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Posts Tagged ‘Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.’

Upright Brewing To Celebate 2nd Anniversary

Scandalous

 

Upright Brewing is one of the Northwest’s brightest young talents (to put in a sporting vernacular). In just 2 years they have managed to gain a much coveted spot on ratebeer.com‘s annual Top 100 Brewers In The World List (92 position) and they came in at number 14 in the top 50 breweries to visit list.  I’m fairly confident that if rate beer had made a top 50 list of best beer labels in the world that Four Play label over there would be highly ranked as well.

Needless to say, these guys are doing some really fantastic things.  They’ve effortlessly coupled innovation with pristine quality and impressive craftsmanship.  If you’ve had any of Upright’s beers and you’ve visited their basement brewery, I know I’m preaching to the choir.  It’s mostly just exciting that they have been acknowledged so quickly, especially since so many amazing NW breweries go under the radar.

For me, being a huge fan of saisons, Upright has become a brewery that I would rank very highly in my own list of most exciting breweries, either new, old or in between.  Their use of open fermentation is something that is most intriguing to me.   I still don’t know much about it, but it’s clearly working very well for these Portland fellows.  There is no doubt that Upright Brewing is a great inspiration to me and should be to anyone that has a dream of opening a brewery.

This anniversary party ranks up there in excitement levels (for me) with such recent Portland area events as the opening of the Cascade Barrel House and the opening of the Hair of the Dog Tasting room.  The prospect of getting a few bottles of Four Play and Apricot Anniversary Ale are what cellar dwellers dream of.  If anyone else is going down there let us know by adding a comment.  Maybe we can hook up and chat beer.

Here’s the details from Upright:

 

What/Why:
Oregon’s only farmhouse inspired craft brewery Upright Brewing is turning 2 years old and celebrating with a party on Sunday March 20th from 1-6pm at the Tasting Room. The party will also mark the return of perhaps the breweries most anticipated annual release Four Play a sour farmhouse cherry wheat beer aged in Pinot Barrels.

About Upright Brewing
During the last two short years the small production brewery just east of the Broadway bridge has been devoted to producing some of Portland’s most diverse range of beers, focusing on a French/Belgian inspired farmhouse-style, but brewing without inhibition as evidenced by their historic takes on English Old Ale and Oyster Stout or their authentic German Gose and Engelberg Pilsener.

Upright recently added three new tanks, using one to produce a year-round hop forward German-style pilsener for draft only. It’s called Engelberg Pils, a nod to Mt. Angel where all of the brewery’s hops are sourced. The other two tanks will enable the brewery to produce more one-off draft beers and also allow production of at least eight annual seasonal bottled batches throughout the year. As always, the numbered beers that Upright has focused on since the beginning will continue to be fermented in our unique open-top tanks. The new year has also brought expanded distribution for Upright’s beers with Lime Ventures now bringing the bottles and occasional draft beer to the Northern California market adding even more west coast cities that include north to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

About Four Play
In celebration of the brewery anniversary, it’s becoming tradition to release Four Play, a very Belgian-esque beer based on Upright’s wheat beer (named Four) but barrel-aged for a year with cherries, souring yeasts and bacteria. Four Play is blended from former pinot noir barrels that yield a rosy looking sour ale with wonderfully complex aromas and flavors. It’s always a limited release and the 2011 batch is represented by only 67 cases and 3 kegs, all of which the brewers believe is their finest and suitable for cellaring up to 5 years.

About the 2 Year Anniversary Party
In addition to the extremely rare Four Play one of only 3 kegs on draft Upright will also be releasing something even more rare in bottle, last years Apricot Anniversary Ale aged in Ransom Spirits Old Tom Gin Barrels of which there are less than 3 cases of 750ml bottles. To top it off look for a special cask of this years edition of the World Beer Cup award winning Gose stuffed Dry Hops and extra Salt.

Follow Upright Brewing:

Website

http://www.uprightbrewing.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/uprightbrewing

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/uprightbrewing

Blog

http://uprightbrewingblog.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

The Hop Brief: Hair of the Dog Blue Dot Double IPA

Spicy

Enjoyed on 3/7/2011

Brewery: Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.

