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Beer Blotter’s Guide to WA Brewers Fest 2010

June 17, 2010 1 comment

A major highlight at this year's WA Brewers Fest

This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the WA Brewers Fest.  You should go.  Support our great state’s breweries, both new and old.

Very few states in this great US of A have so many exciting breweries.  Unless you are some sort of professional brewery visitor and all you do from Monday through Friday is travel from brewery to brewery, trying everything available, there is no way you have tried all of the beers available at this fest.  Get out, educate yourself, have fun, challenge your palate, and be responsible.

The following is the complete list of beers available for taste throughout the weekend.  Well, I guess they won’t all be available throughout the weekend, some are Friday only (indicated with **).  I’ve chosen to steer clear of these, for the most part, for several reasons.   The biggest reason being that most of these beers have rarely been seen before, if at all, and thus I have very little information about them.  If they sound good, and most do, and you are able to get a pour, sip it down and let us know what you think.

Of the remainder, I’ve highlighted the ones that I feel are most worth checking out.  If you know about something special that I glossed over, please feel free to contact us.

Washington
192 Brewing*- Kenmore, WA
Granny’s Apple Ale (Fruit Ale)
Shticky Blonde (Blonde Ale)
Bier de Garde (Farmhouse Ale) - Timperial Stout loves saisons and is in a constant search for the world’s fairest.  A recent visit to The Dray allowed for our taste buds to experience the exquisite nature of Double Mountain Bonne Idee.  FL’s St. Somewhere probably makes one that’s even better.  How will this new brewery’s offering compare?
Shed Light (Light Ale)

Vanilla Stout** (Stout)

7 Seas Brewing*- Gig Harbor, WA
British Pale Ale (British Pale Ale)
Rude Parrot IPA (Spring/Summer Seasonal IPA)
Ballz Deep Double IPA (Double IPA)

Airways Brewing- Kent, WA
First Class IPA (IPA)
Jet City ESB (ESB)
Triple Chocolate Stout (Stout)Airways keeps eluding me.   The name of this brew alone makes my mouth water.  A must try for me.

Alpine Brewing- Oroville, WA
Alpine Pilsner (Pilsner)
Alpine HefeWeizen (HefeWeizen)- Alpine and Chuckanut are always battling it out for German style superiority.  A hefe is one of the very best styles for outdoor summer drinking.

Anacortes Brewery*- Anacortes, WA
Belgian Dubbel (Belgian Dubbel)
Mai Oh Maibock (Maibock)
IPA (IPA)
Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen)
Cask IPA** (Cask IPA)

Baron Brewing/Three Skulls Ales*- Seattle, WA
Three Skulls Blood Orange Wit (Witbier)
Three Skulls Amber (American Amber Ale)
Baron Pilsner (German Pilsner)
Baron Schwarzbier (Schwarzbier)
Hop the Plank IPA (IPA)

Big Al Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Summer Lager (Helles)
Big Al Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Belgian Tripel (Tripel)
Brougham Bitter (ESB)
5 Star Chile IPA** (Chile IPA)

Big Time Brewery- Seattle, WA
Wheat beer (American Wheat)
Trombipulator (Belgian Tripel) - In case you didn’t know, bb.com has a strong affinity for Belgian ales.  Big Time is quite possibly Seattle’s best brewery, but it often slips under the radar with its U-District hideout and lack of bottle distribution.  I’ll take a little slice of Europe in the Emerald City any chance I get.
Ave Rat Malt Liquor (Malt Liquor)

Black Raven Brewing*- Redmond, WA – Ummm… I’d say it’s pretty safe to say that Black Raven isn’t messing around.  Every one of these is worth a try.  Wisdom Seeker is WA’s greatest effort to date for world hop supremacy.  Not to be missed.  Coco Jones won gold at the most recent World Beer Cup for “Herb and Spice Beer”.  A true rarity.
Wisdom Seeker (Double IPA)
Malt & Vine 3rd Anniversary (Sour Mash Rye)
Jerked Brown Porter (Herb & Spiced Ale)
Splinters (Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch)
Coco Jones** (Coconut Brown Porter)

Boundary Bay Brewery- Bellingham, WA
German Tradition Single Hop Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
IPA (IPA)
Peach Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale)
Dunkles Bock (Dopple Bock)Silver medal winner at this year’s World Beer Cup.  Drink some suds from the nation’s largest brewpub.

Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen- Bellingham, WA
Kolsch (German Ale)
Pilsner (German Pilsner) - It is extremely rare that I recommend a lager of any kind, especially a pilsner, but chances are good that you will find no better brew in the style than that of Chuckanut.

Diamond Knot Brewing*- Mukilteo, WA
Industrial IPA (Imperial IPA)
Scottish Ale (Scottish Ale)
Whip Ale (American Pale Ale) – This is Michael “Whip” Wilton of Queensryche’s beer.  Lazy Boy Brewing made it first, now it’s DK’s turn.  Let’s see if it has been improved.
Mystery Cask (changes daily)

Elliott Bay Brewing- Seattle & Burien, WA
Demolition Ale (Strong Pale Ale)
Wit von Boorian (Belgian Wheat Beer)

Elysian Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Loser Pale (Pale Ale)
Avatar Jasmine IPA (IPA)
Mens Room Original Red
Valhalla

Fish Brewing*- Olympia, WA
Fish Tale Organic IPA (IPA)
Fish Tale Organic Blonde Ale (Blonde)
Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefeweizen (Alpine Style Hefeweizen)
Spire Mountain Pear Cider (Pear Cider)
Starfish Imperial Red Ale** (Imperial Red Ale)

Flyers Restaurant & Brewery*- Oak Harbor, WA
Pacemaker Porter (Robust Porter) - I’ve never had this one before, but a very reputable source once told me that this is the best porter in WA.
Afterburner IPA (Northwest IPA)
Humbles Blonde Ale (Blonde Ale)
Barnstormer Brown Ale (English Dark Mild)
Afterburner Mach II IPA** (IPA)

Foggy Noggin Brewing*- Bothell, WA
Bit O’ Beaver (English Bitter)
Christmas Duck (Porter) - Here is a good chance to check out one of our newest breweries.  At the very least, these guys seem to know how to name a beer.  I’m simultaneously hungry and thirsty right now.
Kastrated Dawg** (Strong Ale)

Fremont Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Universale Pale (Pale Ale)
Interurban IPA (IPA)
Solstice (Summer Ale)
Mystere de l’ete (Mystery beer) – We really like Fremont Brewing.  Whatever this ends up being, it should be tasty.
Scary Monster Double IPA** (Ridiculous IPA)

Gallagher’s Where U Brew- Edmonds, WA
Magnum PI…A (IPA)
Citra Blond (Blond Ale)
Eric the Red (Red IPA)

Georgetown Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Manny’s Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Lucille (IPA) – Those of you who read our work with any regularity know that we have done some gushing about this one.  Timperial has yet to try it.  It will be sampled.
Roger’s Pilsner (Pilsner)
Cask Porter** (Porter)

Hale’s Ales Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Supergoose (IPA) – Chances are good that you have had this one before.  Its presence on the market is very strong.  If by chance you haven’t, please do yourself a favor.  This beer is really good.
IX Gold on Sour Cherries (Belgian Strong Golden)
Kolsch (Kolsch)
SBW (Double IPA)
Saizon** (Saison) – Another saison for us to try.  Let’s see how a Fremont brewery interprets the farmhouse style.

Harmon Brewing*- Tacoma, WA
Pt. Defiance IPA (American IPA)
Scott’s Puget Creek Vanilla Porter (Flavored Brown Porter)
Rajah’s Royal IPA** (IPA)

Hood Canal Brewery*- Kingston, WA
Dabob Bay (IPA)
Big Beef (Oatmeal Stout)

Iron Horse Brewery*- Ellensburg, WA
Quilter’s Irish Death (Dark Smooth Ale)
High Five Hefe (Ginger Honey Wheat) – A recent bb.com trip to Ellensburg solidified our opinion that all things Iron Horse are worth drinking.  This hefe packs a punch, but should fit in very well at this outdoor festival.
Loco Imperial Red Ale (Big Hoppy Red)
Biere de Garde (French Ale)

Issaquah Brewhouse- Issaquah, WA
White Frog (Wit Bier)
Brutal IPA (IPA)

Chili

Beer

Plus

Lazy Boy Brewing*- Everett, WA - This is what they call “shameless self promotion”.  But seriously, all of these beers are delicious.  If for no other reason, get the chili beers so that all of the pain Shawn and I go through manually chopping those peppers is worth it.  Dry, cracked brewer hands + Scoville units = burning for days!

