Tag Archives: bairds brewing

Ten thousand fists

Disturbed is a band I’ve been aware of for a long time, since they hit in the late 90’s really. I liked some of their songs and knew of their bigger hits but didn’t have any of their albums nor had I seen them live. I really didn’t know a great deal about them until in April I got an email from the touring company that was bringing them out to Australia requesting if they could come out to the winery and take a tour and try our wines. The guys from the touring company knew I was a big metal fan so they thought it would be cool for all concerned. Through several emails and phone calls with the band’s manager I met up with David Draiman and Dan Donegan, plus David’s fiancee and others for a lunch at a local restaurant and we then went on to the winery for tastings. David is real wine lover and also quite a foodie from what I could gather and the band obviously enjoyed seeing what the place they were touring in had to offer. The guys very kindly invited me to come to the show the next night and hang out, which I definitely said yes to.

I arrived at the arena a little earlier than the band, but was warmly welcomed by Jason their head of security who’d also come out to the winery the day before. I had full access to the arena and just hung out and watched the support bands. On a side note, the main support act was Trivium who I’ve been a big fan of since their Crusade album and I was really stoked to meet Corey and Mat and have a quick chat. Mat has a great food blog as well, it’s worth checking out.

Disturbed put on a great show, lots of pyro, lots of energy, the crowd was really into it and the band sounded great live. Here is a pretty good quality video from the show that also happens to be my favourite Disturbed song.

Afterwards I got to hang out with the guys in the dressing room area, drink some wine and hear some road stories. I’m not certain why but I had decided to bring along a couple of bottles of one of my home-brewed beers as well as some wine. Dan was particularly curious about it and even though it’s a good beer, one that I was pretty proud of, I was a little sheepish for him to try it. He polished off both bottles and loved it! The beer itself was a pretty simple English style summer ale, brewed with all Maris Otter malt and Kent Goldings hops and he kept giving it to everyone to try and told me several times how much he liked it. Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks later I get a text message from Dan, saying he wants to get in touch and talk about doing something with the beer. He was so impressed by it that he is keen to work together on producing and releasing a beer sometime in the future. It still blows my mind to think about that, I’m this unknown guy from the Barossa Valley, not a professional brewer, but I guess I’m smart enough to say “Yeah, sure we can do that, it’ll be awesome!”. On reflection I guess my passion for it and my knowledge gained from the wine industry came across to Dan and to be quite honest he was the one guy of all the band that I felt an instant connection to. Sometimes you just meet people and you know that person will be a friend for life.

So, watch this space. I predict exciting and big things to come from this, hopefully in the not to distant future. If you have any suggestions or ideas for a beer that would best represent Disturbed or if you think you have the perfect name for the beer please let me know in the comment section.


Stone brewing collaboration for Japanese tsunami victims

The New School Brew blogspot has reported on Stone Brewings latest collaboration, this time in support of victims of the Japanese Tsunami. Stone has long been one of my favourite US craft brewers, ever since I got my first taste of Arrogant Bastard. They have done many collaborations over the past few years with small like-minded brewers across the globe, but this particular collaboration is close to my heart. Having lived in Japan for just over three years it is like my second home and with my wife also being Japanese the devastating tsunami affected us greatly. If you can drink a great beer and also aid in helping people recover from disaster then that is what I call a win win.

Escondido, CA | July 11, 2011 Stone Brewing Co. is proud to announce the release of its latest collaboration beer, Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA, hitting shelves today.
Toshi Ishii—former Stone Brewing intern cum brewer (’98-’01) and now owner of Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam—got in touch with Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele shortly after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster with a proposal to make a beer that could help with recovery efforts. Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing Company in Numazu, Japan was brought on board and ideas were soon flying.
“We wanted the beer to have a Japanese spirit, so we decided early on that we would be using green tea in the recipe,” explains Baird.
“We decided to brew an IPA to accentuate the tea’s herbal character,” adds Steele. “But this won’t be the typical, citrusy West Coast IPA flavor. We’re using Sorachi Ace, a variety of hops originally developed in Japan, as well as Pacifica, Crystal, Warrior, and Aramis, a brand new cultivar from the Alsace region of France.”
All proceeds (minimum $50,000) will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. “We hope that Japan and its people will bounce back from the tsunami tragedy stronger than ever!” exclaims Ishii.
“A collaboration beer like this is a great way to demonstrate to Japan that they’re not alone,” Baird asserts. “They have friends, supporters, and empathizers all around the world.”

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