Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Thursday, 26 March 2009

These Bairds are growing on me

After a recent dousing of Baird propoganda from those Good Beer Country Boys, my thirst for Baird Beer was high.
The time was ripe to see if some Bairds would grow on me.
Those boys from Kentucky have a liking for these brews and for good reason. They have to be some of the best beers in Japan (if not anywhere!) at the moment.
They have about 20 of their beers on tap at the NakameguroTaproom and about half a dozen or so at the HQ, the wonderful Numazu Fishmarket Taproom.
I decided to go with their regular brews, and chose 5 that were for sale at a store near my home (lucky!).
I went with the Angry Boy brown ale (a lot of people love this brew), the Rising Sun pale ale (American pale ale - also well loved), Teikoku IPA (British/American IPA), the Shimaguni Stout (Irish dry stout) and the Kurofune porter.

Ready? Here we go!

Angry Boy Brown ale:
At first it tasted slightly off. It could have been something to do with the bottle or the fact that I poured most of the yeast sediment into the glass (something I sometimes do, as it improves the taste for certain beers - am I weird?). The alcohol is a tad over 6% and tasted like it. Still, very nice. It got better as I drank it.

Rising Sun pale ale:
Quite a few people have this as their favourite. Personally, I do like this but I preferred the Celebration Ale, when they had it on tap. That stuff was awesome (as was their imperial pilsner)! Fruity and hoppy and full of life. Very good beer. I often include one of these in my sessions at the taproom, as a wake you up kind of brew. Something to enjoy and bring some sunshine, in between the serious brews. Not to put this beer down at all, it was also very good. But part of the beauty of these beers is that they are different.
Vivre la difference!

Teikoku IPA:I find this beer to be more serious and mature, as opposed to the younger and more energetic Rising Sun. Very nice beer. Always appreciated. Never turned away. Perhaps more English than Americna, but some may disagree there. Perhaps 'neither', may be the more accurate description. Again, not meaning to sound harsh. This is a very nice beer. Nothing wrong with it. Solid.

Shimaguni Stout:Lovely aroma on this baby. Mmmm...
Goes down a treat.
Nice stout which still retains that quintissential Baird taste - always in a good way.
Easy to put down, again and again. Nice, nice beer.

Last, but not least, the Kurofune Porter:I assume it is named after the black ships, famous for assisting in 'coercing' Japan to open trade negotiations with the US. Well, I'm sure Admiral Perry would've happily swigged away on this stuff for many a fine evening.
This is my favourite for tonight.

Nuts. I just drank it.
2 am and time to go beddybyes. If you've met me, you'll understand that I need all the beauty sleep I can get!
Aplogies for the crappy descriptions, but I was doing other stuff whilst drinking.
If you're curious, then why not just grab a bottle and taste test them yourself? Or pop down to the NakaMeguro Taproom and have a few pints, fresh from the tap?
Baird beer is on tap at the Taproom and a few other places around town. Check out which here.
Happy hunting.


  1. Nice review.Agreed. Baird's regulars are pretty good. I really like Angry Boy and Kurofune, but would drink any of them. Pity their seasonals don't always stand up to the test. And whats with the artwork? I'm divided on tat. Can look cool but sems really messy most of the time. Anyways good luck to em. The Naka Meguro Taproom is a fine establishment too!

  2. Indeed Baird's regular brews are solid top to bottom, but I generally stick to their seasonals since they bring out so many- and many are an interesting take on a a style I've grown accustom to. My favorite has to be the Temple Garden Yuzu ale. Not only was it a tasty brew but it was just so damn interesting. I'm a big fan of their small batch bitter series at Nakameguro, as well. I'd agree with your assessment of those brews, as well, but I think the Red Rose seems to be a little forgotten. It's a very enjoyable brew!

  3. Yeah, no red orse. I could only afford 5 so I elft that baby in the store. Not the bigest fan of amber ales, marzens or Vienna lagers. I will however, knock back a hop head red almost any time. The seasonal luck of the Irish red is also not a bad beer. Taproom bitter 10 is out now. Haven't had it yet. I loved the imperial pilsner. That stuff rocked.