The label of this beer looks just simply black at first glance, and that caught my attention. Honestly I was expecting a stout at first, but then looking closer, it did say pale ale. A pale ale with green tea and wasabi in it? Sounds like a challenge…

Baird Beer Wabi-Sabi Japan

It pours bubbly, dark gold, with an explosive head. It’s been a while since I last had a beer’s head (almost) overrun the glass. Its cloudiness is part of the Baird Beer trademark unfiltered policy. Despite the big head, there wasn’t much lacing.

The first impression to the nose is a jam-like sweet fruitiness, which, while hoppy to a degree, isn’t what I was expecting. There is also a hint of herbs that reminded me of the European herb bitters.

The medium body is made lighter with fizzy carbonation. It’s rather bitter than sweet, which is surprising after the nose. It has a thickness to it, possibly in part because it’s unfiltered, but it’s dry instead of going creamy. There is also a hint of green tea, but luckily wasabi doesn’t show up (I’m not a fan of it). It does have the standard pale ale citrusy fruitiness too.

The aftertaste is light, dry and bitter. There is a very slight herb echo too. Is this the subdued aesthetic of wabi-sabi? If so, I approve. It’s a serious beer without getting flashy.