Every Monday, discover new wines, regions, and ways to understand this fermenting sea.
Munching Vidal Blanc on Keuka Lake, New York
Today we visit Japan.
Beer may be your last thought, but the Japanese love it. Most drink mass-produced lager like the rest of us. Yet, by the mid-90s, regulations loosened and allowed for a craft beer boom. A license went from 2000 kl per year to 60 kl. In steps Baird Beer: not very Japanese-sounding. Heck, their website looks like any other American micro-brewery’s: nary a whiff of the land of the rising sun.
That’s because Bryan, a former Johns Hopkins grad, and Sayuri, a native of Okinawa, founded it. International studies sent Bryan to Japan. But he preferred beer. Then he met Sayuri. They moved to the US. Then he crammed in the American Brewers Guild 3-month intensive and apprenticed at Redhook Brewery in Seattle. They quit their jobs and home-brewed countless small batches. Continue reading
Last Monday sampled beer from the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, Ireland. We return to test their cask ale.
A week ago in Dublin, we tried their Purgatory Pale Ale from cask at the Bull and Castle. I got a touch romantic: “Franciscan Well’s ‘Purgatory’ is hardly hell: it is beguiling, a bit sarcastic, and very good (4 of 5): like a first date who clearly is over you by the end. I suppose we should stop by Cork after all.”
Oh, how naive.
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ADDENDUM: This visit took place September 22nd 2012. According to Dean McGuinness @BeerMessiah, J.W. Sweetman’s has replaced Messrs Maguires. Oh how quickly the world of beers keeps turning. Enjoy this step through near-history. After a whirlwind first day in Dublin, … Continue reading
On Day Two in Dublin we go to the immense Archaeological Museum. After a few hours of breathtaking, minute Celtic metalwork, hunger takes us. Incapable of eating fine metalwork, we soon find The Poterhouse Brewery‘s “Central” pub on Nassau Street. … Continue reading
For our first Dublin morning, the liquid brunch at Stag’s Head and tempting Celtic Whiskey Shop had simply whetted our palates. Now, annoyingly sober again, we follow the River Liffey west. Having tasted the antiquated, we search for Dublin’s modern … Continue reading