double Piston Bock and Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock.

*Braumeister’s Bock (ABV 6%):

Brewed in the tradition of German-style Bock beers, Braumeister Bock’s opulent maltiness is leavened perfectly by a lager-type roundness and subtle fruitiness. The flavor experience is long, rich and smooth. The alcohol strength provides a pleasing tinge of warmth in the finish. Brewed in the summer for comfort and sustenance in the winter; you will not be disappointed.

*Double Piston Bock (ABV 7%):
This is our go at a German-style Dopplebock. It is a higher gravity, higher alcohol, longer maturation (brewed in February, 2007) version of a standard Bock. It is, in essence, a lager porridge — extravagantly malty, unctuous in mouthfeel, nourishing in effect. Put a log on the fire, pull a good book from the shelf, curl up with your sweetheart and enjoy the privilege of
life!

*Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock (ABV 7-Plus %):
Within the world of fine alcoholic beverages, different categories are intimately interconnected. Lovingly and authentically crafted wines, sakes, whiskies and beers have more in common with one another than they do with industrial products within their same category. Scotch Whisky and Beer, both sharing the same primary ingredient — malted barley — enjoy a special affinity. Well, we have made the most of this affinity by marrying our Double Piston Bock to a freshly emptied Scotch Whisky barrel (from Arran Distillery — Scotland’s newest — on the Isle of Arran) for an extremely blissful 3-month interlude. The offspring of this marriage, Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock, is a wonderful genetic blend of its different parents.
In particular, the whisky mother imparts soft notes of vanilla, coconut and buttery caramel to the otherwise beery character imparted by the Dopplebock father. This is a one of a kind beverage you will not want to miss!

The Arran Distillery Whisky barrel used was made available through the enterprising effort of Popeye’s proprietor, Aoki-san. Sayuri and I will be attending the debut launch of this Bock Beer series at Popeye’s on Saturday evening, January 12 (6:00 – 9:00 PM). Please join us. The Double Piston Whisky Barrel Bock is in extremely limited quantities and the draught version will be available only at Popeye’s and our own Fishmarket Taproom. Very limited quantities of the bottle-conditioned version will be for sale beginning Saturday, January 12.

Both draught and bottle versions of the Braumeister’s Bock and Double Piston Bock are in more ample supply and will be available both at The Taproom and through the family of Baird Beer retailers in Japan.

Cheers!
Bryan Baird

Shizuoka Beer 3-2: Wind Valley Beer/Kaze No Tani no Biru-Pilsner

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This is my second tasting of the beer from this micro-brewery lost in the east of the prefecture at the foot of Mount Fuji:

Wind Valley Beer/Kaze No Tani no Biru-Pilsner

This particular beer is an organic beer using 50% of wheat malt.
It is unfiltered and should be kept in a cold environment because of its live yeast.

Clarity: smoky (unfiltered)
Colour: golden
Foam: solid, steady and lingering.
Aroma: light, yeasty, bread, oranges, cloves
Taste: Dry, bread, yeast, oranges. Becomes a little sweeter later

Overall: Taste nicely lingering in mouth. Very satisfying drink. Sharp on palate with a marked individuality. Goes very well with food

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2007 #32
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Topic:
-Seasonal Release: Yamanashi Sumomo Ale
-Taproom Countdown Party (Monday, December 31)
-Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Year 2007 is entering its midnight hour. As we reflect on time past and anticipate the year ahead, we also stumble in our cellar upon one of the beer gems of 2007 not yet to see the inside of a thirsty enthusiasts’ pint glass. Yamanashi Sumomo Ale was brewed way back in the hot summer month of July and has been conditioning cool and quiet in the recesses of our cellar
since packaging in early August. Upon cracking a test bottle, one thought became clear: this is the way the year 2007 wants to end. And thus it will be — our final beer salute to yet another fine year of living and drinking.

