Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Elysian Brewing Company’

Early Details Leak On Elysian/New Belgium Trip VIII

The Seattle area’s most high-profile collaborative brewing project is about to welcome its newest edition.  Trip VIII is nearly upon us.

I can remember when the first one arrived.  Now I feel like an old Seattle beer geek and I’ve only lived here for 4 years now.  Well, maybe I’m not that old.  Maybe it’s just that NBB and Elysian are that damn prolific.  Actually yeah, they really are prolific.  The fact that Elysian can (and periodically does) do a tap takeover at their own brewpub, and NBB has more offerings in their Lips of Faith line than many breweries do in their entire portfolio, is more than enough proof.

For a great summary of the previous Trip beers, please check out our article from September of last year here.

Without further adieu, check out the dazzling details on Trip VIII below (courtesy of beernews.org).

The Trip VIII Imperial IPA was brewed at Elysian Capitol Hill with the help of Alex Jesse visiting from New Belgium.

“The main idea behind Trip VIII was to brew a true Northwestern Imperial IPA, instead of a Californian or American IPA….I thought the whole story behind the Falconers Flight hops was really cool: a blend of NW hops to commemorate a NW brewing Legend and help send brewers to Seibel was awesome… The craziest part was I had no idea that Markus from Elysian was the first scholarship winner! The Pale Malt is grown and malted in the NW also.” – Alex Jesse, New Belgium Brewing Co.

These newfangled Falconers Flight hops have been showing up a lot in NW brews lately.  They are said to “imparting distinct tropical, citrus, floral, lemon and grapefruit tones”.  Sounds awesome!

The Hop Brief: Hale’s Ales Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double IPA

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I can't wait till the next SBW!

Enjoyed on 12/21/2010

Brewery: Hale’s Ales LTD.

Location: Seattle, WA

Beer: Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double India Pale Ale

Web: http://www.averybrewing.com/

Presentation: 22 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped

Vintage: 2010

Style: American Style Double India Pale Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 8.3%

IBU: 100

Hops: Columbus and Magnum in the bittering, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial in the late hop additions, and Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe in the dry hop.

Malt: Belgian Aromatic and Munich, oats, likely NW pale or 2 row or Maris Otter…possibly others.

Commercial Description:

Seattle Beer Week II Double IPA We do a couple different IPA’s here at Hale’s Ales, Mongoose, Supergoose, Aftermath, and so we were aiming for an IPA that was outside of these flavors. The big feature of this beer is the hops, so naturally we argued first and last about the malt bill. Our target was a rich orange color based around a couple of light color malts, Belgian Aromatic and Munich. We also were looking for a strong malt backbone to support a pretty aggressive hop bill, so we incorporated oats to allow for a rich body and mouthfeel. On to hops. Our goal was a blend of Northwest Hops emphasizing floral, citrus and pine characteristics. We did a couple of trial batches attempting to dial in the right hop character. We went a little heavy on Columbus in the first batch and ended up with a weird pineapple character. The second batch was dynamite on the flavor, but didn’t quite hit the perfect aroma. Our final batch incorporated Columbus and Magnum in the bittering, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial in the late hop additions, and Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe in the dry hop. Late hop additions were 1.6 lbs/bbl. Dry hops were at 1.0 lb/ bbl.

Beer Advocate: A- (4.1)

Rate Beer: 97 (3.68)

Timperial’s Notes:

Background.

Remember Seattle Beer Week 2010?  I do and I don’t, if you know what I mean.  It’s nearly impossible to exercise moderation during said week, and I partied like a rock star.  Err…a beer nerd.  That notion, non-existent moderation that is, seems to hold true when creating the week’s beer as well.  The inaugural brew in 2009 was crafted by Pike Brewing and was also a Double IPA.  When the Seattle Beer Collective gets down, they get down.  They destroy palettes with booze and IBUs.  The dates have already been set for SBW 2011, May 19 – 28, but the official beer’s brewer has yet to be announced.  Who will it be?  I can’t wait to find out, but for now, lets just enjoy my last bottle of the 2010 before the massive hop character becomes…well, less massive.

Appearance.

I’d say, based on looks, that Hale’s was right on with what they were aiming for.  This brew has a rich orange hue that is very inviting.  When the light isn’t quite so direct, the fluid takes on a more amber color, but when held directly to the light, SBW2010DIPA glows a gold flaked orange.  Though the beer is hazy from the dry-hopping, there is barely any sediment to speak of.  The carbonation is visible, but not so strong as to build an out of control head on the pour.  The lacing is worthy of a double thumbs up, and the head sticks around throughout.  Very impressive.

Odor.

There is little doubt that this beer has a solid malt backbone.  It’s possibly odd that I started this section with that statement.  Yes, hops dominate.  Was I supposed to mention that?  I thought it goes without saying.  I’ll get to the lupulin in a moment.

The first thought I had when evaluating the malt essence was Victory malt.  There may or may not be Victory in the grain bill, possibly it’s the Munich, but I got a whiff of peanuts and a dash of popcorn.  Those notes came right after the pour when the effervescence was at its peak.  Now that the beer has calmed a bit, I can’t seem to discern anything other than a faint caramel stickiness draped upon the overpowering hoppy fruitiness.

