Falling in Love Again: Single Take Session Ale
Starting in 2017, we are running a “Falling in Love Again” series where each month we will feature one beer from our year-round lineup to re-introduce each beer with some new background info that you might not know. Our Taprooms will also feature special promotions connected with the monthly beer.
We’ll be starting off 2017 with the Single Take Session Ale!
Single Take Session Ale
We challenged ourselves by boldly adding a session ale to our year-round lineup in 2013 at the height of IPA popularity. There were no doubt many who questioned our sanity with such a move. Truth is, many laughed at us back in 2001 when our first year-round beer was the Teikoku IPA. People ridiculed us with things like “there is no way Japanese people will drink a beer this characteristic!” And yet, led by American craft beers, IPAs grew greatly in popularity and people came to yearn for hoppy and “extreme” beers. Those beers are good and we enjoy them as well, but after a while doesn’t your tongue grow numb? With a numb tongue, we find it hard to enjoy other beer flavors. For this reason, we wanted to introduce a beer that you could drink all day long. Another great benefit of the session ale was that it used our Belgian Wit yeast, which we were now able to manage year-round in-house and this made it easier to use this yeast in other seasonal beers.
As for the naming, we always try to find something of historical or environmental significance. We decided to focus on the word “session” for this beer. As you know, “session” has meaning in a musical sense as well. Try to imagine musicians having a “session.” You’ll probably envision images of jazz or rock musicians passionately and intensely playing music that they love. Bryan is a big fan of American rock legend Neil Young. One day, Bryan saw a live performance of Neil and was moved by the pure passion that he exuded. Bryan was even more inspired to hear that Neil used a “single take recording” musical style where the music is played start to finish with no editing. Just one shot to give it your best. We make our beer in a similar way.
Baird Beer is, in a way, “single take brewing.” Flavors can have some variance, even with year-round beers. Bryan will make minor adjustments with each batch to keep reaching for an even better flavor.
As usual, we asked designer Eiko-san to do the artwork but in order to properly portray what we were asking for, we sent her a video of Neil Young’s performance and pointed out the certain sections that we thought would make the best label. She took all this in and created the pulsing and exciting label that you see today. You can almost feel the sweat flying!
We hope that you all enjoy this new series and be careful, you may just fall in love again. Cheers!