Nacho Pilsner (Dry Hopped Chiles/Pilsner)
Lazy Boy Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Oscuro Con Chiles** (Infused/Porter)

Mac & Jack’s Brewing- Redmond, WA
African Amber (Amber)
IPA (IPA)
Black Cat Porter (Porter)

Maritime Pacific Brewing- Seattle, WA
Double Dry Hopped Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA) – Just read the name.  ‘Nuff said.
Maybock Lager (Helles Style Lager)
Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale (Amber)
Special Aged Portage Bay Pilsener (Northern European Style Lager)

McMenamin’s Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Terminator Stout (Stout)
Herd of Eagles IPA (IPA) – OK, this beer is called Herd of Eagles.  I need it.
Whiskey Barrel Aged Terminator Stout** (Cask Stout)

Naked City Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Yankee Drifter (Pilsner)
Fleur d’ Elise (Saison) – Oh look, another saison.
Hopacalypse Now** (Double IPA) – Yes, this is a **, but bb.com had an extensive discussion with Don Webb about this brew a few weeks back and let me tell you…it’s a labor of hop love.  Strongest possible recommendation.

Northern Lights Brewing*- Spokane, WA
IPA (IPA)
Solar Winds (Strong Pale Ale)
Blueberry (Fruit Ale)
Chocolate Dunkel (German Style Dark Ale)
Cask IPA** (Cask IPA)

Odin Brewing- Seattle, WA
Odin’s Gift (Ruby Red)
Freya’s Gold (Kolsch)

Old Schoolhouse Brewery*- Winthrop, WA
Ruud Awakening (IPA)
Blazing Amber (American Amber)
Epiphany Pale (American Pale)

Pike Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Dry Wit (Belgian White Beer)
Naughty Nellie (Golden Ale)
IPA (IPA)
Kilt Lifter (Scotch Style Ale)

Port Townsend Brewing*- Port Townsend, WA
Hop Diggidy (IPA)
Brewer’s Surprise 1 – Ohhh I like surprises.
Brewer’s Surprise 2 - See above, number 2.

Pyramid Breweries*- Seattle, WA
Haywire (Hefeweizen)
Outburst (Double IPA)
Curveball (Blonde Ale)
Thunderhead (IPA)

Ram Restaurant & Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Barefoot Wit (Belgian Style White Ale)
Black Sheep IPA (IPA)
Cat Tread Red (Red Ale)
Cloudburst Cream Ale (Cream Ale)

Redhook Ale Brewery*- Woodinville, WA
Copperhook (Copper Ale)
Rope Swing (Summer Pilsner)
Big Ballard Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA) – Much respect for acknowledging those Ballard roots.  Plus, “imperial” is in the name.

Rock Bottom Brewery*- Seattle, WA
Raw City Red Ale (Irish Red Ale)
Saison au Printomps (Farmhouse Ale) – Ok, I think you get the point.  Looks like you could make a day of the saisons alone.  We likie.

Rock Bottom Brewery*- Bellevue, WA
Hop Bomb IPA (IPA)
Pretty N Pink (Raspberry Wheat)
Uberwit (Belgian Wit)
Milk Stout (Milk Stout) – I’m hoping to make a milk stout in the near future at Lazy Boy.  Every brewery should make one.  Sweet, creamy, delicious.

Roslyn Brewing- Roslyn, WA
Roslyn (German Style Dark Lager)
Brookside (German Style Pale Lager)

Schooner Exact Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Seamstress Union (Raspberry Wheat)
Gateway Golden (Golden Ale)
Gallant Maiden (Hefeweizen)
3 Grid IPA (IPA)
Imperial Project #2: Virgil Gamachinator** (IPA)

Scuttlebutt Brewing*- Everett, WA
Tripel 7 (Belgian Tripel)
Mateo Loco (Imperial Red Ale)
Homeport Blonde (Blonde Ale)
Cask Oaked Porter** (Cask Porter)

Seattle Beer News/Big Al Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Passive Aggressive Wheat (Hoppy American Wheat Ale) – Props to our buddy Geoff Kaiser over at Seattle Beer News for making this happen.  “Hoppy” and “wheat” rarely tangle together.