Location: Portland, OR

Beer: Blue Dot Double India Pale Ale (Winter)

Web: http://www.hairofthedog.com/

Presentation: 22 oz. Brown Glass Bottle, Capped.

Vintage: 2011

Style: American Style Double India Pale Ale

Barrel: N/A

ABV: 7.0%

IBU: 80

Hops: N/A

Malt: Organic Pilsner, Rye

Commercial Description:

Blue Dot is named after our planet: we are only a pale blue dot in this universe. A Double India Pale Ale made with Organic Pilsner, Rye malt and a combination of intense northwest hop varieties.

Beer Advocate: A- (4.12)

Rate Beer: 99 (3.81)

Timperial’s Notes:

Background.

Alan Sprints of HoD is a chef.  It’s not uncommon to see him in the kitchen when you visit their new (and amazing) tasting room.  He is also a master brewer – one of the best on this great blue dot we call Earth if you ask me.  When he creates a recipe, be it for a hearty meal or a complex brew, he puts years of experience and know-how (and heart) into it.  In the mighty Northwest, nothing moves us quite like an IPA.  Alan isn’t particularly known for profundity in alpha usage, but he is a legend with malt.  Let’s see what balance he can bring to the most hoppy of styles.

Appearance.

Blue Dot flows from its glass chamber and fills my tulip with a muddy straw-colored liquid.  When held to the light it glows a cloudy, translucent pale orange. If I didn’t know better I’d think this a Belgian Wit before me.

The head is very minimal and stark white.  Carbonation bubbles can be seen rising but, overall, the effervescence is minimal.  The crown completely dissipates and the lacing is very minimal.

Odor.

My initial reflections on the scent are of an Earthiness and a graininess. I sometimes think that I’m hyper-sensitive to pilsner malt.  It’s always obvious to me when it is used.  There is a slight spiciness in the nose but I wouldn’t have assumed that it came from rye had I not known it was a part of the grain bill.

A second waft brings thoughts of a tropical forest.  Bitter citrus and pineapple are most prevalent, but a sappy, resinous, pine-like greenness cannot be overlooked.  It’s somewhat floral as well.  “Orange blossoms” seems to be most appropriate, killing two birds with one stone.

Mouthfeel.

Blue Dot slips gracefully across my tongue and goes down silky smooth.  The carbonation, though pretty minimal here, plays in tune with the alcohol to bring a mild sting to the tongue and rear corners of the mouth.  The bitterness is so intense that it’s almost corrosive, which is more impressive than detrimental.

Maybe it’s the spicy rye.  Who knows what it is exactly, but it really stings, though mostly after the swallow.  Still, I kind of like it.  It’s similar to the effect that ginger has on the mouth, which I love.

Flavor.

First and foremost, this beer is a bitter bomb.  At 7% abv and with such subtle grains employed, the 80 IBUs are mightily magnified.  Once you’re able to reanimate your imploded face, the strongest palates amongst us may be able to detect the citrus and graininess that was prefaced in the nose.

Grapefruit juice and bitter orange peel are all over this one.  What mild pilsen character climbs through can claim a doughy, biscuity essence.   The rye is somewhat challenging to segregate due to the huge hop profile.  One must ask whom imparts the huge spice element.  I guess it’s huge enough to award to both parties.

[I feel I must offer a disproportionately high mark for the malt flavor, mostly due to its uniqueness.  Is this beer balanced in the traditional way?  Hell no! But...how could I not respect innovation and against-the-grain...ed...ness...  Puntastic!]

Aftertaste.

The aftertaste is very dry with bitterness but by no means one-dimensional.  An exhale stirs up pleasant thoughts of freshly baked rolls.  A peppery heat can most likely be attributed to the rye malt and the alcohol.  Spicy hop bitterness only further asserts the notion.

It’s quite clear that this brew was formulated deliberately to excite the spiciest amongst us.  If I were in the business of pairing beer with food I would never miss an opportunity to place this beside a warm plate of spicy something-or-other with peppercorns.  Sorry, I’m no chef.

Summary.

