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Hopworks Urban Brewery Releases The Iconic Ace of Spades

HUB is back in the saddle again - Ace of Spaces is back!

 

Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) has released its new 2011 version of Ace of Spades. Hold on to your butts.

Ace of Spades is the former GABF Gold Medal winning Imperial IPA that blew the socks off Seattle back in 2009. During Brouwers Cafe’s Hopfest 2009, a keg of Ace of Spades spun my head around, made me Google HUB, and plan a trip to see more. Since then, HUB has been producing some of our favorite NW IPAs, as well as one of our favorite stouts – Survival Stout.

HUB released Ace of Spaces again last year, when it became a bit more accesible in bottle form. Beer Blotter ran a review of that beer back in December, which you can view by visiting this link. We cannot wait to try it again this year!

 

Here is the HUB press release. Be sure to look for it next time you are at the supermarket:

 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Hopworks Urban Brewery’s (HUB) award-winning Organic Ace of Spades Imperial IPA is now available on tap and in 22 oz. bottles at select bars, restaurants and stores across the Northwest. The limited release beer won a gold medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Fest in the Imperial IPA category and is an annual favorite with beer enthusiasts across the region.

Named in honor of rock n’ roll icon Lemmy Kilmister and his band Motörhead’s popular song and album, Ace of Spades prominently features Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial hops, added at every point of the brewing process: mash tun, first wort, kettle, and dry hop.   All of the hoppy green goodness results in a beer with a huge citrus hop aroma, flavor and deep, clean bitterness.

Ace of Spades Imperial IPA is 9.5% ABV and more than 100 IBU.

Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is Portland’s first Eco-Brewpub. HUB offers an assortment of award-winning, world class beers made from organic malts and locally-sourced hops on draught and in bottles across the Pacific Northwest. HUB incorporates a range of sustainable practices in the production of its beer and brewpub operations and makes every effort to protect “our” future with a thoughtful alternative.  The 20-barrel brewery produces 6,400 barrels a year and provides the SE Portland brewpub with ten different HUB organic beers on tap and two cask ales at all times. In early summer, Hopworks will open its second location, Bike Bar in North Portland, expanding the company’s love of beers, bikes and the environment.

HUB is located at 2944 SE Powell Blvd. and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, please visit Hopworks online at www.HopworksBeer.com or follow on Twitter @HopworksBeer.

 


52 Weeks: Big Mario’s Pizza, Seattle, WA

October 20, 2010 1 comment

 

Seattle's #1 Pizza Joint

Written by Jess R.

Week 38 of 52 (I can’t believe it’s almost the end of 2010)

Big Mario’s New York Style Pizzeria

1009 E. Pike St.

Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 922-3875

Rank: 4/5

Type of Establishment: Pizzeria

Visit: After arriving at Elysian Brewing Co.’s Pumpkin Beer Fest at 11:30AM, we were starved by 2PM. Big Mario’s was right down the street and had the potential to fill our stomachs and our need for quality beer.

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

Lagunitas IPA

Stella Artois

Coors Light

Blue Moon

Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale

Miller High Life

Rolling Rock

Stone Porter

Sierra Nevada

Hales Kolsh

Maritime Flagship Ale

HUB Abominable Ale

Bottle List:

Expect your average Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona and Rainer in a can.

Food Options:

Now, I am a girl who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, I have lived in Ohio, New Orleans and Seattle and had yet to find a place that rivals the pizza I grew up on, the pizza that was easy to grab on-the-go and was always so good no matter what time of the day or night. As of Saturday, October 16th, 2010, my world has changed. Big Mario’s offers pies and slices with variety, weight and a price tag I appreciate. With a Lagunitas IPA in my hand, I ordered the sausage and pepperoni slice as well as the fresh basil and mozzarella slice (I was hungry). The slices are fresh, oily, cheesy, with a thin crust that has the perfect amount of soft, doughy texture. This is the best pizza in Seattle- hands down.

PIZZA!