Silver City Brewery*- Silverdale, WA
Ridgetop Red (Irish Red Ale)
Fat Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale)
Whoop Pass IPA (Double IPA)

Skookum Brewery*- Arlington, WA
Off Kilter (Scottish Style Wee Heavy)
Olde Tom (American IPA)
Katspaw (Blonde Ale)
Mammoth Jack** (American Double IPA)

Snipes Mountain Brewing- Sunnyside, WA
Dos Borracho’s (Pilsner Lager)
IPA (IPA)
Cask IPA (Cask IPA)
Cask Twangzister Sour Cherry Stout** (Barrel Aged Sour)

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing*- Snoqualmie, WA
Summer Beer (Alt Style Pilsner)
Wildcat (IPA)
Haystack (Hefeweizen)
Black Frog (Nitro Stout)
Sunstroke** (Imperial Pilsner)

Trade Route Brewing- Pacific, WA
Midnight Ale (Brown Ale)
Chieftan Amber (Amber Ale)
Jetstream Lager (Lager)

Two Beers Brewing*- Seattle, WA
Crooked Belgian Wit (Belgian Wit)
Immerson Amber (Amber)
Evo IPA (IPA)

Alaska
Alaskan Brewing- Juneau, AK
Alaskan Amber (Alt Style Amber)
Alaskan Summer Ale (Kolsch Style)
Alaskan IPA (IPA)
Smoked Porter (Rauchbier) - This is a perennial favorite.  If you like liquid smoke, join in on the fun.

California
Firestone Walker Brewing- Paso Robles, CA
Double Barrel Ale (English Style Pale Ale)
Pale 31 (California Style Pale Ale)

Sierra Nevada Brewing- Chico, CA
Summerfest (Lager)
Southern Hemisphere Harvest (IPA)

Stone Brewing- Escondido, CA
Stone Lieviation Ale (Amber)
Stone IPA (IPA)

Colorado
New Belgium Brewing- Fort Collins, CO
Ranger IPA (IPA)
Trip VI (Spring Citrus Pale Ale) - In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, the Trip series is a collaboration with Seattle’s own Elysian Brewing.  These rarely strike out.  Spring Citrus sounds really refreshing.

Oskar Blues Brewery- Lyons, CO
Dales Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Old Chub (Scotch Ale)

Delaware
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE
Festina Peche (Berliner Weisse) – I don’t think that we could possibly talk up DFH any more.  These guys poop gold.  A low abv, peach flavored sour beer…are you kidding me!  The pinnacle of spring/summer drinking.
Indian Brown Ale (Brown Ale)

Hawaii
Kona Brewing- Kailua Kona, HI
Longboard Lager (Island Style Lager)
Wailua Wheat (Wheat Ale)

Illinois
Goose Island Beer Co. – Chicago, IL
Matilda (Belgian Style Ale) - I’m kind of amazed that these guys are going to be at the fest.  They are clearly quite serious about pushing into the WA market.  That’s very fortunate for us.  Goose Island makes killer brews and Matilda is no exception.

Missouri
Boulevard Brewing – Kansas City, MO
Unfiltered Wheat (American Wheat Beer)
Single Wide IPA (IPA)
Zon (Belgian Style Witbier)

Oregon
BridgePort Brewing- Portland, OR
BridgePort IPA (IPA)
BridgePort Hop Czar (Imperial IPA)

Deschutes Brewery- Bend, OR
Twilight Sumemer Ale (Light Ale)
Hop in the Dark (Cascadian Dark Ale) – CDA is another way of saying black IPA, or balanced to the extreme.  You can never go wrong with Deschutes.

Double Mountain Brewery- Hood River, OR
Kolsch (Kolsch)
India Red Ale (Hoppy Red Ale)
Hop Lava (Northwest IPA)
The Vaporizer (Pale Ale)

Ninkasi Brewing – Eugene, OR
Total Domination IPA (IPA)
Rudiant Seasonal Ale (Pale Ale)

Widmer Brothers Brewing- Portland, OR
Drifter Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Widmer Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen)
Sun Burn (Blonde Ale)

2010 Washington Brewers Fest WABL Beer
Three Tree Imperial Porter by Elliott Bay Brewing
Available exclusively to WABL members at the WABL/Merchandise Booth

So that’s the list.  Very impressive if you ask me.

If you happen to be at the fest early on Saturday or late on Sunday, swing by the Lazy Boy Brewing booth and say hi.