I think Frank Herbert would be proud of what Alan has created with Blue Dot.  In his utterly epic sci-fi series Dune, lives, cultures, planets…everything revolves (figuratively) around “the spice”.  The Spice Melange.  It’s oddly ironic that this beer is named after the planet Earth when such a comparison about a fictional work steeped in interstellar politics can be made.  Perhaps this would be the defining beverage of choice on the desert planet Arrakis, of course, where it not so (seemingly…?) bereft of water.

As you see, my nerdiness is vast and covers many more planes than just craft beer.  I’ll attempt to stick with just the one in this particular forum.  The point to it all is that this beer is spicy as shit.  The malts and hops coincide to form a perfect storm and it all whips around so fast that it’s nearly impossible to distinguish the origins on what the tongue perceives.  It’s sci-fi beer and it’s delicious.

Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.85

Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.90

Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.92

Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.46

Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.98

Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.90

Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.01

Beer Blotter’s Guide To Brouwer’s Big Wood Fest 2010

December 1, 2010 4 comments

Can't miss.

If you live in the Seattle area and you like beer enough to read this blog, chances are pretty good that you will be hitting up Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe, if not on opening night (Thursday Dec. 2), at some point this coming weekend. Hopefully you have already gazed upon the outstanding preliminary list which can be found on our site here and on Brouwer’s blog.

Clearly, there’s a lot of options to chose from, and all of us, most unfortunately, only have one measly liver to assist us in tackling them.  This is where we come in.  We drink a lot of beer.  We have been to BWF several times now. If you want to make sure that you order your barrel aged beers wisely, heed our advice.  We don’t think that you will be disappointed.

I’ve decided to choose my top 15.  These are the beers that I plan to sample, based on the current list.  It’s my game plan.  I know what you are thinking, and yes, I actually do think that I can try 15 beers.  When bb.com goes to big beer events at Brouwer’s, where there is never a cover, we make sure to roll deep.  We bring out as many friends as possible, we direct them on what to order, and then we drink their beers (of course we let them drink ours too).  Always be sure to order the smallest size that is offered, every time.  These events are all about getting your hands, and tastes buds, on as many special and rare beers as possible.

This list is, as always with Brouwer’s events, subject to change because it is very likely that the final list will include a few eye-popping secrets.  This year I’m hoping to see a few more special Hair of the Dog beers, more vintage Bottleworks Anniversary beers like barrel aged Ivan the Terrible, and maybe some more killer locals like Petite Mort from Black Raven or some Big Time treats.

 

15. People’s Barrel Reserve – Brouwer’s has started a little trend in the past few years with bringing in some Midwest offerings that are rarely, if ever seen in WA.  Last year we were graced with Stoudt’s (PA represent!) Barrel Aged Fat Dog and some absolutely insane Founder’s beer.  I think it was a maple barrel aged Breakfast Stout or KBS.  Dunno but is was bonkers!  If this is the People’s Brewing Co. from IN, then this is a beer that you will most likely not see in Seattle for a very long time to come.  Why not give it a whack?

 

14. Skagit Oak Aged Gospel – Gospel is an IPA.  I had to have at least one IPA on this list, and I’m proud to support SRB.  You might remember reading us gush about the Bourbon Barrel Reverend at Hop Fest.  If this one is even close to as good we are in for a treat.  Brewer Mike Armstrong is an amazing guy and an amazing brewer.  He almost always attends these event on opening day so seek him out and shake his manly brewer hand.

 

13. Snipes ??? – What will it be?  My guess, Twangzister, their barrel aged sour cherry stout.  If I’m right, this beer deserves to be much higher on the list, but I can’t just go around making bold moves on pure speculation now can I?  I do feel confident putting this on my list either way, because Chris Miller makes amazing beer, some of the best in the state.

 

12. Cascade ??? – Those erotemes could easily read “Barrel Aged Bile” and I would still order it, yes…mostly because I wouldn’t believe that it was actually bile, but also because Cascade shits gold.  Hand me any Cascade beer, any time, any day, and I will love you forever.  Just get this, please.