Some background on the owner, Mario Velliotti may convince you of the authenticity even more. I present to you, a little piece of history from Big Mario’s website:

In the winter of 1964, Mario Vellotti emigrated from Naples, Italy to live and work on Mulberry Street in New York City. Mario made his early living tossing pizza and cooking in some of New York’s most notorious kitchens; Angelo’s, Casa Bella on Mulberry Street and Nanni Al Valletto on 59th Street. Later Mario joined his brother and uncle in the family business, opening their world-famous pizzerias in all five Burroughs, including Sal’s on Broome Street, Bensonhurst’s J & V and the original Patricia’s in the Bronx. Big Mario is in Seattle now…enjoy!

Bar Opinions:

Like some of the best pizza joints in NYC, Big Mario’s is open late, until 2AM on Monday through Thursday and Sunday and until 4AM on Friday and Saturday nights. Today, we waltzed in around 2PM. As we walk through the front door, there is a showcase of slices and pies to my right with the oven in the back drop and red booths to my left.

Big Mario’s boasts a narrow space and provides a pizzeria feel without the starkness. Instead, this venue is a pizzeria with a comfortable, neighborhood bar atmosphere. Baseball was on the one TV, several taps of micro-brews were available behind the bar and board games were there to keep you occupied. This is a place I could hang out at all day just grazing on pizza slices.

Located in the edgy Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle, I felt like I was back home in Brooklyn– hanging out with friends, watching the Yanks and eating delicious slices. With the addition of Seattle’s dedication to craft beer,  I must say, I am in love. From here on out, this is the place in Seattle that I will turn to and satisfy my pizza craving.

And if having amazing pizza and micro-brews wasn’t enough, Big Mario’s keeps things exciting this Halloween by celebrating with the best of them on Saturday, October 30th. Event details below.

Big Mario circa 1971

Sat Oct 30
1st Annual Big Mario’s Halloween Party & Lookalike Contest!
Dress like Modern Big Mario or 1971 Big Mario
1st Place winner each night gets $250 Tab at Mario’s, 2nd Place $100 tab
Free! 21+ Only.

This is going to be hilarious! So stop by big Mario’s for a delicious pie, a beer and maybe you’ll even meet the man behind it all, Big Mario circa 2010.

Beer Blotter’s Guide to Brouwer’s HopFest 2010

September 7, 2010 13 comments

Photo by Dor & Bob

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Brouwer’s is the best beer bar that I have ever been to in America, and believe me, I’ve been to quite a few good ones.  There is a lot of reasons for my confidence in that stance, but one of the larger ones is the fests that they host.  Yes, there is a decent number of bars in the country that host barleywine fests, and probably even more that organize IPA fests.  It seems pretty doubtful that there would be many that put on sour beer festivals or stout festivals, but I’m sure there are a hand full out there.  But, the question is, how many bars in America do all of those, and do them so well that beer nerds like myself take off of work to attend them?  I’d say that the answer is probably very, very few.  I love pretty much everything about Brouwer’s and HopFest is surely no exception.

So you know that I love Brouwer’s, you know that I love HopFest, you know that I will be there at the moment the doors open, and you know that I will imbibe many an IBU packed brew, but one more question need be answered: what will I be drinking?  That’s where the guide comes in.

First, check out the full list that we posted on the 1st.  After much consideration, I have developed a game plan.  Granted, there is going to be a few additions and most likely, a few exciting surprises come Friday.  If these surprises include Russian River Pliny the Younger or Firestone Walker Double Jack, you are going to want to forget the entire remainder of this article and just drink those until the kegs kick.

Top 10 beers to try:

10.) Russian River Blind Pig – I hear more and more people say “Pliny isn’t even their best IPA” in reference to Blind Pig.  I personally don’t agree, but everything that Russian River makes is good…damn good.  Blind Pig shows up in Seattle from time to time but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a decent contingent of folks out there that haven’t gotten a hold of it yet.  Here is your chance.