I smell and smell again, and each time I seem to get a slight nuance from the hops.  At times, it’s all fruit, mostly passion fruit or some soft tropical pleasure.  Other times, it’s completely floral.  Unfortunately, I’m no botanist, and therefore am unable to provide genus,  but I can tell you that the potency is immense.  I think of Elysian Jasmine IPA and its overwhelming ability to transport me to a Japanese tea garden.  A garden, we surely are in.

As the beer warms, some more of the malt is uncovered, and it easily coalesces with the flora to place me directly within the leavened pores of a fruit cake.  If you could take that scene in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids where they stumble upon the Oreo in the front yard and snack time ensues and replace the cookie with a fruit cake…yeah I’m doing a swan dive right into the fluffy cakey goodness right now.

As it warms even more, the booze enters the jaunt, and some slight uninvited vegetal scents pop in.  Try to drink this one cold(er).

Mouthfeel.

The body of this guy is truly lovely.  I can’t say that I would have guessed there were oats in this, but since I do know, I’ll strap on my monocle, clutch my jolly old belly (lavishly draped in a vest of the Queen’s finest textiles) and bellow deeply in an English accent that this beer’s “silky smooth mouthfeel is made possible by the almighty oat”.  The oats effect may also be responsible for the killer head retention, or maybe Cara-Pils could hold a minor percentage in the bill.

The carbonation is rocking well after the pour but never overbearing.  All in all, a great success.

Flavor.

Much like the nose, this element seems to fluctuate, oscillate, ebb and flow.  When the experience is averaged, balance is reached so astutely.  Doubtless, the malts are mighty strong here, standing tall amidst the triple digit bitterness units.  Bitterness… what a challenging topic right now.  With the fear of skipping ahead and spoiling the aftertaste section below, I must reference the moments after the swallow to make any attempt to wrap my mind around the role of bitterness here.

If you’ve read my Hop Briefs in the past, you know that, ultimately, my enjoyment of IPAs rest in the bitter vs. sweet, hop candy battle.  When this beer hits the tongue, the tongue recoils in fear.  On a sensory level, one must then pay close attention to the aftershocks, not the heavy hitting initial blow, to fully appreciate this beer’s nuance and complexity.  The aftershocks, or the aftertaste in this case, is so, so pleasurable.  It’s sweet and hoppy and not at all dry.  The malts are twinkling in the background and everything is right in the world.  How this contradiction holds together in the rolling centrifuge across my tongue, I can’t explain, but allow me to again bellow, “Roll on my intrepid friend, be free!”

When it comes to the actual hop flavor, it still holds a lot of fruitiness, but not so much floraliness (new word discovery, chalk it up!).  I’m actually getting a large dose of spice just at the moment that I swallow.  If beer is liquid bread, this beer is a culinary joy ride.  I’d feed on this one for days and days.  It’s all too hop-laden to realize any specific, legitimate malt characteristic, but the balance is undeniable.

Aftertaste.

It’s glorious.  See above.

Summary.

The absolute best part about this beer is the fact that it seems to be a living organism.  It’s like the sea breaching the shore – it attacks over and over again, but never twice in the same manner.  By this right, this is the most complex IPA I’ve had in recent memory.  Oddly enough though, complexity only goes so far with IPAs as far as I’m concerned.  This one beer may have the aspects of 4 different IPAs, possibly more, but maybe only one of those would be a perfect 10 in my book.  Though I deeply enjoyed the ride, the moments where SBW2010DIPA tasted like something slightly less desirable left a blemish with enough weight to set in scar.  If for nothing other than to deepen my confliction, may it be that this scar lends an endearing quality and in time I regret not distributing the highest of marks.  May time tell the tale.

Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99

Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.94

Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.98

Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.70

Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.88

Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99

Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.48

The Winter Beers Cometh

Jolly old St. Nick has the right idea.

Each and every time that I have perused the beer aisle or strolled into a bottle shop over the past few weeks I have noticed more and more winter beers on the shelves. I guess it’s officially that time of the year. The days are getting shorter, the trees are shedding, there is a nip in the air… we will soon be required to warm ourselves with thicker clothing, crackling fires, and most importantly, robust beers.

Yeah it’s true, the pumpkin and fresh hop beers will soon be gone for the year.  As quickly as they come, they go, but let’s relish in it…enough with those hoity-toity additives…lets soak in the  depths of the true beer ingredients, namely, malt, lots and lots of malt.

Winter beers are all about fending off the cold.  It’s like a thick chowder that coats the inside of your belly, warms the innards, adds fat, and preps you for a lengthy hibernation.  The booze levels often push boundaries, the sugar levels pose similar inner quarrels as that far to common holiday season overindulgence on cookies.  It’s hearty through and through.  Santa’s belly, not excluded.

And there exists not that boisterous Ho, Ho and inevitable Ho in the Seattle area without the annual Winter Beer Fest at Hale’s Ales.  This year, the indulgence falls on the weekend of December 10th and 11th.  One can only hope that WA’s finest will be in attendance.  If you, personally, are not amongst the present, it’s quite clear that you care not about sustenance and suspension through the cold months, and you should, sooner than later, except your fate as a fallen entity…one existing only as a human icicle.  Say your good-byes now.

