Baird Teikoku IPA
Brewed by Baird Brewing Co.
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
This is an intricately nuanced India Pale Ale brewed in the English tradition.
The hallmark hoppiness is earthy and floral and resides in perfect balance with the rich and biscuity malt character.
The Label Speaks
‘Teikoku’ means empire or imperial.
India Pale Ale (IPA), of course, is a beer style borne from Great Britain’s period of imperial domination of India in the 19th century.
Japan too has an imperial past, not all of which is shameful.
The label artwork for Teikoku IPA is inspired by Japan’s naval triumph over Russia in the 1905 Russo-Japanese war – perhaps the first time in history that an Asian nation vanquished an Occidental power in battle.
Bryan's Brewing Notes
Sugar has long served as an important brewing ingredient in the traditional Ale cultures of England and Belgium.
I’m a big fan of incorporating sugar into the beer recipe.
We do it in two ways and for two reasons.
First, we sometimes add sugar to the wort kettle as a carbohydrate source in place of some of the mash grains.
Sugar is more cleanly and readily fermentable than the carbohydrates derived from grain starch conversion.
The goal of using some sugar here in place of a portion of malted grain is to increase the alcohol strength of the finished beer without contributing additional body or heaviness.
The sugar has the effect of drying (not sweetening) the beer and keeping it light in body relative to strength.
Second, we normally add sugar to the unfiltered green beer just before
packaging, supplying a fresh and fully attenuating carbohydrate source for metabolism and secondary fermentation by resident yeast.
By doing this, we naturally carbonate the beer through the CO2 gas produced in package during secondary fermentation.
Teikoku IPA is one of our beers in which we use sugar in both the aforementioned ways.
I believe the deft use of sugar contributes greatly to the overall balance and drinkability of this pioneering Japanese craft IPA.
Teikoku IPA is one of the original four year-round Baird Beers.
Debuting on hand-pump at our Numazu Fishmarket Taproom in January 2001 was: Fisherman’s Wheat Ale (which evolved into Rising Sun Pale Ale), Bay Steam (which morphed into Red Rose Amber Ale), Teikoku IPA and Kurofune Porter.