Falling in Love Again: Red Rose Amber 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.
This month we’ll be focusing on the Red Rose Amber Ale!
Red Rose Amber Ale
We currently have a bold lineup of 12 year-round beers here at Baird Beer, but when we first started brewing it was only 5. One of the beers from that lineup was the “Bay Steam,” a lager beer. Hearing this name, Baird Beer fans from the early years will surely find themselves saying “Rock on, I remember that one!”
Truth is, the inspiration for this beer came from San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam, which is Anchor Brewing’s flagship beer. In 1965, Fritz Maytag purchased Anchor Brewing and single-handedly saved the company with an iconic American beer style – steam beer. Steam beer is beer that uses a lager yeast, but ferments at higher temperatures that are better suited for ale beers. It’s essentially a form of hybrid beer. This was the beer that Bryan drank back in his 20s and was lead to the path of craft beers so it’s a beer with some personal memories for him. This is one of the main reasons that it was part of our initial year-round lineup. However, lager beers have a longer maturation period than ale beers and this made it hard to steadily keep in the lineup. It was at this point that we tried something different. We wondered if it would be possible to craft the same flavor with an ale yeast and after a harsh period of trial and error, the current Red Rose Amber Ale was born. We took the formula of a steam beer and reversed it, fermenting an ale beer at lower, lager-suited temperatures. This allows for an amber ale that retains not only a crisp, but also a soft and rounded flavor.
Fritz Maytag at Anchor Brewing
The name “Red Rose” comes from Bryan’s grandfather on his mother’s side, who was an entrepreneur. He started his business in 1842 and succeeded thanks to his hard work, perseverance, sincerity, and lenience, the same principles which we have built Baird Beer on. Red Rose happened to be the brand name of the animal feed that he sold. When you take the brewery tour at Baird Brewing’s Shuzenji brewery, you will start by taking the stairs from the third floor to the second. During this transition sharp eyes will notice a large frame on the wall. This is an antique hemp bag from Bryan’s grandfather’s company that came into our possession thanks to a family friend’s miraculous find at an antique shop in the US. With respect to Bryan’s grandfather, we have worked to preserve this bag (the carpenter even hand-crafted a special frame for it). Bryan’s entrepreneurial spirit is surely a gift inherited from his grandfather.
The Antique Feed Bag
Like Red Rose Amber Ale, every Baird Beer has a back story. Personal tales, historical tales, stories of beer styles, these beers are steeped in stories. We hope that you, those who enjoy these beers, do so in a way that compliments and becomes a part of your lifestyle and experiences.
We look forward to sharing the joys of Baird Beer with everyone, but be careful! You may just fall in love again. Cheers!