Whether you prep for hibernation or not, attend winter beer fest or not, any beer drinker with pride for the local and the slightest holiday spirit should do their very best to seek out Washington’s finest Winter Beers.

Here is a list of some of the Washington brewed Winter Ales to keep an eye out for (note: all descriptions presented are commercial unless not supplied.  Those not supplied are notated with a “*” and are provided by beerblotter):

Boundary Bay Cabin Fever – A strong ale or “Winter Warmer” with dark red-brown color and a very rich malty flavor. Dry-hopped lightly with Cascades for a pleasant aroma and slightly spicy hop finish. This big beer is deceptively strong, yet tastes very smooth thanks to extra long cold conditioning. Original Gravity: 1.072.

Fremont Abominable Winter Ale – tasty winter ale, limited release. Dark, roasty, chocolaty, malt flavors balanced by Noble hop aroma and subtle hoppy spice. Warm up to it. Don’t be Scared to be Abominable.

Lazy Boy Mistletoe Bliss – A new brown ale on steroids! Stock up now to warm those cold winter nights. ABV 7.5%, Grains: Pale, crystal, Munich, brown, Vienna, chocolate.  Hops: Ahtanum.

Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Christmas Ale – * This rich malt bomb has a dark red hue and flavors of dried fruits.

Diamond Knot Ho! Ho! Winter Ale – A robust, ‘Winter Warmer’ ale, ruby brown in color with a slightly sweet, fruity nose. Very hoppy, yet balanced with a residual sweetness.

Elysian Bifrost – Style: Winter ale, Body: Medium to Sturdy, TASTING NOTES: Pours golden with orange highlights. Smells alluringly sweet like caramel apples with a little spice and orange zest. Taste is bold and balanced with a good amount of citrus and earthy hop bitters to offset the bready, sweet malt character. Finishes dry with a bit of fruit. MALTS: Pale with small amounts of Munich and Crystal, HOPS: Bittered with Centennial, finished with Amarillo and Styrian Golding, ABV: 7.5%, IBU: 55.

Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale – A winter treat (Wassail) dating from pre-Christian times. Celebrates the winter solstice. Festive and flavorful with delicious hints of orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Pyramid Snow Cap – Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion. Original Gravity: 17.3, Alcohol by Volume: 7.0, IBU: 47, Malts: 2-Row Barley, Caramel 80L, Chocolate Malt, Hops: Nugget, Willamette, East Kent Goldings.

Redhook Winterhook Winter Ale – The 2010/2011 Winterhook Winter Ale is a rich, full-bodied beer with a red chestnut color. It combines imported and local Caramel, Vienna, Pils, Chocolate and NW 2-Row Malts for a complex profile balanced by four hop varieties added in the brewing to emphasize the end hop character (flavor and aroma).  Beautifully balanced, the flavors meld to create an overall complex profile with no single ingredient out of harmony. ABV: 6%, Malts: Caramel, Pils, Chocolate, Vienna and NW 2-Row, Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Northern Brewer and Centennial, Bitterness Units: 42 IBU, Original Gravity: 15 degrees plato.

Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman – Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale. Need you say more? A big brother to Hoppy Holidays, this winter ale has gained a level of complexity and intrigue during those months luxuriating in its bourbon barrel haven. Chocolate malt and a healthy dose of hops help maintain balance.

Scuttlebutt 10 Below – Style: imperial dunkelweiss, Aroma: crisp citrus, Taste: medium body with a rich chocolate finish, Hops: mt. hood & american saaz, 22 ibu’s, 7.4% alcohol by volume.

Silver City Old Scrooge – If Old Scrooge can’t get you in the Holiday spirit nothing can. A rich amber ale, ripe with fruit and spice, Old Scrooge’s character will fully develop as it warms. Intriguing notes of apple, cherry and apricot occur naturally as a result of its unique fermentation and extended aging – 9% ABV.

Hale’s Ales Wee Heavy – * This style is Scottish and piles on thick like a marching calvary of bagpipers. There’s malty ales of the old world, and then there’s wee heavys.

Port Townsend Winter Ale – Our winter ale is made from a blend of pale and crystal malts, roasted barley and Belgian aromatic malts. Cooler fermentation and a longer aging time adds further complexity to this Old Ale style. Original Gravity:1.072 Alcohol by Volume: 7.4%.

Two Beers Winter Hop – Winter Hop – The sun doesn’t shine much in winter around here. It’s darker, more subdued and subtle. If you enjoy this about winter, then there is a pretty good chance Winter Hop will find comfort with you. It’s darker, its slightly chocolate-y and dry-hopped with Amarillos. Cheers! IBU’s: 67, OG: 1.068, Hops Used: Amarillo, Galena, Magnum.

Ram Sleigher – * Brew pub chain…don’t make exciting beers…?  You’re wrong folks, this is one of the best winter beers I have ever had.

Dick’s Double Diamond Winter Ale – Northwest style seasonal with massive amount of grain and several healthy additions of hops.

