One of my earliest craft beer inspirations was San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing. Its flagship beer was, and is, Anchor Steam. A ’Steam’ is a hybrid style, known officially now as California Common style. Fermentation is with a Lager yeast but the temperature of fermentation is a high Ale-like one. Attributes of both styles thus co-exist in this fruity but clean and round San Francisco-born brew.
I fancied the style so much, and was turned on by the fact that no one else in Japan craft brewing was doing a California Common beer, that I intended Bay Steam to be our flagship beer. It was one of our four initial year- round beers back in 2001 (along with Teikoku IPA, Kurofune Porter and Fisherman’s Wheat Ale). Alas, flagship it was not to become. Eventually, I morphed Bay Steam into Red Rose Amber Ale (a sort of Steam inverted - Ale yeast fermentation a low Lager-like temperature).
BB15 - Bay Steam is a recreation of the original 2001 year-round beer. Tasting it for me is like taking a flavor trip back in time. I used to mash at much higher temperatures back in the day and also employed specialty malt more liberally. The original Baird Beer was thus sweeter and less dry (i.e. not as attenuated) as it is today.
TimE (4071) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JUN 27, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Medium amber color. Frothy white head. Minerally fruity nose that is distinctively a steam beer. Clean palate with nice fruity notes. Long lingering minerally after taste. Don’t care for the style too much but this is nicely done
KansaiBeerLvrs (2979) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUN 23, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Baird Beer Bay Steam 2015 5% bottle picked up at 山岡酒店 Yamaoka-Sa and about 2 months old.
Pouring a deep amber color I can see how this evolved into their Red Rose Amber Ale.
A biscuity sweet caramel nose. The taste is a nice chewy maltiness with nuts, light fudge and caramel. The aftertaste gives you a roasty chocolate kind of vibe. Tasty, I think I like this more than the Amber - cheers guys. Paired with a honeydew melon it really made the flavors of both pop bringing out some citrus notes, yum. 3.5-3.6
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