BBV: What beer are you really into right now and why?
Bryan: Teikoku IPA for sure. In the tradition of English-style IPAs, Teikoku enjoys a hearty malt background and an earthy, herbal hop character. It’s not at all like most modern craft beer IPAs. I particularly enjoy drinking it in the cooler months. Teikoku IPA and Kurofune Porter are the only original Baird Beers that still exist today in the year-round lineup. January 2018 will mark the 17th anniversary of the debut of Baird Beer. Teikoku IPA is a beer child that has matured into a true friend.
BBV: Please give us three words or phrases you think best describe Teikoku IPA.
Bryan: Balanced (malt-hop). Traditional (English beer heritage). Pioneering (2001-debut makes it perhaps Japan’s first year-round brewed IPA).
BBV: What’s a favorite food pairing of yours with Teikoku IPA?
Bryan: Grilled meat dishes of all kinds will pair superbly. After a day at our Shuzenji brewery, I like to snack on local venison (shika) jerky as I drink a pint of Teikoku IPA.
BBV: Who do you, or would you, like to hang out with when enjoying a pint of Teikoku IPA?
Bryan: I quite enjoy chatting with brewery staff at the end of the day while sipping a Teikoku IPA. My old customer-pal (and eventually investor-partner) Doug Benning, who suddenly and tragically passed away several years ago at the tender age of 50, absolutely loved Teikoku IPA. I would give anything to share one more pint with him.
Bryan Baird is BBC Founding & Representative Partner / Brewmaster at Baird Brewing.