Fish Tale Winter Fish – Here is the full-bodied seasonal ale that brings meaning to “Winter Warmer”. With a snappy hop character, this isn’t just another brown beer masquerading as a seasonal. This is hearty fare brewed for the season of celebrations. Enjoyed at ease with friends and food, Winterfish will put a glow in the cheeks and warmth in the veins. Pale and honey malts provide an abundantly deep foundation. Then, for bittering, flavor, and aroma, we use 100% Yakima Chinook hops in the kettle. For additional flavor and aroma, it’s more Yakima Chinooks in the hop-back. Perfect for festive feast, this is the hoppiest winter ale we know of! Savor a pint and you’ll know why Northwesterners agree: An ice-cold Winter never sounded better! 7.5% alc/vol 1.071 O.G. 70 IBUs.

Beer News from the Pacific Northwest. Read it.

October 14, 2010 1 comment

 

Save boobs buy drinking Silver City's new Wheat Ale.

 

Recently we have received a lot of updates surrounding various releases– new labels, new beers, new bottles. As a worthy source, it is our job to spread the love, the news, the landmarks of breweries in the great Pacific Northwest.

In this article you will find out how to fight Breast Cancer, learn about new wheat ales, blended porters, barrel aged beers, beer and art, a Seattle tattoo artist and who knows what else.

Silver City’s Release of TA-TA Wheat Ale

Located on the Kitsap peninsula (that’s right, we have peninsulas in the Pacific NW) in Silverdale, WA, Silver City Brewing Co. has been producing a line of quality brews since 1996. From a flavorful IPA to a well-done, well-balanced Scotch Ale, Silver City never disappoints. In support of the fight against Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer month, Silver City is releasing TA-TA Wheat Ale, a crisp, refreshing brew with Cascade hops that add some welcomed flavor. With all the suffering in the world, its hard to pick one cause which is why Silver City makes it a point to switch it up. This particular beer benefits a cause that hits close to home for many.

“Supporting breast cancer awareness and encouraging early detection is near and dear to our entire community,” said Scott Houmes, Co-Owner of Silver City Restaurant & Brewery.  “We thought brewing and serving the Ta-Ta Wheat, everyone could help support this drive for a cure.”

Drink for a cause– you’ll be a better person for it.

Cascade’s Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp-aler Bottle Release

Holy hell. Both of these Cascade Brewing Co. (Portland, OR) beers are unrealistically amazing. The fact that you can take them home with you, even more amazing. Both of these beers would age with such grace. The Bourbonic Plague is a beast of a beer, blended porters aged in bourbon barrels then blended some more with added cinnamon and vanilla and AGED FOR ANOTHER 14 MONTHS. This is not a beer for the light hearted. It is complex, it is sophisticated and damn good. Topping out at 12%, this beer will be a great addition to anyone’s “cellar.”

Vlad, oh I dream of our next encounter. The first was at Brouwer’s Cafe’s Sour Beer Fest in 2009- it was up there with Cantillion‘s beers. No lie. This sour is barrel aged, is well-balanced and is a blend of strong blonde quads and tripels aged in oak and Bourbon barrels. And if that wasn’t enough, Vlad is further blended with spiced blondes and left to condition for an additional five months. Quads and Tripels refer to Belgium style beers that are generally very high in ABV. This beer comes in at 10.2%, despite its light body.

Elysian’s Dragonstooth Stout Gets a Makeover

Although Elysian Brewing Co.’s Dragonstooth Stout has been around for a bit, its full body, richness and new label make it a must have beer in Seattle.

New Dragonstooth Stout label by local tatoo artist Joe Who.

The beer hasn’t changed, but a lot of thought went into the re-creation of the label. Elysian Brewing Co.’s regularly featured labels embody elements of Greek Mythology. Their new angle– Northwest mythology. I can dig it. I’ll let Elysian explain more of the background:

We thought about how so many people wear their stories on their body through tattoo art, and we immediately sought out our friend and local tattooer, Joe Who (Pierced Hearts Tattoo). He drew up some gnarly artwork that we think is a great new representation of our Dragonstooth Stout.

Although I don’t have a picture of the new label in the format I need to post it, I hope to this week. But trust me, its enticing, just like the beer.

A mid-week whirl wind of local updates. 1. Take a trip to Silver City – grab a Fat Bastard Scotch Ale and a Wheat Ale. 2. Go to Portland and bring back 12 bottles each of the Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp-aler. 3. Grab a bottle of Dragonstooth Stout, admire the artwork, think about getting a tattoo and enjoy the beer!

The Release of Elysian Brewing Co. & New Belgium Brewing Co. Trip VI

September 30, 2010 1 comment

Trip VI is ready to roll! Fresh Hop IPA - delicious!

Over the past couple of years, Elysian Brewing Co. of Seattle, WA and New Belgium Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, CO have been teaming up and delivering stellar beers to the public.

Since 2008, these two breweries have brought you Trip I, II, III, IV, V and VI.

A quote from New Belgium’s blog from 2008 states:

 

While increasing efficiency and encouraging creative experimentation, we will make a bold collaborative step into the future of American craft brewing. This is an artisanal collaboration. Both of our brewing teams will use each other’s brewhouses while remaining independent enterprises. We’ll be brewing small-batch creative and experimental beers in Seattle like the Lips of Faith series while getting closer to our customers in the fertile Pacific Northwest brewing scene. Elysian in turn will brew larger batches in Fort Collins and be able to handle growing distribution needs as their beers become available in new U.S. markets, like New York, which opened July 1st of this year.

