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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Baird Wabi Sabi

     
Baird Wabi Sabi 
Posted: 26 S  Beer Republic 8.0 
Baird Wabi Sabi Ale from Japan Baird's Wabi Sabi is classified as an India Pale Ale (IPA), but it really isn't. The back label calls it a hybrid of a pale ale and an IPA and thereby terms it as a Japanese Pale Ale. Japanese it most certainly is with the addition of green tea and wasabi, two quintessentially Japanese ingredients. I could taste the green tea immediately. The wasabi, on the other hand, was not readily identifiable.     
Avg price/liter: USD 16.80   ABV %: 6.0  Type: IPA   
       


If I were a brewer in Asia, like Bryan Baird of Baird Brewery, I'd practice his same philosophy.  I'd brew beers that resonated with me and try to incorporate local ingredients and names whenever possible.        

In fact, this is what the Japanese have  been doing for centuries.  They came into contact with something foreign -- cars, Portuguese cakes, chili, and craft beer -- and made it their own, many times improving it over the original.       

Baird's Wabi Sabi is classified as an India Pale Ale (IPA), but it really isn't.  The back label calls it a hybrid of a pale ale and an IPA and thereby terms it as a Japanese Pale Ale.  Japanese it most certainly is with the addition of green tea and wasabi, two quintessentially Japanese ingredients.        

I could taste the green tea immediately, and it was so foreign to me in a beer, that my first assessment was that I didn't the beer was all that good.  Fortunately, I had a second bottle left in the refrigerator to sample, and like anything you're growing accustomed to, it gets better with repeated tastings.  The wasabi, on the other hand, was not readily identifiable. That's probably a good thing.  Most people I know couldn't handle wasabi's pungency.       

This is a real Japanese taste experience. I expect over time, as craft brewers push the envelope for what ingredients to include, you'll find a brewer in Seattle adding green tea to his beer and a brewer from Japan adding Vermont maple syrup to his. Uniqueness by country will go out the window in a globalized world. But for now, Baird is putting out quality product that has the signature stamp of the nation he brews it in.

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