 

11. Boundary Bay Imperial Oaked Oatmeal Stout – BBB Impy Oatmeal Stout is, like their Imperial IPA, a beer that I can never see and not order.  It’s just so smooth and dark and mysterious.  An oak aged version…shut the f…ront door!  Purchased! Beer Blotter couldn’t heart a brewery more than we heart Boundary Bay.

 

10. Hale’s Rye Whiskey Aged Imperial Stout – Ok, I admit it, I rarely recommend a Hale’s beer in my festival previews.  It’s not at all because I have a problem with the brewery, in fact, I’m a fan.  The things that they do with that hopback of theirs really impress me… but this is not an IPA…  What excites me about this one?  Well, it’s quite simple actually – when I see the words “Rye” and Whiskey” and “Imperial” and “Stout” all lined up in order like that, it’s such a thrilling sight that I absolutely must participate.  Yeah, I’ll be trying this one.

 

9. Stone Lucky 13 – According to Brouwer’s twitter/facebook, this is a blend of Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Bastard, and Double Bastard.  I guess that would make this aka Lukcy Basartd (yeah, that’s how they spell it).  Despite the fact that I don’t particularly like any of those three beers (I know, I’m pure freak), I’m really intrigued.  This is a one time, limited release from Stone, so give it some rare points.

 

8. Port Townsend Maple’s Best BBN Imperial Stout – PTB has always been a great brewery, but lately it seems that they have really been stepping up their game.  I have a personal rule, if I see a PTB beer on tap that isn’t one of their standard offerings, I will never let it pass me by.  I think you should have the same rule.  In this particular case, you had me with impy stout, and then you really rubbed in it with the maple.  Gimme.

 

7. Midnight Sun Beserker – MSB makes a lot of really sick beers that rarely make it out of AK.  Berserker is one that was bottled and came to Seattle in a very, very limited supply.  I only have a bottle in the cellar because DSR and Jess were in the right place at the right time and they hooked it up.  I think all that I really need to do to sell you on this one is to tell you the description… it’s a 12.7% imperial stout brewed with molasses and maple syrup and aged in oak.  Game over.

 

6. The Bruery Three French Hens – I was fairly recently informed that bottles of Partridge in a Pear Tree (the first in their 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series) were going for nearly $300 on ebay.  Ever since, I’ve gone to great lengths to find and procure each new release in the series.  The cellar is caught up, but you better believe that I’m not going to crack one for another 9 years, that is if I don’t just sell the set and retire young.  This will be my chance to actually try one, and you better believe I’m going to take it.

 

5. Hotd Matt – Just in case you had a brain aneurysm in the past few seconds, HotD stands for Hair of the Dog, and it’s in all three members of Beer Blotter’s top 10 breweries in the world list.  Alan Sprints is beer royalty.  We love Matt, which was specially brewed for the owner’s of Brouwer’s/Bottleworks for Bottlework’s tenth anniversary.  It’s sour, and like every beer from this Portland brewery, it’s fantastic.  We are very hopeful that this is not the only HotD on the taplist come Thursday, but if it is, we will never complain, because we just savored Matt (the beer, not the person, but hey Matt(s)…call me).

 

4. The Bruery Coton – I know, I’m sort of obsessed with The Bruery, but god damn it they deserve my obsession!  Coton is The Bruery’s second anniversary beer and it’s basically a blend of oak barrel aged Papier (their first anniversary beer) and a new, un-aged brew of Papier, which is an old ale.  When I bought a bottle of Papier in ’09 I thought it was a little overpriced, but Coton is probably the most expensive “new” beer I have ever bought.  Get it on tap, if for no other reason than the fact that it will be slightly more affordable.  Oh yeah, also because old ales are amazing and their version is beyond amazing, and very rare.

 

3. New Belgium Sour Blackberry Whiskey – So I’m not 100% sure of this, but some mild research has lent me to believe that this is NBB’s Love (true lambic, foeder #3, blended into La Folie & Le Terroir, insanely, amazingly good, amazed that it’s made in America and not Belgium…), transferred into whiskey barrels and aged with blackberries.  If I’m right, this might be the greatest beer on Earth.  Again, speculation, blah, blah…

 

2. Firestone Walker 14 – Like far too many beers, I went to great lengths to get this beer in the bottle and could only afford one, so I have it but have never had it, if you know what I mean.  DSR and Jess had it during SD Beer Week and said it blew their collective mind.  If I went into what this beer consisted of here…well…this article would take a lot longer to read than it has already taken you.  Just check out this post by the good people over at beernews.org and salivate yourself into a puddle.