 

I bring to you, a brief description of each “collabeerative Trip” beer.

Trip I–>

Their own version of a Trippel IPA. Of course, this is a Belgian twist on a northwest version of India Pale Ale. We have seen this from people like Flying Dog, Troubadour and La Chouffe, but this is the first northwest version, with significant fruity hops.

Trip II–>

A deep, golden ale generously hopped with Magnum and the seldom-used Citra hop, which produces flavors of grapefruit, peach and passion fruit. Spiced with lemongrass and grains of paradise, Trip 2 is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain for a hop-forward ale and swirling fruit undertones.

Trip III–>

This gem of a beer was/is brewed at Elysian Capitol Hill. A sour brown with just the right amount of sourness, savoryness and sweetness. Elysian and NB blended a dark brew full of specialty malts with a wood-aged pale beer to provide a pleasantly-puckering sourness. Personally, I think this is such a well executed beer and always a must have when its on tap!

Trip IV–>

A juniper rye, an interesting beer with a ton of flavor! A traditional Rye Ale brewed with juniper, bittered with Cascade hops, finished with Cascade and Amarillo. Juniper boughs are added to the mash and juniper berries, orange and lemon peel are pitched in the whirlpool which presents a complex, refreshing taste profile.

Trip V–>

This is a cherry brown ale with cocoa, vanilla and bold cherry flavors. Lucious and bold, this beer has an incredibly natural flavor.

And now for your latest….

Trip VI–>

Notes straight from the bb.com team…A fresh hop IPA. A sweet IPA with grapefruit flavors and a smooth finish. A well-balanced IPA as there is an initial citrus sting, a sharp bitterness that enlightens your taste buds followed by a rolling honey sweetness.

At the release event, we were able to try Trip III, IV, V and VI side by side- what a treat. All of these beers are worth a try, a pint, a growler! The fresh hop came at the right time, during the right season and I look forward to more of it.

What is your favorite Trip? Let us know below in the comments.

52 Weeks: Apex, Portland, OR

The tap list is generated from their webpage - which is updated in real time!

Week 24 of 52

Apex

1216 SE. Division St.

Portland, OR 97202

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Beer Bar

Visit: This was one of many trips to Portland, so we were thrilled to try a new beer bar (although Horse Brass, as always, did not disappoint). If nothing else, the five hours it took to drive from Seattle to Portland the evening before was completely validated by Apex. I am about to tell you why. But lets start with 55 beers on tap.

Since there are 55 beers on tap at any given time, I shall not name them all. Apex streams their tap list from a plasma screen to their website. For a current tap list, click here.

 

BEERS ON TAP —> to name a few that popped while we were there.

Oh how pretty - the taps at Apex

Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA

Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti

New Belgium and Elysian Pink Peppercorn IPA and Trip III

Cascade Summer Gose

Russian River Consecration

 

FOOD OPTIONS:

There are none. Apex focuses on one thing, beer and they do it right. However, right next door is a Mexican to-go style restaurant and across the street, Artemis serves up great sandwiches. We got our beers, a Blue Dot, a Consecration and a Trip III and sat outside in the sun eating a delicious Ham and Swiss sandwich. Im okay with a beer bar not serving food, as long as their are quality options close by.

 

BAR OPINION:

Where do I begin? After a morning of Pacific Northwest weather- cloudy, chilly and July we head to this new beer bar, Apex. Word has reached Seattle about this must stop for beer lovers. As we arrive, we walked through this nicely sized outdoor area with bike racks galore (bike, don’t drink and drive) and picnic table after picnic table.  The clouds part and the sun begins to shine. No joke. It happened this way.

A look at the outside. That green building across the street houses Beermongers, our favorite bottle shop in PDX

We immediately rush up to the taps, 55 gloriously individually crafted beers stand before me and on the TV. That’s right, Apex makes it a point to constantly update their tap list. It shows up on this plasma screen and is then streamed through to their website. A beer lover’s worst nightmare is checking a website, finding a beer, thinking about the beer all of the way to the bar, just to find out it got tapped 3 days ago!!! Oh the horror.

Tap list is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Everything from Lagunitas, Great Divide, Hair of the Dog, Russian River, Double Mountain, Bockor and more. We order our beers to find out that its cash only. Uh oh. A late night out in Portland left our wallets less than full. “Don’t worry, there is an ATM over there and we will take the ATM fee off of your next beer.” What? Serious brownie points.

Aside from the ridiculous beer options, Apex is a wide open space reminiscent of a garage. There isnt a door, not on what turned out to be a gorgeous summer day. The entire place is exposed to the bright sun light. Its great. Within the wide space, there is a very long bar (you need space for all of the taps), several tall boy tables and in the room to the left, brand spankin’ new pinball machines.

The bartender Megan (Meghan?) was sweet, nice and is my kind of girl, knowledgeable and a huge fan of beer (specifically Russian River). Our small group felt right at home and comfortable chatting her up about the opening of Apex, the beer and life in general.

An epic beer adventure. Our buddy, and guest writer for bb.com, after trying Consecration for the first time grabbed a pen and piece of paper and began to divulge the experience he was having with the beer. It was a momentous occasion for all. What I have come to learn is that when surrounded by good people, good beer and a great atmosphere, its just magical.

