RateBeer
overall
83
95
style
Brewed by Baird Brewing Co.
Style: Fruit Beer
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Serve in Flute, Shaker

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 90   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.43/5   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Baird Natsumikan Summer Ale is an extraordinarily unique beer that was an immense challenge to brew. Wheat and barley combine in equal proportions as the base malt; Japanese candy sugar contributes five percent of the fermentables; and freshly peeled and crushed natsumikans (Japanese summer mikans) from both Shizuoka and Fukuoka are added to the kettle at the end of wort boiling (approximately 33 kg of natsumikans per 225 liters wort). The natsumikans from Shizuoka (the Heda garden of our carpenter friend, Nagakura-san) are quite large, grapefruit-like mikans with a distinct grapefruit-like tart and sour character. The Fukuoka mikans (from the Kita-Kyushu orchard of beer enthusiast and friend, Tago-san), on the other hand, are smaller, sweeter and more orange-like in character. Aprroximately 75% of the natsumikans we used come from Shizuoka and 25% from Fukuoka

Also known as Shizuoka Summer Mikan.


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Sarlacc83 (1933) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 9, 2016
Bottle thanks to Mick. A: Cloudy straw, thin white head. N: Orange peel, straw, pine, earth, grass, hay fields, peppercorn, and rosemary. T: Bitter, spicy, and a bit sweet. M: Light body, creamy carbonation, no alcohol. O: Pretty good pale ale. The mikans add a pleasant dimension.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - APR 5, 2009
Pours a glowing bright orange color, with a small off white head. Smells of big citrus, I got a lot of praches and apricots in there. i suppose natsurnikans as well, whatever they are. The flavor is also pretty fruity, mixed with some nice sweet malt and sugars. Big peach flavors come through for me. Very refreshing and interesting little fruit beer. Makes me want to try a Japanese natsurnikan and see what it tastes like. Cool beer to try.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - APR 19, 2009
Bottle courtesy of sebletitje. Pours a hazy caramel color with thin foamy whote head. Aroma is sweet and floral with notes of caramel, honey, spice, lemon, citrus, and hints of ripe fresh fruit. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of lemon, citrus, spice, flowers, some fresh fruit. Light to medium body with a tangy finish.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2009
Japan is known for many things: anime, manga, sushi, sake, samurai, bushido, tamagotchi, onsens, whisky, and yes, beer. Until the last few years though, the Japanese beer scene was as dull, bland, and barren as ours was just a couple decades ago. Archaic laws stunted any desire and ability to craft brew on a small scale similar to here in the states. That is changing, and at a progressively faster pace. Just recently, Japan changed the minimum output a brewery had to produce to be legally recognized as a business. In the wake of and despite of, an outcry for good beer, for craft beer has fueled the growth of many artisanal breweries scattered throughout Japan. As with all things Japanese, imported and native, the rebellious and innovative Japanese craft brewers are drawing their inspiration from Europe and the West, all while retaining a unique Japanese personality when it comes to styles, tastes, and ingredients. This brings me to the Baird Brewery in Shizuoka, Japan and their Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale, aka Baird Summer Ale.

She poured a hazy, almost dirty straw into my glass. Little head or carbonation to speak of at the moment, but a few playful swirls produces an impressive white head. Still no lace though. Her appearance might be off-putting to some who rely too much on visual stimuli to formulate a pre-conclusive decision, but I am not such. At least, I try not to be. Her nose is tossed with mushrooms, oranges, moss, and damp leather while sour zest and lemon drops tease and tingle in the background. Further interesting players of sliced cucumber, mint leaves, buckwheat noodles, and dank, wet wood. Fascinatingly different, my curiosity has been piqued and my interest intrigued. This is a virgin beer voyage on many levels; multiple native Japanese ingredients that are foreign to one such as myself are evident in her nose which I am sure applies to her palate, also. All of my beer geek senses are tingling. My first quaff is clean, light, and mild. Gentle waves of cucumber and mint leaves leave a tinge of dryness on top of my tongue while spruce and herbs continue to flesh out her developing palate. What I had thought was clean is still true, but simple, not hardly. Her palate is a double challenge also in that I am trying to place my finger on as many aromas and tastes as I can, even despite the fact that a good many of them I have never heard of, touched, smelled, or tasted. A subtle undercurrent of sour esters carries her palate past my tastebuds each time, though she doesn’t have a long, lingering presence at all. Besides being clean, her body is soft and earthy, resembling the buckwheat noodles, mushrooms, and oranges I smelled earlier. Wow. I could spend forever trying to break apart this fabulous beer, and never be able to get everything down. This is as foreign as a foreign beer can get. Placing my pen and pad down, I close my eyes to savor the last of my Baird Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale, and as I open them, for just a moment, I am in Japan.

I seriously cannot rave about this beer enough. It may be very hard to approach for a lot of people because it is just so different, but for me, that draws me ever closer. It’s not often I get to enjoy a beer that so expertly represents its people, its culture, and its passion, and yet, at one time, it was as foreign in Japan as sushi and sake were here in America. Truly, we are an international world, and Baird Brewing is pushing the borders with their Shizuoka Natsumikan Ale and others.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beernbourbon (1547) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - APR 3, 2009
Pours a hazy orange with a tall white head. Very bubbly. Flavor is light cirtus hops, orange, sweet with a yeast finish. Solid beer, good summer beer.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 22, 2009
Pale Golden color beneath a thin white head. Doughy malt and honey aroma. Lightly sweet honey and biscuit like malts accompanied by some unidentified fruitiness. Light bitterness shines through in the finish. Well balanced and very drinkable.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - AUG 9, 2009
You have to really have a couple of these to really appreciate all it’s nuances that are there for the taking. The Natsumikan is a Japanese Tangerine, and it gives an interesting nuance to the nose. Known mostly in its home prefecture for its juice in ice cream. Tangy and sour and extremely refreshing for a great summer time beer.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GenkiGonzo (1054) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUN 11, 2015
Draught at the Shuzenji brewery. Light gold pour. Really zesty aroma. Flavour is quite light with a touch of honey.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAY 24, 2009
Bottle, courtesy sebletitje. Hazy cloudy yellow copper pour, frothy head, thick lacing. Big spices in the nose, pineapple, tropical citrus, zest and some clove. Spicy flavors, creamy sweet malts, some mango and other soft citrus notes. Full-bodied, soft on the palate, creamy and balanced.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
sulawang (1029) - British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 12, 2011
less fruity than the mikan ale and more bitter. pours micro-carbonated, nice lacing, orange-amber colour, sharp orange bitterness, almost bitter-melon-like bitter with a hint of saltiness. Refreshing when ice cold, but a little astringent when as it rises in temp. Definitely more of the mikan peels coming through than the mikan ale. The mikan is better imo.


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