 

1. Russian River Deviation – HAHA!  Wow…where to start.  Ok Tim, try to keep it together… Every time that I see this beer on tap at Brouwer’s I treat it like it’s the last time I’ll ever have it.  Deep inside I know that that isn’t really true, because I have a bottle in my cellar that I bought on the day that it came out in ’08, but who knows, my house could burn down some day or global warming could scorch the Earth’s crust and it could boil itself undrinkable.  I consider that bottle to be the most valuable bottle of beer that I currently own.  Yeah that whole Partridge in a Pear Tree thing, if it’s true, might prove me wrong, but there’s more to it than monetary value alone. 

Deviation is the best Russian River beer that I have ever had (and that puts it very high on my all time list, if not at the top).  Also, Bottleworks periodically pulls some out of their cellar and sells it for nearly $100 a bottle.  I think I bought it for $15.  This beer is the epitome of rare and the epitome of mind-blowingly delicious.  Please, don’t order this so that I can drink it all, that is, if it really does still exist…

 

Terrible

 

Geek Up, It’s Time for Deschutes’ Reserve Series

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Sour!

Written by our in-house cellar dweller, Timperial Stout.

When it comes to big, specialty releases that make waves on a national level, the Northwest is painfully lacking.  Washington state, more specifically, pretty much has none.  We don’t have a Dark Lord or a Black Tuesday or a Kate the Great or a Sexual Chocolate

I can’t think of a single time that I rushed out to the bottle shop for a WA release.  I have rushed out to bars to catch WA beers while they were on draft, but that is such a fleeting pursuit.  I want to be able to add a bottle to the cellar and age it and show it off and pretend that I’m cool that I have a crazy barrel-aged imperial stout that’s 4 years old and nearly impossible to get.  I have low self-esteem so if I don’t have an impressive cellar I have nothing.

But seriously, why can’t Washington brewers do this for me.  I guess I do have that Black Raven wheat wine that they made for Malt and Vine‘s anniversary.  Oh yeah, and those Pike Entires.  Both are wax-dipped and shit, totally impressive.  Well, whatever…I want more.

Our neighbors to the south are doing a little bit better than us on this front, but it’s by no means a landslide.  Hair of the Dog and Cascade bottles are pretty sweet trophies to show off.  I’ve got a New Old Lompoc Oak Aged Dopplebock down in my cellar.  Pretty cool huh?  I know.

The ultimate bottled prizes in the PNW come from Deschutes in Bend, OR.  I know you know what they are.  I know you are jealous of my ’07 Abyss.  Your best bet to rival me in supremacy is to camp outside of your local bottle shop tonight, and every subsequent night until more bottle of The Dissident hit Western Washington (if we are so lucky).  Then do the same thing in mid-December for The Abyss.  Buy as many as they will allow, drink one of each on New Years and hide the rest in the deepest recesses of your cellar.  In 15 years when your first-born turns twentyfun, make his/her first ‘legal’ beer be one of paramount class.

The following information is from the Deschutes Brewery website via Beernews.org:

The Dissident
Friday, November 19th
We are super excited to officially announce the release of The Dissident, our sour brown ale brewed with Washington cherries, that takes 18 plus months to reach near perfection. A limited amount of bottles will go on sale at both Brew Pubs and our Tasting Room on Friday, November 19th at 11 am. Fans will be able to pick up six bottles of this beloved brew at a time.

The Abyss
Wednesday, December 1st
The wait is finally over for the fifth release of The Abyss, our imperial stout brewed with molasses and licorice aged in bourbon and oak wine barrels. Join us at our Brew Pubs on December 1st as we tap the first kegs and make the 2010 bottles available for you to add to your collection.

