Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stone/Baird/Ishii collaboration: Japanese Green Tea IPA (On draft in Tokyo)

Type: green tea IPA
Origin: Tokyo, Japan
Price: 1100 yen or $14 pint
9% ABV

My good friend Kiel was showing me around Tokyo before he surprised me with a visit to this hidden brewery near the Harajuku district. I had seen Andy's review of this beer only 2 days prior to being taken to Baird Brewery's taproom, and it was all completely by chance. Life is funny isn't it?

Harajuku, by the way, is an amazingly interesting place, and on the main outdoor shopping street, has about 3 people per square foot, not even kidding. Not only that, but people wear some funky f'ing outfits, check out this badass grandpa:

After sitting down and realizing this was THAT brewery, I was jittery with joy. Obviously, I ordered the Japanese green tea IPA, especially after the American bartender said they were on their last keg and it would be tapped by the end of the day! Lucky me ha? REALLY lucky for me it was fourteen fucking dollars for a goddamn pint of beer. But it was well worth it. I was paying for the experience and the bragging rights as much as the beer itself so in the end it's like drinking a $6 pint at Regal Beagle. Not to mention that all the profit from the beer was being donated to charities helping with the Japanese Tohoku earthquake.

The description claims that the beer was created using whole leaf Shizuoka sencha (green tea leaves from a specific locale in Japan). You can really smell the fresh hops in this bad boy. Mind blowing really. And for how hoppy it is claimed to be (over 100 IBU's, aka more hoppy than a Green Flash IPA), I was surprised by how smooth and well balanced the bitterness was. I could drink this much more easily than any hop monster I've had in the past. It was also well balanced in terms of dryness. The best part? The green tea flavors are super mellow and only noticeable in the finish, which I imagine makes the beer tremendously better than if the green tea was more obvious. All in all, I completely agree with Andy's take. So why the review? So I can brag about being in Japan, duhhhhh.


  1. Glad you liked it. One small correction, though -- all of the revenue, not just the profits, were donated to All Hands Volunteers. I’m not sure exactly how much it came to from the four Taprooms, but close to Y800,000 ($10,000).


    Chris (Baird Brewer)

  2. That's great! Glad to see you're checking out the site, hope you enjoy it. I will be putting up several more reviews of Baird specific brews in the coming days.

  3. Nice review. I too loved this beer: