Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:
Beer’s ability to make itself a suitable partner to the food in all culinary cultures is one of its special traits. Put most simply, good beer makes good food an experience even more pleasurable than it otherwise would be. One of the world’s most recognized symbiotic beer-food relationships surely is beer and pizza. Next to man and woman, beer and pizza is perhaps the most natural and life-affirming marriage on earth. This bulletin is about the two partners in this wonderful relationship: beer and pizza. First to the beer.
New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*4-C Strong Pale Ale (ABV 6%):
We love pale ales of all stripes. This one is a a bit stronger and bolder than is typical. Its hallmark character stems from hopping (both kettle- and dry-) with four different varieties of American ‘C’ hops: Columbus, Chinook, Citra and Cascade. 4-C Strong Pale Ale represents the sort of adventurous play on a classical beer style that helped to ignite the American, and now world, craft beer renaissance.
4-C is available for immediate release in both kegs and bottles (630 ml).
*Suruga Bay Belgian Imperial IPA (ABV 8%):
Yes, this is another in our series of year-round beers fermented with a non-typical yeast strain. In this case, we have brewed a batch of Suruga Bay but have fermented it not with our house Scottish ale yeast but with our Belgian witbier strain. The Belgian yeast strain working at higher temperatures has yielded a slightly more attenuated and stronger alcohol version of Suruga Bay Imperial IPA. Taste the two versions side-by-side and experience for yourself the clear but nuanced difference.
Suruga Bay Belgian Imperial IPA also is available for immediate release — in kegs as well as bottles (360 ml).
Now, it’s on to pizza.
Upcoming Taproom Events:
*Debut of New Haven-style Pizza at the Nakameguro Taproom:
As most of you know, we brought a new head chef aboard (Chef Joon) at the Nakameguro Taproom a couple months ago. Since assuming control of the NT kitchen, Chef Joon has been busy bringing the food back more squarely in line with the philosophy of our beer: i.e. use of fresh, fully flavored and minimally processed ingredients and preparing them with a simplicity that allows the intrinsic natural flavors to shine bright. Well, the radiant flavors of his work speak for themselves.
Joon’s dream-vision, as a chef and passionate beer enthusiast, though, has been to focus his culinary skill on the task of bringing truly world class pizza to our beer table. His work with us began with a week-long study trip to the U.S. where we attended the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas and then visited the kitchens of several noted pizza establishments in and around Portland, Oregon. We quietly added a super high-temperature pizza oven to our NT kitchen several weeks after our return. Joon has been experimenting and refining our approach to hand-made dough preparation and pizza baking ever since. Well, we are about ready to go full-on-no-safety-net-live with a spectacular new pizza and salad menu.
What kind of pizza? This was our easiest decision: New Haven-style Pizza. This is a style of Neapolitan pizza known as apizza in and around its birthplace — New Haven, Connecticut. It is supposed to have originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana back in the 1920s. What sets New Haven-style pizza apart is the crust — it is especially thin with a crispy shell that is replete with burnt black spots, desirably known as ‘char’, due to the short but intense high-temperature baking. The inside of the thin crust, though, is soft when done expertly.
New Haven-style pies tend also to be very simple and light on the cheese, which generally is Pecorino Romano rather than Mozzarella. Simple but flavorful sauces (plain or white is olive oil, red or marinara is tomato sauce) are the spice. Fresh toppings, arrayed and combined creatively, complete the pie performance. Add good beer, and Baird Beer in particular, and you have one of life’s truly subliminal food-beverage experiences.
Mark you calendar: we will inaugurate the full pizza menu at NT with a special debut party on Thursday, June 14. Please note, the hours of operation on this kick-off day will be: 6:00 – 10:00 pm. The full variety of our New Haven-style pizzas will be flowing out of our pizza oven all night long; you are free to sample to your heart and belly’s content. Fresh salads also will be served. Food price for the evening is 3,000 yen per person. Beer is sold separately. Reservations are not required. As a special beer treat, we will be tapping in sneak-preview fashion our 2012 Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale. Drink a glass with one of these extraordinary pies and I promise you, your life will change.
Sayuri, John and I will be leading a pack of pizza and beer lovers into the Nakameguro Taproom for this special debut event. Please plan on joining us.