I will leave you with a quote from Apex’s website:

APEX is the beer bar Portland deserves. Combining a love of great beers from around the world with a life-long passion for all things two-wheeled.

Jessica (our editor) with a Trip III & Erik (Amatuer Hour) with Consecration

Washington v. Oregon: Let the Games Begin

SBW continues today with Firkin Firkin- yes this is a picture of a firkin.

We are neighboring states, we enjoy beer together and make good beer together, but tonight at Elysian Brewing Co.’s Capital Hill location, Washington beers will be up against Oregon beers at Seattle Beer Week event, Firkin Firkin. All beers will be in cask conditioned firkins.

Drum Roll Please: the Firkin Firkin match ups are…..

Pale: WA-Ram 71 Pale Ale OR-Hopworks Crosstown Pale

IPA: WA-Elysian Prometheus OR-Double Mountain Hop Lava

2x IPA: WA-Naked City IIPA OR-Ninkasi Tricerahops

ESB: WA-Silver City Ridgetop Red OR-Laurelwood Organic Deranger Red

Porter: WA-Black Raven Brown OR-Bend Cherry Baltic Porter

Hybrid: WA-Big Time Trombipulator w/Agave OR-Beer Valley Black Madness

Seaaion: WA-Pike Dry Wit OR-Pelican Kiwana Cream Ale

Strong: WA-Fremont Bourbon Abominable OR-Rogue Imperial Younger’s Special Bitter

Look out for the top competitors from both states (Pelican Brewing Co.- go there someday; Black Raven Brewin Co- WA Rookie of the Year; Double Mountain- quality brews and Fremont Brewing Co.- the Center of the Universe)and no matter where you are from, remain unbias- good beer is good beer!

May the best city win!!!

Tonight Beer Blotter hangs with some of the best brewers in the USA at East meets West- more on our encounter with beer royalty later!!

The Beer Blotter Guide to Beveridge Place Pub’s Bacchanal 2010

February 24, 2010 1 comment

The facade of Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle - the site of the Annual Bacchanal of Barleywines

Beveridge Place Pub’s 7th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal kicks off this Friday, February 26th, with over 40 barleywines pouring for a week straight from 24 taps.  That’s a lot of big bold brews to choose from.  Since there is clearly more beers than taps, there will be a constant rotation of kegs a flowin’.  As one blows, another will replace it, and so on.

The folks over at the Washington Beer Blog were kind enough to post the complete list for all to slobber over. Below you will find the entire list.  Clearly, all are barleywines, and thus, all are going to be packed with copious quantities of both malt and hops.  All will be fairly high in alcohol, and chances are good that all will taste pretty darn good.  Your main fear should be a harsh, young vintage.  Sometimes these fellas just need some time to mature and mellow out.  Too much bitterness and not enough sweetness can make your barleywine experience akin to being strangled by a hop vine.  There is no question, if you read this site with any regularity, that Beer Blotter holds great respect for Father Time and his agile hand at improving beers of many kinds, especially barleywines.

For Beer Blotter, the older the vintage, the more excited we are to try it.  Both rare and refined, these pours should improve your evening no matter who brewed them.

So our first overarching tip to you, “age is all the rage”.

But we need more detail than that.  Let’s dig deeper.

The biggest challenge of the Bacchanal is the barrels-to-taps ratio.  The rotation system will make it difficult to have a clear game plan for your visit, whatever day you choose to attend.  You will never really know exactly what to expect, which, granted, offers its own brand of excitement.  Your best bet is to pre-create a list of b-dubs that you’re most excited to taste, and chances are that no matter what day you decide to venture out to West Seattle there will be at least a few of them available.

Perhaps a look at the Beer Blotter list could assist you in creating your own list.  Below, as promised, is the unadulterated list.  Below that, the Beer Blotter list.

Complete List:

Alaskan, Barleywine ‘06, ‘07,’08

Anacortes, Old Sebastes ‘07

Anchor, Old Foghorn ‘06, ‘07, ‘08

Anderson Valley, Horn of the Beer ‘09

Avery, Hog Heaven ‘09

Big Sky, Old Blue Hair ‘06

Boulder, Killer Penguin ‘09

Boundary Bay, Old Bounder ‘09

Deschutes, Mirror Mirror ‘09

Diamond Knot, Icebreaker ‘09

Dick’s, Barleywine ‘05, ‘09

Dogfish Head, Olde School ‘09

Elliott Bay, Old Portside ‘09

Elysian, Cyclops ‘09

Fish, 10 Squared ‘08, ‘09

Fish, Leviathan ‘06

Flying Dog, Horndog ‘09

Full Sail, Old Boardhead ‘06

Full Sail, Old Boilermaker 98 (yes, 1998)