9.) Black Raven Dry Hopped Trickster – My boss at Lazy Boy always gives me shit for my blog claiming that Black Raven is the best brewery in WA.  I’m sure he will also give me shit for not putting our Imperial IPA on this list (sorry boss, I feel a little weird self promoting.  It is a damn good beer though.)  Well, we stand by our claim about BRB.  The people spoke over at The Bev when they voted it in as the house IPA.  This brew is super solid in it’s regular form, I can only guess that the dry hopped version will be even better.  If you have cheated and looked down at number 1 already, you have seen another reason why we are confident in our claim.

8.) Elysian Idiot Sauvin – I honestly don’t know what this beer is.  That is precisely why I want to try it.  Elysian and experimentation go hand in hand, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one had some peculiar adjuncts added.  No matter what, Elysian makes great beer and this will likely be worth your money.

7.) Midnight Sun XXX Black Double – When Cascadian Dark Ales, or CDAs took over the craft beer world a little while back, we all knew that it was just a matter of time before the Imperial black IPAs would show up.  Well here it is, and I must say, I’m intrigued.  I’m even more intrigued knowing that Midnight Sun is behind it.

6.) Boundary Bay Imperial – There are two Imperial IPAs produced in WA that are head and shoulders above all the rest.  This is one of them.  This is a beer that, if it were distributed with greater reach, would bring some much needed respect to Washington state in the beer war for state supremacy.  This is one of the very few beers that, if I hear that it is on tap somewhere close by, I will do all in my power to make it there immediately to get a pint.

5.)Hub Ace of Spades – I have only had this beer once before and it was at last year’s HopFest.  I can’t believe that that was a year ago, I remember it so well.  It was probably my favorite “new” beer (new to me) of the event.  As it turns out, it was voted the second best beer of the fest behind Pliny the Younger.  Now that Hub is distributing bottles in WA it may be easier to acquire this one, but I will still be ordering one and bathing in it’s brilliance.

4.) Mikkeller Single Hop – This is actually three beers in one (Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook),  sorry to cheat.  You probably don’t have to try all three, but it sure would make a fun experiment.  I absolutely love the concept of single hop beers and I love Mikkeller for making this series happen.  As a fledgling brewer I feel that spending time with these brews will help me gain a better understanding and appreciation for various hop varietals and their impact on scent and flavor. You can sometimes find these brews in 12oz bottles around town , but they are often over $6 a piece.  I don’t think I have ever seen them on draft – this is pretty special and definitely a good opportunity to taste them for, potential, a little bit less dough.

3.) Moylans Wet Hopsickle – Hopsickle is a triple IPA and it’s huge.  When you add the word “wet” before it, it means that fresh hops were used.  I’m getting emotional just thinking about the potential that this beer has to be mind-blowing.  God damn, I can’t believe it’s fresh hop season already!  Yet another reason why living in the Northwest is spectacular.

2.) Green Flash Palate Wrecker – Green Flash is masterful when it comes to hops.  Their West Coast IPA and Imperial IPA are both among the best made in America.  Like the Elysian above, I don’t really know what this beer is, but I know I need to have it.

1.) Black Raven Wisdom Seeker – This beer walks around town with a hype attached to it that is so massive and heavy that I’m amazed it can even stand on it’s own two feet, but boy does it ever.  When this beer hits a handle in the Seattle area, there is an instant buzz, and 20 minutes later (or less) she is out the door…gone…kicked.  Black Raven has clearly taken cues from other perennial buzz junkies (like Pliny the Younger) in seemingly stunting production and causing such a skewed supply and demand curve that on the rare occasion that is it available, people freak out to get a taste.  It would be silly of me to suggest that anything different will happen at HopFest.  This should go very fast so get there early and order 2 at once.

Hopworks Urban Brewery heads North to Seattle

August 13, 2010 2 comments

HUB- picture creds go to portlandbeer.org.