…Also of note, here is information on those two beers and other upcoming releases as it was received this morning from a brewery representative…

The Dissident

When: End of November

What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)

Finally…. perfection. After nearly two years aging in isolation, the 2010 Dissident has reached its pinnacle. Deschutes Brewery’s only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus “critters” (a technical brewing term) create a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor. To make things even more interesting, whole Central Washington cherries – pits, stems and all were also added to the mix. The result? A beer that’s anything but conventional.

Where: Very limited available in most states where Deschutes is sold

Beer Geek Information:

10.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

The Abyss

When: Mid-December

What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)

The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.

2010 marks the fifth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout rated the 4th best beer on planet earth by BeerAdvocate.com.

Where: Available in most states where Deschutes is sold

Beer Geek Information:

~11% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

65 IBUs

Oh you got the Abyss down there? Impressive!

Events for Week of November 15, 2010

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Roman's Pub in Milwaukee, WI

My excuse this week. A little thing called San Diego Beer Week. So much more about that to come, on Alpine Brewing, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., Allagash Night, Green Flash at Toronado and so much more. 

But now for your week in beer.

Skipping Monday. Sorry!! Re-coup day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Smuttynose Rare Beer Night: Greenville, South Carolina

7:00PM-10:00PM @ Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria

Tonight, some rare Smuttynose beers will be on tap. The list includes:

-Rouge d’Shire (Short Batch #9)
-Vunderbar (Short Batch #11)
-Wheat Wine Ale // 2007
-S’Muttonator Doppelbock // 2008

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dogfish head and Three Floyds Collab Release: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

8:00PM-10:00PM @ Roman’s Pub

Release of this super rare collaborative brew by Dogfish head and Three Floyds along with special tappings of DH Worldwide Stout ’09, DH Bitch’s Brew and bottle sampling so far. Poppaskull is described as an “Old School, German Brown Ale with Palo Santo Wood and Botanicals.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

VictoryBrewing Night: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8:00PM-10:00PM @ The Devil’s Den

Join us as we tap a selection of beers from Victory Brewing Company.

Victory people will be on hand pouring the following -

On Tap:

-Yakima Glory (Black IPA)
-Harvest Ale (Wet Hopped Pale Ale)
-Golden Monkey (Tripel)

On Cask:

-Storm King Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dissedent Release Party: Portland, Oregon

5:00PM-12:00AM @ Deshutes Brewing Co.

Event details were too epic to reiterate.

For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our 2010 The Dissident, wait no more! After almost 2 years in isolation our distinctive sour brown ale has finally been bottled. Our only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus impart its characteristic sour taste. Lavished with whole western Washington cherries – pits and all – It’s our wildest, most extensively pampered beer.
Alcohol By Volume: 10.0%
International Bitterness Units: 25

We have very limited bottles available.

Our Bend and Portland Pubs will begin selling 22oz bottles of The Dissident after 11:00am on 11/19 and there will a 6 bottle limit per person. Check out the special dinner menu with 3 specialty food items paired with different sour brews including The Dissident, our Benderweisse, a sour cherry wheat and a sour cherry porter (Portland Pub sour brews may vary).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hair of the Dog’s 17th Anniversary Celebration: Portland, Oregon

10:00AM-8:00PM @ Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.

To celebrate 17 years of brewing, Alan Sprints, owner and head brewer of Hair of the Dog will be having a release party for Batch #2 Matt and the seasonal Doggie Claws. Check out our write up of this event here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Alligator and Allagash Beer Dinner: Blue Island, Illinois

2:00PM-6:00PM @ Maple Tree Inn

In honor of this amazing brewery, Allagash and some delicious gator, I present a unique menu and a beer pairing not to be missed.

First course:
Maple Tree Inn’s famous “Swamp” Alligator Soup paired with Allagash White

Second course:
Fried Alligator Po’Boy with Cajun fries paired with Allagash Tripel

Third course:
Alligator & Andouille Sauce Piquante paired with Allagash Black

Tickets on sale now at the Maple Tree Inn — $35 in advance; $40 at the door (if tickets remain). Limited seating only!

If you go to an event, want me to post about an event or just want to tell me a beer related story, email me at jess@beerblotter.com. Cheers!

