Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baird Brewing in The Huffington Post

Baird Brewing gets plenty of attention in the Japan craft beer universe, but once in a while the spotlight shines from afar. Today, The Huffington Post features an interview with Bryan Baird himself.

Among other things, Baird says that 10 years deep, "we seem to have gained real traction and
achieved that magical sort of critical mass. Our three gold medals in the 2010 World Beer Cup certainly didn't hurt things either."

So things are going well. Reading more of the interview, it's not hard to see the ingredients of success, like Baird's commitment to character, which he describes as "the interplay of balance and complexity." Too many craft beers in Japan, Baird says, have complexity, but lack balance (while the big brewery offerings have balance but ... you know the rest).

Another interesting comment from Baird was in response to a question about the "Japanese"-ness of Baird beer:

We enjoy lovely soft water in Numazu that really contributes a round and balanced house character to our beers. In the Japanese aesthetic, harmonious balance is greatly prized. I think Baird Beer is a liquid embodiment of that Japanese aesthetic value

Looking ahead, Baird sees good things for the craft beer market in Japan. He says he can picture the market share for craft beer in Japan jumping from less than 1 percent (today's figure) to something more akin to the numbers in the U.S. (4 percent by volume and 7 percent by dollar) within 10 to 20 years.

The full interview has a lot more interesting items to digest, so give it a read.

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