Hopworks Urban Brewery, Oregon’s first sustainable brewery has a line up of perfectly crafted and earth friendly beers. Ranging from Survival Stout to Hopworks IPA, you will be impressed. One of my favorite past times traveling in Oregon includes a stop at HUB.

We tasted their stout, IPA and barelywine and all were top notch. After showing some interest in their operations, we grabbed our beers and headed downstairs. We walked into the area where all the glistening brewing equipment stood. This brewery makes a point to make a difference. The brewery uses biodiesel fired brew kettles using HUB fryer oil. I mean, c’mon, that is awesome and that is just one of the many things HUB does to stay green while brewing.

But I am bearer of good news this morning- HUB has come up North to Seattle and B.C. Canada. Now, I do not always have to go to Portland for HUB, HUB has come to me. Below is a statement released by HUB:

Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) recently expanded distribution of its beers to British Columbia and Seattle. Kegs and bottles of the company’s organic, sustainably-produced beers can be found in leading taphouses, bottle shops and markets in both regions.

“We wanted to share our beer with these markets to demonstrate great tasting beer can be made in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Christian Ettinger, brewmaster/owner of Hopworks. “Our goal is to grow regionally while raising the high standards of our beer even further.  One of the ways we do this by adding new tanks to maintain our cycle times while increasing capacity.”

Last year, Hopworks expanded its brewing capacity with the addition of two 40-barrel fermenters increasing the brewery’s potential annual output to 10,000 barrels.

So those in the Pacific NW, be on the look out for HUB beers on tap at a beer bar near YOU!

24 Hours of Beer in Portland

July 15, 2010 1 comment

Photo courtesy of http://www.infohostels.com. With all this beer, you need more than 24 hours, but that is all we have!

You know how we roll at Beer Blotter- in and out of cities, embracing and experiencing as much beer as possible. We have day jobs, its just the way it is.

So in light of our upcoming weekend, where we plan on spending 24 hours in the Southern city of Portland, these are our recommendations. For argument sake, I am staring from the morning and ending at your bedtime…and its a Saturday.

Rise and Shine, its VooDoo Time

22 SW 3rd Ave.

9:00AM

This isn’t your ordinary doughnut joint, with a range of doughnuts topped with your favorite childhood cereal, a maple frosted doughnut with fresh strips of bacon and my personal favorite the chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos and peanut butter drizzle. OH MY GOD! Its always a good idea to get some thing in your stomach to soak up the booze. See that is me being a responsible drinker, live and learn.

http://voodoodoughnut.com/

A Walk Through the Market

10:00AM

It might still be a little early to hit your local watering hole for some beers, so stop by the Saturday Market. Positioned along the  Columbia River and centered in Portland’s historic district, this market is full of local artists, cuisine and flair.

http://www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com/

Its 12:00 Somewhere: Horse Brass

4534 SE Belmont St.

11:30AM

Horse Brass is the perfect place to start your beer consumption. For one, they ALWAYS have Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA and Fred on tap. Their tap list is amazing. An English style pub, share a few Scotch Eggs with the group.

http://www.horsebrass.com/

You are in Portland, bring something back to your friends: Belmont Station

4500 SE Stark St.

12:15PM

Just down the block from Horse Brass, this bottle shop is so much more than just that. Split into two rooms, one glorious room is full of bottles. Although their selection is eclectic, inspiring and worth the visit, it is on the pricey side. What makes Belmont a must visit is their tap room. While you shop, sip on a beer and surround yourself with locals who love beer as much as you do.