Hale’s, Rudyard’s Rare ‘06, ‘09

Hopworks Urban Brewery, Noggin Floggin ‘09

Hood Canal, Breidablik ‘06, ‘07, ‘09

Lagunitas, Old Gnarleywine ‘04, ‘06, ‘07

Laurelwood, Old Reliable ‘09

Left Hand, Oak Aged Widdershins ‘07

Lucky Lab, Old Yeller ‘09

Mad River, Old Barleycorn ‘07

New Old Lompoc, Old Tavern Rat ‘08

North Coast, Old Stock ‘07, ‘09

Pike, Old Bawdy ‘07, ‘08

Port, Angel’s Share ‘09

Port Townsend, ‘09

Rogue, Old Crustacean ‘08

Schooner Exact, Old Sinking Ship ‘09

Scuttlebutt, Old #1 ‘06, ‘08

Sierra Nevada, Bigfoot ‘08

Skagit River, Shiver Me Liver ‘09

Speakeasy, Old Godfather ‘09

Stone, Old Guardian ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

Three Skulls, Wreckage ‘09

Victory, Old Horizontal ‘09

Walking Man, Old Stumblefoot ‘08

Beer Blotter List:

Alaskan, Barleywine ‘06, ‘07,’08

-This is a “must” if offered at the time of your visit.  A Northwest Masterpiece.  Alaskans know how to warm up with Barleywine.  This guy ranks very well in any festival that it is involved in.  In the last 5 years this brew has placed in the top 3 at Brouwer’s Hard Liver Barleywine Fest 3 times, and the ’07 vintage was number 1 last year.  A warning though…chances are high that these will only be available on Monday, March 1st or Tuesday, March 2nd when verticals are offered.  To try all three vintages side by side would truly be a treat.

Lagunitas, Old Gnarleywine ‘04, ‘06, ‘07

-In Beer Blotter’s humble opinion, there is not many Barleywines being made in the world better than Gnarleywine.  The ’08 vintage was awarded 3rd place in this years Toronado Barley Wine Festival, and chances are, the older the better.  Do not skip this one, any vintage.  Another warning: 3 years offered…look to vertical night for these.

Speakeasy, Old Godfather ‘09

-Though this is young, the ’06 got second place last year at Brouwer’s.  Expect this one to be high in alpha…it’s the Speakeasy way.

Stone, Old Guardian ‘07, ‘08, ‘09

-If you read Timperial’s review of the ’07 vintage you would know, this beer is sickly good.  Astounding balance, even through time.

Victory, Old Horizontal ’09 & Dogfish Head, Olde School ‘09

-With the exception of a few CO representatives, these are the only 2 offerings that aren’t from the West.  Reason?  They are astounding beers made by two of America’s best breweries.

Fish, 10 Squared ‘08, ’09 & Leviathan ‘06

-Both of these beers are incredible and hard to come by, even in their home state.  10 Squared was probably my personal favorite from last years Hard Liver Fest and old vintages of Leviathan, like this ’06, are pretty much legendary.  The barrel-aged version of Leviathan is in the top 10 on ratebeer.com’s list of barleywines.

Port, Angel’s Share ‘09

-It would be silly of me to leave this one out since it is literally one of my favorite beers of all time.  Number 9 on ratebeer.com’s barley wine list.

New Old Lompoc, Old Tavern Rat ‘08

-Beer Blotter recently had this from the always-impressive taps of Uber Tavern and really enjoyed it.  Very nutty if you’re into that.

Boundary Bay, Old Bounder ‘09

-Seattle does not see enough Boundary Bay.  Maybe if we drain this keg quickly the “will of the people” will change that depressing fact.

That’s a pretty healthy list for you, and honestly, I could go on an on.  There is A LOT of really good stuff on this list, and even a few that Beer Blotter has never had and looks forward to trying (like Lucky Lab, can we please have more of their beers in Seattle?).

Anyone and everyone within striking distance of Seattle should never, EVER miss events like this.  We are so lucky to have beer bars that put so much time, effort and money into aging beers for years and organizing such exciting festivals.  Beer Blotter sends a massive hug to Gary and The Bev for making this happen year after year.

Find us in West Seattle, raise a glass, it’s barleywine season!

Events for Week of January 25, 2010

BEEF & BEER @ The South Philadelphia Tap Room

Another Monday, another week, another set of weekly events. Read on, pencil these dates in and have fun!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Night FREE Tasting: Portland, Oregon

5:00PM-7:00PM@ The Beermongers

Blue Mountain Cider Company from Milton-Freewater Oregon will be providing the samples.  They make great cider from whole apples grown here is the Pacific Northwest.  Beermongers will have their unfiltered cider on draft, free samples and we will be making cider “cocktails” (such as Red Skies at Night: 8oz of Cherry Cider & 8oz stout beer!).  Join the Beermongers and Andy from Blue Mountain for an evening of cider tasting and education about the proper way to make cider.

Ommegang Beer Dinner: Washington D.C.

6:30PM-10:30PM @ Birreria Paradiso/Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown

Four delectable courses complemented by 6 beer pairings, come indulge on a Monday evening with the head brewer of Brewery Ommegang at Birreria Paradiso. 6:30 & 9:00 PM seatings. Call for reservations:202-337-4936!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hitachino Brewery Night: Brooklyn, New York

6:00 PM until close @ Bar Great Harry

Visit one of the best beer bars in all of Brooklyn and sample beers from Japanese brewery, Hitachino Nest. This is a unique brewery with top notch beers, such as their Espresso Stout (personal favorite), Real Ginger Brew, White Ale, the XH (matured in sake casks) and the Red Rice Ale.  Try them all!!! Oh and FREE meats and cheeses!

