First it was harvest season and in celebration we indulged in glorious IPAs, then it was Halloween, so we attended a Pumpkin beer fest. Now, the first snow has fallen (sending Seattle into a state of disbelif, terror and general panic) and it is time for Christmas brews and Winter ales.
This year’s Winter Beer Fest will not dissapoint. Here are the details:
2010 WINTER BEER FEST
DATES & HOURS
Friday, December 10th, 2010 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 5:00-5:30 pm)
Saturday December 11th, 2010 12-4 pm + 5:30-9:30 pm
(WABL* Hour: 11:30-12 pm)
*Open exclusively to WABL members.
$23 advance/$25 at the door.
Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5 oz. beer tastes.
Additional tokens are available at $1.50 each.
Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.
We accept cash and check only. Sorry, no credit cards!
Admission and token sales will end at 45 minutes before the end of each session and taps will close with 20 minutes left in each session.
This is a 21+ only event
Space is limited so get your tickets early!
Advance tickets are available online now.
Advance ticket sales end at 5:00 AM on Friday, December 10th, or whenever tickets allocated for advance sale are sold out. There will be additional tickets available at the door during the event.
Beers to look out for (and by look out for, I mean drink)-
7 Seas Saison
Airways Hot Chocolate Ale
Big Al Penut Butter Stout
Big Time Yulefest Winter Ale
Black Raven Old Birdbrain Barleywine
Black Raven Bourboun Barrel la Petite Mort
Boundary Bay 2008, 2009 and 2010 Cabin Fever
Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale
Flyers Brewery Daybreak Breakfast Oatmeal Stout
Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable
Naked City Bing Spiked Cherry Ale
Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman
Silver City Brewing Old Scrooge Christmas Ale
There are so many amazing beers being poured at this event- check out the full list here!
What beer puts you in the holiday spirit??
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…..
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!!
After a weekend of Hoppin’ Frog, Jolly Pumpkin, Naked City’s own brews and Rodenbach, I present to you, the next week of beer events.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Great Lakes Beer Tasting: Oakdale, Minnesota
4:30PM-6:30PM @ Cork and Barrel Wine and Spirits
Stop by and sample one of the greats from the Mid-West: Great Lakes Brewing Co. from Cleveland Ohio will be serving Dortmunder Gold (Dortmunder), Edmund Fitzgerald (Porter), Eliot Ness (Dark Amber), Burning River (Pale Ale) and Commodore Perry (IPA). Bring a business card and drop it in the bucket, at the end of the tasting we will draw a name for a six pack of beer.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
BrewDog Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Bert’s Better Beers
Try out BrewDog from Scotland. Punk IPA, Rip Tide Stout, Dogma, Paradox Smokehead and Paradox Isle of Arran will be sampled.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Day of the Dogfish: Cincinnati, Ohio
5:00PM- 10:00PM @ Catskeller
Samples flights from Dogfish Head Brewing, a innovative brewery out of Delaware. On draft will be: Red & White; Black & Blue; Burton Baton; Chateau Jiahu; Palo Santo Marron and Midas Touch. Fingers crossed, as there might be some 90 Minute & Raison D’Etre available.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Southern Tier Brewery Night: Tampa, Florida
7:00PM- 10:30PM @ Mellow Mushroom
Southern Tier Brewing Co. ‘s IPA, 422, Unearthly Imperial IPA, and Iniquity Imperial Black Ale will all be on tap along with other Southern Tier bottles. GOOD TIMES.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Smuttynose Tasting: Somersworth, New Hampshire
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Somersworth Village Market
New Hampshire’s very own Smuttynose Brewing Co. is on the board tonight. Although the beers available for tasting have not been listed, fingers cross for their IPA and Wheatwine!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: Brooklyn, New York
1:00PM-1:00AM @ D.B.A.
Great place in BK (there is also one in New Orleans) – tonight (according to ratebeer.com) expect about 16 rare and tasty cask beers to be pouring over the weekend, all tapped at once, including beers not normally seen in cask in NYC. Beer range is courtesy of Alex Hall (BA: Imbiber) in conjunction with Ray Deter of ‘dba’. Beer will come in half pint and 16oz measures, there’s no entry fee and you pay by the glass.