Timperial Stout’s Guide to Brouwer’s Back in Black Stout Night

No, the other type of stout.

I have been dubbed Timperial Stout for one simple reason: I love my beers deep, dark and mysterious. Lucky for me, the people over at Brouwer’s Cafe have created a night to honor that holy opaque beverage we call stout.  I’d be remiss to not mention it and provide my take on how one would work up a game plan for such an event. I’ve posted the list below, that was so thoughtfully provided by the folks over at Seattle Beer Week.  In this case, it has proven very helpful that two members of the SBW collective get a paycheck from Brouwer’s.  After each selection I have provided some commentary.  I’ve tried to be brief, but you know…I love this stuff.

Allagash Black is delicious and unique, but it’s not all that rare so I’d skip it here and get a bottle at the bottleshop if you’ve never tried it.

Avery Black Tot on the other hand…pretty damn rare.  This is the third release in Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series and is an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Gosling’s rum barrels.  I’m sure this wont be cheap, but I’d bet it’s worth every penny.

Avery Czar is, in my opinion, one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there, but for this event, “regularly available” = “skip it”.

Avery Meph Addict is Avery Mephistopheles with coffee added.  I have never had (or seen for that matter) this one, so rare…yes.  The original Meph is a beast of a brew.  I recommend you tread lightly with these fellas, they are over 15% abv.

Avery Mephistopheles – See above

Beer Valley Black Madness – I’m either unaware of this beer or this is a mix up on words.  Beer Valley makes Black Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale, but I’m not so sure about Black Madness.  The SBW site lists “Black Madness” again for the Firkin-Firkin event at Elysian, so I could be misinformed, or not informed at all as the case may be.

Big Sky Bottleworks 11 is going to be showing up at special events at Brouwer’s for a few years to come now I’d assume, considering the beer was made and kegged exclusively for them (Bottleworks, Brouwer’s, same difference).  Never-the-less, it’s a very intriguing beer with some intense sour and vinous notes.  Worth a taste if you missed out on the bottles.

Big Time Old Rip – Bill Jenkins knows how to make a beer folks.  If you don’t make it to the U-district with much regularity, you may have never had this one.  Go for it, drink local.

Boulevard Nitro Dry Stout – Boulevard out of Kansas City, MO has been doing a lot of experimenting lately.  They seem to be really making things happen, and everything that I have had of theirs so far has been quality.  They are still fairly new to the Seattle market…I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot a kegs come through.  I would never get this because I don’t like dry stouts, but if you are into Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish, Moylan’s Dragoons, etc, check it out.

Chuckanut Export Foreign Stout – The words “Export Foreign Stout” are not very commonly used, but they basically indicate a “bigger” stout, built for long journeys on boats and such.  Considering the many recent accolades being tossed in Chuckanut’s direction, when I see that brewery name on something I want to try it.  Seems like a great starter to the evening to me.

Dick’s Woodford BBN Oak Cream Stout – I, sadly, don’t know a lot about this one, but the words “oak” and “cream stout” get me excited.  Worth a try, and possibly a bit more manageable in the abv category.

Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout – This one is extremely high on my list of best beers on planet Earth.  ‘Nuff said.  Oh, except beware of the strength – 18%.

Double Mountain Imperial Chaos is a draft only imperial stout from the impressive folks down in Hood River, OR.  I’ve never had this one, but I have continually been impressed by 2x Mountain.  I think I’ll be trying this one.

Elysian Dragonstooth Stout – One of the best single stouts in Washington, if not the country.  Very underrated in this area, possibly due to its permanent availability and therefore lack of hype.  Even still, I wouldn’t get it at an event like this.  Get a bottle at Whole Foods and take it home.

Firestone Walker Parabola 10 is my number one on this list.  I will scratch and claw to get it.  It is a 13% imperial stout that was blended from all sorts of different barrels, vintages, what-have-you.  It’s probably least rare this year then ever before in its existence, but still, very rare.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin is a fairly traditional oatmeal stout with a really great name.  Decent beer by one of the premier breweries in America.  I’d look for it on another day.

Full Sail Imperial Stout – Full Sail might be one of the largest breweries in the North West, but they still make really good beer, especially those in the Brewmaster Reserve series.  This is not Black Gold, so it’s not barrel aged, but it’s a great beer.  Worth getting on any other day, but there are better choices on this list.