Beers in the Hood: Phinney Ridge

August 24, 2010 2 comments

Phinney Ridge, a Seattle Neighborhood- check it.

Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.

Each hood offers distinct characteristics and charm. So in order to give each neighborhood their 15 minutes of fame, I will focus on one at a time.

Tonight: Phinney Ridge.

I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:

Phinney Ridge is a neighborhood in north central Seattle, Washington, USA. It is named after the ridge which runs north and south, separating Ballard from Green Lake, from approximately N. 45th to N. 85th Street.

I know for those of you who are not from Seattle or do not live in Seattle, the above quote means little to nothing. Phinney is a quaint neighborhood, very residential with your random spurts of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Ballard’s subtly hip vibe seeps into Phinney, yet Phinney remains the more reserved, less frequented of the two. Here you will find beer.

The Dray

If you read Beer Blotter, then you have heard of The Dray, located on NW 65th right off of 8th and across the street from a massive Goodwill. This bar has so much to offer on any given day. First off, their “brand” is a squirrel, so expect to see some taxidermy on the shelves next to epic and rare Hair of the Dog and Dogfish head bottles.

Photo creds to phinneywood.com. Nice pic!

This tiny space is decked out in wood with slabs of polished tree trunks acting as your bar and table tops. On a cold winter’s night, you couldn’t be cozier. On a warm, sunny summer’s day you are guaranteed a breeze through the open garage doors/windows. The Dray molds to the weather outside; its like some kind of vortex.

Food options include some paninis, landjagers and pretzels with amazing stone ground mustard. I still haven’t figured out if you get charged for the pretzels, but I really doubt it.

But we also go here for beer- 12 taps at any given time. Yes, there are times I have stopped by here and been slightly disenchanted by their beer list, but 9 times out of 10, they will have something unique, something seasonal and something that your heart desires.

Off hand, Ommegang Zuur, New Belgium Love, Dogfish head Immortal Ale and Cascade Apricot come to mind as beers I enjoyed in the past. For that one time out of ten, The Dray has an impressive (and reasonably priced) bottle list, so be sure to check it out!

A gem of a bar, a comfort zone and a beer lovers day well spent.

Sully’s Snowgoose Saloon

Every time I  walk up to Sully‘s it reminds me of a lodge at a mountain resort in the Alps. With a pitched roof and a Bavarian facade, it couldn’t be more welcoming. Inside, it is a dimly lit, eclectic place with quirky decorations, as well as your quintessential Irish pub signs regarding how drunk, humorous, silly and stupid people get. This is another venue where I can spend an entire afternoon shooting the shit over a few pints of beer.

Props to seattleweekly.com for visual insight into Sully's

Like The Dray, Sully’s offers limited menu options. The items they do have include grilled cheese sandwiches, random snacks and some damn good chili. Other than that, throw a buck in the box and grab a bowl of peanuts.

You can always count on Boundary Bay IPA to be served on cask here, as well as several Deschutes taps and a decent IPA selection. I wouldn’t go here if your looking for a unique or rare beer, but quality brews such as Victory Hop Devil and New Belgium Ranger IPA have graced the stage here at Sully’s.

I remember sitting at Sully’s, drinking Boundary Bay IPA with the other 2/3 of Beer Blotter – we were sitting in a booth by the window and it started to hail, hail the size of golf balls. Just a sign from the gods that it was time to order another pint.

The Park Pub

Directly across the street from Sully’s, The Park Pub took much longer to get on our beer radar then the previously mentioned joints. This bar serves as a place to listen to live bands, play pool and grab some dinner.

Overall the ambiance is less comfortable and intimate but one glance at the tap list and all is well in the world. Arranged in a half circle, the taps glisten behind the bar.

Two times to phinneywood.com for having the neighborhood covered and taking great pics!

Note worthy beers currently on tap here: Boundary Bay IPA, Avery ‘Maharaja’ Imperial IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Lagunitas ‘Lil Sumpin Sumpin’, Laurelwood ‘Hop Monkey’ IPA, Deschutes Organic Amber, Double Mountain Kolsch, Big Time Black IPA
and Rodenbach Grand Cru.