Go Rogue: Green Dragon

928 SE 9th Ave.

1:30PM

“Yes” Rogue is a large microbrewery and “yes” they buy out small microbreweries and small beer bars, BUT they do make an effort and succeed in maintaining the integrity of these places. At Green Dragon, a Rogue owned establishment, during our last visit, there wasn’t even a Rogue beer on tap. You know what was on tap, a ton of amazing beers, many from Oregon. The bartender and waitstaff here are ridiculously informative and friendly. A wide open space with a funky, slightly psychedelic aura, a visit here will get your buzz going for sure. Did I mention, a cab from Broadway Cab service or a DD would be a good option for this day???

http://www.pdxgreendragon.com/

Its time for your first Brewery of the Day, but not your last: HUB

2944 SE Powell St.

2:30PM

Just a quick mention to Hair of the Dog Brewery, as they are not open on Saturdays. In a few weeks their tasting room will be open on the weekends. But back to things within our grasp and one of the best up and coming breweries in Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). With bike frames hanging from the bar, this sustainable brewery is Portland at its best. Grab one of their amazing organic brews and a bite to eat. If your interested, inquire about the brewery. Its just down stairs and worth a peek!

http://www.hopworksbeer.com/

A Trip to Portland Wouldn’t be complete without it: Beer Mongers

1125 SE Division St.

A beautiful site at Portland bottleshop, Beermongers.

3:30PM

Beermongers is a bottle shop that has a wide variety of beers at a very reasonable price. The owners of this bottle shop take great pride in educating the public on brews. Weekly event are held here featuring various breweries. Like Belmont, its a great place to sip on a beer and peruse the collection.

http://www.thebeermongers.com/

 

4:15 New Old Lompoc

1616 NW 23rd St.

This area is full of breweries. Did you know that Portland has the most breweries per capita than any other city? New Old Lompoc has several locations in the city including their tasting room, Sidebar which serves up barrell aged goodness. This location is in a beautiful neighborhood and has a very relaxing atmosphere. Grab a Centennial IPA or C-Note Imperial Pale Ale and enjoy the summer breeze on the back deck!

http://www.newoldlompoc.com/lompoc_home.html

5:00 Laurelwood

2327 NW Kearney St.

Laurelwood Public House- I like that. It sounds straight out of the Wild West. Located in a house, you walk onto the porch and through the front door, a wooden staircase to your left and several dining areas to your right. You feel right at home. If there isnt room outside, I suggest making your way to the bar in the back. You can grab a tall table and sit by the window. The Workhorse IPA is a must try but if you are looking for something different, check out the Tree Hugger Porter.

http://www.laurelwoodbrewpub.com/

5:45 Lucky Labrador

1945 NW Quimby St.

Super Duper Dog. If its on tap, get it. Their double IPA will not dissapoint. It is bitter, but herbal and sweet. Whenever we stop here, a sampler tray seems to be the way to go.  A dog friendly establishment, their spaces are wide open warehouses and packed full of happy patrons.

http://www.luckylab.com/

6:30 Deschutes Brewing Co.

210 NW 11th Ave.

Granted we have been here at least 6 times, but for those of you who are Deschutes virigins, GO HERE! A long tap list of all their amazing beers will be there to greet you. You never know when Dissadent, Hop Henge or Abyss will show up. Their food- I had an amazing experience with Venison Chili and medicore experience with a chicken sandwhich. All in all a great place to grab dinner and continue your consumption of beers. Located in the Pearl District, Deschutes is close to several other beer establishments including Rouge and Bridgeport.

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

8:30 Henry’s Tavern

10 NW 12th Ave.

Now that you have statisfied your hunger, its time to head out for the remainder of your night. At this point, you are probably tired and tipsy, so Henry’s is the place to wrap it up! A young crowd is always there and their back patio is strug with white lights. Day or night, this place is great. The wait staff will walk over and hand you a GIGANTIC menu full of beers, most on tap. Its obscene in the best way possible. Their list is so extensive that I can’t help but glare at those around me sipping Mai Tais.

http://henrystavern.com/page/home

The next day, you wake up, thoughts of beer still overcome your ability to move. If you are staying in the downtown area, make your way to Whole Foods for an amazing bottle selection and some nutritent packed food. There are still so many places to visit in Portland, the city of beer. If you have your own beerxperience in Portland, leave us a comment or email us at beerblotter@gmail.com!

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