Glacier Jack Daniels Impy Stout – Glacier is without a doubt one of Alaska’s finest.  Sadly, even though we are the closest neighboring state, we don’t see all that much of their work.  If this is in any way even close to matching the quality of their Big Woody Barleywine, this will be amazing.  Get it!

Great Divide Espresso Yeti – Yeti, like Avery Czar, is one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there.  The espresso version is not as good in my opinion, but it’s a must try for all coffee junkies.

Green Flash Espresso Stout – I think this might be a keg only one-off brew.  Sounds rare.  Green Flash makes great beer.  I’d go for it!

Hales Machete – This puppy is brewed right down the street from Brouwer’s.  I give them a big “f%&@ yeah!” for the name but I think I’ll have to skip this one, only because of better options.

Hitachino Espresso Stout – This is the best espresso stout I have ever had, but you can get it in the bottle pretty easily.  Not appropriate for this event.

Laughing Dog Dogfather – This is one of the best beers to come out of Idaho.  I will skip it only because I still have a few bottles in the cellar, but it’s worthy of a purchase.

Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout – This one is released annually in the bottle, and can sometimes be found during the “off-season” at local bottle shops.  This beer is really freaking good, but get a bottle.

Lost Abbey Serpents Stout is Tomme Arthur’s idea of a Belgian stout.  If there is an actual Belgian brewed stout out there that is this rich and delicious, I have yet to find it.  Alvinne Podge is about as close as I can think of.  If you have never had this beer you need to get it.  This is fairly commonly available in bottles so I’d skip it here.

Mad River BBN Export Stout – A quality California brew, but not up to par with some of the competition.

Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan – I don’t often think of this beer when I ponder the great impy stouts of America, but I should.  It is a high quality brew, but yet again, a bit too common for this event.

Odin Sour Stout – believe it or not, I have yet to taste the nectars produced by Odin.  I know, it’s crazy.  I don’t know much about the sour stout but I must admit I’m intrigued.  This night just might be my first dance with Odin.

Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy – One of the very few, if not only imperial stouts released in a can.  That’s pretty damn cool, and it’s delicious to boot.  If I was at Brouwer’s on a regular day, I’d get it, but not tonight.

Port Brewing Old Viscosity – This beer is great, but not as good as its older brother.  Go with the older.

Port Brewing Older Viscosity – Regular readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with this beer.  It’s chocolate covered pretzels to a T.  Get this and be like the stout fella above…meditate for a bit – you will go places.  I will most likely only get this one late in the evening, well after my better judgment has evaded me.  This is only because I have had it a bunch of times already.

Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper is a good impy stout, but it’s a bit thin for my liking.  I’d skip it.

Porterhouse Nitro Oyster Stout – This is a low abv dry Irish stout.  Sorry but…not interested.

Porterhouse Nitro Wrasslers 5x stout – Sorry Ireland, your stouts are boring.

Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken – This was recently reviewed glowingly on this site by yours truly.  It’s a damn good beer with a damn good story to tell.

Southern Tier Jahva – This is a member of the ST Imperial series, which should read “AMAZING”!  Easily one of Beer Blotter’s favorite breweries in the world.  Their stouts are impeccable.  This one is just slightly less impeccable than the Oat below, so get that one.

Southern Tier Oat – See above.

Stone I.R.S. – This beer is very unique.  I have never had an impy stout with such a strong tobacco flavor, which is a good thing in my opinion.  Like Ten Fiddy, I’d order this in almost any other situation, but not tonight.

Victory Storm King – You might have heard that this was the first impy stout I ever tasted.  I owe it a lot.  Luckily for me, it’s one of the country’s best, so I started off on the right foot.  I’d get it if I didn’t already have a bunch in the cellar.

Walking Man Black Cherry Stout – Beer Blotter finds this beer to be like soda.  If that sounds good to you, hop on board.  Not so much for me, but I do love Walking Man.

Waterstreet Stout – Skip is gone.  I have little faith.

In summary, since that was probably a bit of a task to read, I offer my top 5, in order of importance.

5) Double Mountain Imperial Chaos

4) Avery Meph Addict

3) Glacier Jack Daniels

2) Avery Black Tot

1) Firestone Walker Parabola

Give me!