I would recommend this place for a Friday or Saturday night hang out session with a group. Good beers, music, activities and once in awhile, the neighborhood magician will amaze you and stick a card to the ceiling. Take a look next time you are there.

So that’s Phinney Ridge’s beer scene in a nutshell. I have many fond memories and have drank damn good beer at all three of these places. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood, leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com.

Next up: Ballard.

Events for Week of July 19, 2010

The Busy Bee Cafe: Home to many great beers and beer events!

This was a good beer weekend.

A trip to Portland entailed Stone, Dogfish Head, Victory collaboration Saison Du Boef; Avery Maraja; Hair of the Dog Fred; Russian River Consecration; Double Mountain Saison and so much more! A trip to a new beer bar Apex was top notch (see our 52 weeks article later) and bottle shop, Beermongers was still impressive and reasonable priced!

As if that wasnt enough, we partook in an impromptu beer tour of Southern Washington up through Tacoma. With a Dogfish Head Sah’ Tea at Parkplace Tavern in Tacoma and a Lagunitas Lil’ Sumin’ Wild in Olympia, letting go of the weekend was very difficult. But there is a whole week ahead of us and plenty of beer events.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Captain Lawrence Imperial Porter and 2 Casks tonight!: Peekskill, New York

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birdsall

Tonight a keg of Captain Lawrence’s new Imperial Porter will be tapped along with two exclusive CL gravity casks: Kolsch & Freshchester(dry hopped with Cascade hops). Dont miss out on this full Captain Lawrence line up, including a couple of new draught additions.

Tuesday, July, 20, 2010

Deschutes Night: Seattle, Washington

6:00PM-9:00PM @ Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Tonight, Naked City features Bend, Oregon brewery, Deschutes. Known for amazing beers such as Abyss, the tap list includes Miss Spelt, Hop in the Dark, Jubel 2010 and Greenlakes Organic Ale. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hoppin’ Frog Tasting: Shawnee, Kansas

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Barley’s Brewhouse

I am really happy to see Hoppin’ Frog, this Ohio based brewery get some love outside of its home state. Tonight, for $20.00 you can taste the following (they are all o’ so good) with some delicious food pairings: Wild Frog Wheat, B.O.R.R.I.S the Crusher Stout Paired with Teriyiaki glazed Wings, Mean Manalishi, paired with Fish and Chips, Silk Porter paired with our Chocolate Tort and Hoppin’ to Heaven IPA.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

25 Tap Bells Night: Grand Rapids, Michigan

6:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat

I know we have posted a couple of events similar to this one, but it is so amazing. 25 taps of Bell’s Brewery beers tonight including: Two Hearted Ale (poured from a tap and from a firkin), the Cherry Stout and an ’08 Expedition Stout. SO good….so good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meet the Brewer of Brooklyn Brewing Co.: New Orleans, Louisiana

10:00PM- 12:00AM @ The Avenue Pub

We all know how much we love this place. So lets take this place in all of its glory and throw some Brooklyn Brewing beers on tap. Sold! Tonight, for $12.00, meet Garrett Oliver, head brewer and taste a sample of 5 amazing brews.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Barleywine Fest: Largo, Florida

5:00PM-11:00:M @ Willard’s Tap House

Granted its not barleywine season. Its summer after all. However, stop by Willard’s tonight and sample some flavorful beers including: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, Southern Tier Back Burnner and Avery Hog Heaven (a hoppy barleywine).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rooftop Summer Wheat beer Dinner: Raleigh, North Carolina

7:00PM-9:00PM @ the Busy Bee Cafe

Now, sometime deliciously appropriate for the summer months, a wheat beer celebration. It’ll be a little more laid back than Busy Bee’s usual beer dinner and is only $35 per person. Enjoy Blanche de Bruxelles, Schneider Weiss, Great Divide Dunkel Weiss, and Terrapin Gamma Ray all on draft for this 4 course dinner! Email info@busybeeraleigh.com for tickets or more info.

Whats in stock for your beer future? Plan on attending an event? Want us to post an event? Then please leave a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com! Cheers!

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