*Yamanashi Sumomo Ale (ABV 5.6%):

Yamanashi prefecture is the fruit capital of Japan. Our friends at Four Hearts Cafe in Kofu city make it a point to see that some of this fine fruit makes it over the border to Shizuoka prefecture where it may find its way into the brewing kettles at Baird Beer. A sumomo is a Japanese plum, deep purple in color, juicy in character, sweetly tart in flavor and pleasingly
aromatic. Yamanashi Sumomo Ale is light in body (additions of malted wheat and Japanese korizato sugar see to this), highly attenuated (due to low mashing temperatures), and briskly fruity (thanks to additions of fresh sumomo). Extra zest is provided courtesy of the all-natural carbonation produced during secondary fermentation.

Yamanashi Sumomo Ale is now being served at our Fishmarket Taproom and will be available in both bottle- and keg-conditioned form through the fine family of Baird Beer retailers in Japan beginning Friday, December 28.
Let’s bid farewell to 2007 in the finest beer fashion possible.

*Taproom Countdown Party (Monday, December 31):

As tradition now dictates, we will be partying out the current year and partying in the next on December 31 at The Taproom’s annual Countdown Party. Per our custom, the party will be organized around a delicious Mexican-style fiesta buffet that features a do-it-yourself taco and nacho bar as well as a host of other Mexican cuisine-inspired original Taproom dishes. Best of all, you can gorge all evening for only 1,000 yen per person! The buffet will be served from 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM. Reservations not required.

*Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA (ABV 8%):

At the stroke of midnight, Baird Beer Year 2008 will be inaugurated with the tapping of Hatsujozo (“First Brew”) 2008 Double IPA. This year’s version sees a reduction in the use of Maris Otter in favor of lighter bodied Pilsner and Vienna malts, the replacement of korizato sugar with the elegant character of sudakito sugar, and a cleaner and more floral hop character (combination of Simcoe, Magnum, Horizon, Vanguard and Sterling).
Dry-hopping is conducted with loads of Vanguard and Sterling hops. A complimentary glass of Hatsujozo 2008 will be served to all patrons for the inaugural toast of 2008. Please plan to join us for a most special and festive evening.

Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA will also be available through Baird Beer retailers in Japan. The bottle-conditioned version has been packaged in large 633 ml bottles (as opposed to our standard 360 ml bottles). Beginning in 2008, virtually all seasonal Baird Beer will be bottled exclusively in 633 ml bottles.

*Remainder: The Fishmarket Taproom will be closed on January 1-2. It will
re-open on Thursday, January 3 for a special Shogatsu celebration (noon – 6:00 PM) featuring special shogatsu dishes cooked up by Sayuri and Kyoko (300 to 600 yen) and 500 yen pints of Hatsujozo 2008 Double IPA. The Taproom will return to normal business hours beginning Friday, January 4.

Happy New Year!

Bryan Baird

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter

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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2007 #31
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Topic: Taproom Christmas Celebration (Monday, December 24)

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The Taproom’s annual Christmas celebration will be held on Monday, December 24 (Christmas-eve day and Japan national holiday). The Taproom doors will open at noon and the celebration will last all day and into the evening.

The celebration will feature a very special Christmas food menu, 500 yen pints of our Jubilation Ale, and the full line-up of year-round as well as strong seasonal Baird Beers. As Christmas is a family affair, please don’t hesitate to bring the kids along. We will be playing Christmas music and showing Christmas videos throughout the day to keep the young ones fully entertained. Small gifts from Sanata Claus for the little ones have been deposited underneath The Taproom Christmas tree where they await a new and enthusiastic owner. Reservations are not required.

Also, please mark the calendar for The Taproom Countdown Party on Monday, December 31. Event details will be forthcoming shortly.

Cheers!
Bryan Baird
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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2007 #30
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Topic:
-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.

Cheers!

Bryan Baird

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Karasumi

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Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “btarga” in Italian, is the dried roe pouches of the mullet.
It is a quite expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is the real one!).

Numazu City is quite renown for its karasumi, and fishermen have just started drying them under the sun, after getting rid of blood vesels, carefully cleaned them and sprinkled them with salt.

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They are served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants, or used in Italian and French restaurants, especially with pasta.

This year’s catch was only one fourth of the usual expectation, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!