Baird Suruga Bay Imperial IPA
Style Double IPA
Brewed by Baird Brewing Co.
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
This extraordinarily complex yet balanced Double IPA is dry-hopped twice with whole flower cones and then krausened at packaging.
The hop character (bitterness, flavor, aroma) is profound – vast and impactful like our local Suruga Bay is deep and magnificent.
The Label Speaks
Bryan described to artist Eiko-san the flavor of Suruga Bay Imperial IPA as a ‘fireworks-like festival of hop character.’
Eiko-san’s label artwork depicts just that – a fireworks festival in which hops are colorfully exploding in the sky over the Suruga Bay.
Bryan's Brewing Notes
CO2 Gas is a critical yet largely unspoken of ingredient in beer.
Some brewers refer to it as the secret “fifth ingredient.”
CO2 gas is what gives beer its sparkle and effervescence. CO2 gas, of course, is a byproduct of yeast fermentation.
Capturing this fermentation-derived CO2 gas in the beer as the means to carbonate it’s known as Natural Carbonation.
Forced carbonation is the process of introducing extraneous bottled CO2 gas into the beer prior to packaging because the brewer has not captured enough of the fermentation-produced CO2.
Most beer in the world is force carbonated. Natural carbonation through Secondary Fermentation in package is to me the most magical of brewing processes.
Known as Bottle- or Keg-Conditioning, this process involves a second fermentation in package in which resident yeast metabolize available carbohydrates.
This is like the carbonation process in Champagne.
In Suruga Bay Imperial IPA, we achieve this bottle- and keg-conditioning through a German method called Krausening (blending a small portion of peak primary fermentation wort into the Suruga Bay beer that is to be packaged).
A secondary fermentation is thus kicked off in the packaged Suruga Bay, naturally carbonating it and producing a continued evolution of flavor and condition.
Baird Beer is alive, not dead, in package.
I believe natural carbonation through secondary fermentation in package to be the single most important processing technique we employ in the crafting of Baird Beer.
Of all our year-round beers, Suruga Bay Imperial IPA is my favorite example of the fantastic taste imparted by this magical natural alchemy.