It’s that time again. Are you ready for barleywine season? Ready or not, here it comes. Starting this Friday the 25th, West Seattle’s finest beer emporium, Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California Avenue Southwest) hosts it’s 9th (I think) annual festival of all things barleywine.
From BPP’s website:
FEB 25 – MAR 5, 2011: Barleywine Bacchanal!
A Decadent Celebration of the Biggest, Boldest brews! 50 rotating barleywines on draught from the West Coast’s best breweries including many new releases as well as vintages from the cellar! 24 dedicated Barleywine Taps throughout the Fest! Look for upcoming information regarding special tasting events during the Bacchanal.
In case you’ve never been to this festival before, this is how it works, or at least how it has worked in the past… BPP will post a schedule of what beers they plan to tap on each day of the fest. This is very unlike the way Brouwer’s does their Hard Liver Fest (March 12 – 16). As it says above, BPP doesn’t tap all of the b-wines at once. Each day they will have 24 on tap and shuffle through the entire collection as kegs blow/days go by.
This has the potential to remove some of the weight off of your shoulders when it comes to attempting to get all of the rare offerings at once, but it could also mean that you will need to go to the pub on several occasions to get everything that you want. We will try to keep you abreast of the schedule as it becomes available so that you can work out your game plan.
Obviously, we have yet to see the list for this year but one could reasonably assume that some, if not all, of the following standards will be available.
Avery Hog Heaven
Deschutes Mirror Mirror
Dogfish Head Olde School
***Firestone Walker Abacus*** – If we are really lucky.
Hale’s Rudyard’s Rare
Pike Old Bawdy
Port Angel’s Share
Rogue Old Crustacean
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
Walking Man Old Stumblefoot
Flying Dog Horndog
Left hand Widdershins
Mad River John Barleycorn
North Coast Old Stock
Victory Old Horizontal
New Old Lompoc Old Tavern Rat ‘08
Anchor Old Foghorn
Stone Old Guardian
Lagunitas Old Gnarleywine
Big Sky Old Blue Hair
Glacier Old Woody
Great Divide Old Ruffian
Green Flash Barleywine
Hair of The Dog Doggie Claws
Moylan’s Old Blarney
Ninkasi Critical Hit
As the calendar year rolls over and the harsh winter winds gain ferocity, there is one thing that keeps me going…propels me forward towards the impending spring that seems ever so far away…warms my bones and heart when nothing else can thaw the freeze…BARLEYWINE! The mother of all beers. The demolisher of livers. My good friend that never fails to deliver.
To quote the late, great Michael Jackson, “Because I wanted to have a place that I could create everything that I never had as a child. So, you see rides. You see animals. There’s a movie theater.” Oh wait, wrong MJ. Try this one – “This is very distinctive, with an earthy hoppiness, a wineyness, lots of fruit and toffee flavours.” Mr. Jackson, as always, produced a precise and concise summary of the style with that sentence, though his description is by no means the end all be all of the style, especially when some of the more experimental craft breweries get their creative juices flowing. Many of my personal favorite examples of the style are more like uber-balanced imperial IPAs. You will also find versions that have been barrel aged or that resemble more of an imperial stout or eisbock. The possibilities are endless with barleywine, and that why I love them so.
Last year I got my own creative juices a flowin’ in my expression of deep admiration for the style. In case you missed it, follow this link.
Though the two local, not to be missed, mega-celebrations of barleywine are still about a month and a half to two months away [Beveridge Place Pub's Bacchanal (date yet to be set) and Brouwer's Hard Liver (March 12th)], the good folks at Pike Pub & Brewery are celebrating the season with the annual vertical tasting of Old Bawdy (96 on Rate Beer). Check out the details below.
OLD BAWDY VERTICAL TASTING
of Rare Archived Vintages
DATE: Sunday, January 30, 2011
TIME: 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
LOCATION: The Museum Room, Pike Brewing Company
1415 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
COST: $20 with RSVP by January 29th
$25 at the door
PIKE PUB CLUB and WABL members: $15 (passport required)
RSVP: Tara 206.812.6604
WHAT IS OLD BAWDY BARLEY WINE?
Old Bawdy Barley Wine is a rich, concentrated elixir that is best served as a digestive, or to
accompany lusty cheese, artisan bread, fruit (fresh or dried) and nuts, or at the end of the meal.
Fine Barley Wines, when properly cellared, can be aged. Old Bawdy develops in complexity as it
matures, and can be laid down for up to 10 years.
Seattle’s history of lusty beer dates to pioneer days when the local population was made up
primarily of men. Bawdy houses abounded and by the time naughty Nellie Curtis established
the La Salle Hotel, this “city on the sound” reverberated with the echoes of fun and frolic.
The La Salle, where Pike Brewery was established in 1989, was the last of Seattle’s infamous
“bawdy houses.”Pike’s Old Bawdy Vertical Tasting is an annual toast to commemorate
Nellie Curtis and her “ladies of pleasure.”