Collaborative Brewing: A Growing Trend in the Craft Beer Industry, Part 3

March 30, 2010 2 comments

Perhaps the most known in Seattle....New Belgium's & Elysian's Trip Series

Here, in the third installment of the collaborative brewing article, we present a bit of a list of some of the most notable collaboration projects of the past, present and future.

This write up would be remiss to not mention the prolific Danish brewer with no brewery, Mikkel Borg Bjergso of Mikkeller.  If brewing beer at someone else’s brewery were criteria enough to evoke the collaboration moniker, every Mikkeller beer to hit the shelves would be just that.  Even still, Mikkel has, over the years, joined forces with Stone, Brew Dog, Three Floyds, Struise, Alesmith, Nogne O, and others to make some really exciting beers.

A collaboration that us Seattleites are very familiar with is that of Elysian Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co. The ‘Trip’ series allows Elysian to brew with more volume on the New Belgium system and New Belgium to brew more experimental, small batches on the Elysian system.  Lucky for us, these beers are only available on draft in the Northwest.

The first brew was Trippel (not triple) IPA, a Belgian-inspired Indian Pale Ale.  Trip II was a unique hoppy Belgian Golden Ale spiced with lemongrass and grains of paradise.  Trip III was a sour brown ale and Trip IV, a Finnish style sahti brewed with juniper.  Beer Blotter will be on the edge of their seats in anticipation of each subsequent release.

The darlings of the Florida scene, Cigar City Brewing, just may be sending a bit of their art in Seattle’s direction when they collaborate with The Bruery in what will be the most anticipated collaboration release for yours truly.  Keep your eyes peeled in July or August of this year.

Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, GA and Left Hand Brewing of Longmont, CO have actually decided to make a somewhat regular go at collaborating together with the ‘Midnight Project’ series.  Brew One in 2008 produced Terra-Rye’zd, a black rye lager.  Last year’s Brew Two saw Depth Charge, an espresso milk stout.  Sadly, WA is not amongst the 6 states that receive these beers, but if you are in TN, NC, SC, GA, FL or CO, we will gladly offer you our address and some packaging materials.

Left Hand Brewing and Terrapin Brewing are making their collab a regular item

Quite possibly the biggest (in terms of brewery size) collaboration yet sees Boston Beer Co. and Weihenstephan join forces.  The largest American craft brewery and the oldest brewery in the world, that’s pretty monumental!  The uncharacterized style will come at the intersection of brewing innovation and the old German purity law, the Reinheitsgebot.   According to Realbeer.com, “their yet-to-be-named beer will be released in both the United States and Germany next spring in cork-finished bottles. Effervescent and Champagne-like beer it will weigh in at more than 10 percent alcohol by volume.”

Another fairly sizeable collaborative effort came at the hands of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. These two have been quite active lately, in fact, on the collaborative front.  Life and Limb came when Sam Calagione and Ken Grossman, two monumental names in American craft brewing, decided to cook up a beer together after sharing a pint or two at the Craft Brewer’s Conference.  Their concoction ended up being a 10% strong ale brewed with maple syrup, fermented with a combination of both breweries house yeast strains and naturally carbonated with birch syrup.  Limb and Life was also created in this session, a small beer made from the second runnings of Life and Limb.

Boulevard Brewing Co. of Kansas City, MO just recently made its first mark on the collaboration scene with a very unlikely cohort, the Belgian Trappist brewery Orval.  Using an old recipe that Orval brewmaster Jean-Marie Rock had, an Imperial Pilsner was made using only one kind of malt, Saaz hops, water, and a lager yeast.  Beer Blotter has never wanted to try a pilsner so bad.  This beer is available in Seattle so look for it, we will be.

The final collaboration to be discussed in this round will be another America-meets-Belgium pairing that, well…I’m sure you can all imagine just how much that concept gets our blood pumping.  Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego County and Brasserie St. Feuillien of Le Roeulx, Belgium have teamed up to make Bière De L’Amitié, or “Beer of Friendship”.  Beernews.org reports that this 9.5% blonde Belgian strong ale will be released in June of 2010.  Rye and wheat malts were used, along with Amarillo hops, St. Feuillien’s yeast strain, “secret” spices, and the whole mess was dry hopped with Amarillo.  Sounds stupid good.

Any thoughts on collaborations? Know any good ones we missed? Join the conversation with a comment.

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