Highland Brewery Night: Sarasota, Florida

4:00PM-12:00AM @ World of Beer

Highland Brewing Co. out of Asheville, NC will feature their 15th Anniv.auld Ahshevile Ale, Black Mocha Stout, Gaelic Ale, Kashmir IPA, Oatmeal Porter, St.Terese’s Pale Ale and their Tasgall Ale.  World of Beer is a family friendly establishment until 7:00PM and there will be specials on draft sampler platters and givaways.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weyerbacher Tasting Night: New Haven, Connecticut

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Prime 16

Get here early if you want a seat and want to beat the crowd, as there will only be two hours to drink as many Weyerbacher beers as humanly possible.  Every Wednesday, Prime 16 hosts FREE beer tastings.  What a great idea!!!

Brewer’s Night with Elysian Brewing Co.: Bellingham, Washington

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Green Frog Cafe

Elysian Brewing Company out of Seattle, Washington is taking the trip North to Green Frog Cafe to taste a bunch of tasty beer with some surprises. Elysian Brewing Company is known for innovation, collaborations and some damn good IPA.  For those that are attending this event, look for Trip IV, an interesting brew from Elysian and New Belgium!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lagunitas Hopstoopid & Cask Hairy Eyeball Tapping: Chicago, Illinois

7:00PM- 11:00PM @ Sheffield’s Wine and Beer Garden

Lagunitas Brewing Co. is the feature brewery for the month of January at Sheffield’s Wine and Beer Garden, so tonight all 6 taps will be Lagunitas beers: Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, Hopstoopid IPA, Cappuccino Stout & a very special keg of Cask Hairy Eyeball!! All pints will be $4.00 each.

Stout Tasting: Mt. Pleasent, South Carolina

5:30PM-7:30PM @ Wine a While

Sample several different styles of stouts from the classic to newer interpretations. All tasted beers will be on special with a $5 fee! Call 843 881-3155 to find out what beers will be featured!

Friday, January, 29, 2010

Founders Brewing Co. Tasting Event: Ann Arbor, Michigan

5:00PM-7:00PM @ Whole Foods Market

Come meet the folks from Founders and enjoy $3 pints of three different Founders brews served at the Wine and Craft Beer Bar. This event is free to attend! Want to know what will be on tap? Call (734) 997-7500.

Winter Ale Night: San Diego, California

5:00PM- 12:00AM @ Downtown Johnny Brown’s

Only….51 days of winter left, keep on enjoying those winter brews!  There will be a complimentary pot of Carbonnade a la flamande and a selection of cheese from Taste in Hillcrest. Our usual Friday happy hour fare will also be available. And the beers (this is not a complete list): Mikkeller’s Santa’s Little Helper, Deschutes Abyss, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, Lost Abbey Angel’s Share and Ale Smith’s Yulesmith.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strange brewFest: Port Townsend, Washington

1:00PM-9:00PM @ Waterstreet Brewing and Ale House

One of Beer Blotter’s favorite spots in the state of Washington, Waterstreet Brewing and Ale House is hosting the 6th Annual Strange brewFest.  What to expect? ● Over 30 Northwest Breweries ● Live Music ALL Week-end ● Chainsaw Carving ALL Week-end ● Costume Contest- theme is Wild Things ● Zany Games & Entertainment ●(Saturday afternoon) Fusion Belly Dance Show,fire dancers, jugglers, and much much more.  $25.00 Entry Fee (at the door).  Be prepared to wait on a long line!  It will be well worth it!  Strange brew Fest continues on Sunday, January 31st from 1:00PM-6:00PM.

New Belgium Ranger IPA Release Party: Chicago, Illinois

8:00PM-3:00AM @ Will’s Northwoods Inn

Tonight is the pre-release party for New Belgium’s Ranger IPA. With the nation-wide release date is February 1st, those in attendance will be envied by all!  There is no cover charge and no need to RSVP to this event.  The commercial description of this IPA reads as: This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish…

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beef & Beer: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

5:00PM-9:00PM @ South Philadelphia Tap Room

Tickets are $50 per person for this all you can eat & drink event.

BEEF AND BEER—> what a way to end the week right!  All you can eat hormone-free prime rib, marinated mushrooms, house-smoked brisket tacos and beef tartar, all made from local, grass-fed cows, plus  all you can drink firkins from your favorite local breweries. Featured beer will include firkins of Tröegs Nugget Nectar, Weyerbacher Hops Infusion, Sly Fox Chester County Bitter and Philadelphia Brewing Company’s newest seasonal, a Scotch Ale – in addition to a few surprises. Tickets are available for purchase on location,  over the phone at 215.271.7787, or on the venue’s website.

Stout Fest: Chicago, Illinois

11:00 AM until close @ Quenchers Saloon

LAST DAY FOR STOUT FEST. Spend the last day of January among many amazing stouts. Here are a few examples of the amazing beers on tap: Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Avery’s Out of Bounds Stout, Hitachino Espresso Stout and Left Hand Oak Aged Imp Stout. Stouts are great on Sundays…and any day for that matter.

See everyone next week for events in February! If anyone attends an event, wants us to add an event or tried a beer at an event, please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com!  Cheers!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.