Italian Beer Festival: Seal Beach, California
11:30AM-11:30PM @ Beachwood BBQ
Italians are known for pizza, art, pasta and wine- but tonight, come sample 18 different Italian brews.
Great Week! At least three of my top ten breweries are having a tasting this week. This weekend we had the conversation of our top 10 US breweries. I could only come up with 9 off the top of my head. What are your favorite breweries? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with an event you want us to post or to just start a dialogue about your favorite brewery!
Last night we ventured over to Collins Pub in Pioneer Square to enjoy the opening day of the bar’s Real Strong Ale Fest. Nice start guys!
The pub opened with a bevy of Deschutes Reserve Series and Bond Street Ales. In fact, Collins Pub had the entire Reserve lineup, absent my personal favorite – the Dissident – which had earlier been expected, but according to our favorite bartender Amy, didn’t make the shipment (damn).
On tap yesterday were some amazing beers:
from Deschutes – The Abyss, Hop Henge, Jubel 2010, Black Butte XXI and what we believe was a keg of Mirror Mirror 2008? – apparently aged in Collins Pub’s basement over the past year.
from others – Naked City The Big Lebrewski (stepped up at 8-9%), Port Brewing Mongo Double IPA, and Mad River Wheat Wine.
We had a Mirror Mirror, Black Butte XXI and Big Lebrewski. The Mirror Mirror was impeccable. After trying this beer every year, in many different formats and glasses – this was by far the best pour we have ever had. The aging did it right, as the residual bitter sweetness had resided and the maltiness carried a prune and nectarine flavor. Get this one.
Black Butte XXI was as always – very good. This is one of the most ultimate in heavy beers that can be drank in volume. No surprises here, just very enjoyable out of the whiskey barrel with the added coffee notes.
The Big Lebrewski left us a little disappointed – and we hate saying that. We are huge fans of the people over at Naked City and we love that they are finally pumping out some great ales! But the new version pumps up the alcohol while killing some of the great flavor prevalent in the former version. We would stick with the older creamy and coffee version. (*Note: our palates may have been tainted by the Black Butte XXI we had just drank)
We also want to throw a thank you out to Mr. Seth Howard, the Collins Pub owner, who threw some great shwag our way! Thanks for the pint glass and shirt. We will cherish.
Today is no slouch of a day. Collins Pub is reporting on Twitter that they will showcase what we believe to be the 3 best barleywines of the season:
Real strong beer goodness! Firestone abacus, angels share (carbonated!), 05 full sail old boardhead, older viscosity, fish old woody, etc – @CollinsPub
Do not leave this place without doing a side by side between Firestone’s whiskey monster – Abacus – and Lost Abbey’s brandy barreled gemini – Angels Share. Port Brewing’s Older Viscosity has the body of motor oil and the hint of fresh baked pretzels! yum.
Stop in and grab a beer this week while the festival continues. It goes on through March 7. You can read the lineup over at Seattle Beer News. Have fun.
On Saturday beeradvocate.com announced, via their twitter feed, that the very long standing #1 on their list of the Best Beer on Planet Earth, Westvleteren 12, had been overtaken by Russian River Brewing Co.’s Pliny the Younger. This news comes in the wake of San Francisco Beer Week, which was kicked off with the annual release of said beer at the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA. The beer was completely drained from the coffers of the brewery in less than a day.
For all the rating nerds out there, BA has it at an A+ / 4.63, where Westvleteren 12 is at A+ / 4.62. Yes, an extremely thin margin. Just for a little perspective, the other beer rating giant, ratebeer.com, pegs the beer at #12 in its top beers in the world. Its elder uncle, Pliny the Elder, makes the list in the 18 position.
For those that don’t know, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger is a draft only triple IPA that weighs in at 11% abv and is a liquid hop candy delight poured from the chalice of God himself. It is pretty darn rare, but if you live on the West Coast, keep your eyes and ears peeled at all times, have a really fast car and no job, and know someone important in the bar industry, chances are at least plausible that you could get a taste. This is unlike the overtaken Westvleteren 12, which has been unanimously the best beer in the world for as long as I have been aware of these lists, and is even more difficult to acquire.
Westvleteren 12 is a bottle conditioned Belgian Trappist Ale brewed by Saint Sixtus Abbey in Northwest Belgium. Only 160,000 cases of 12 are produced each year and, with the exception of a very few number of crafty European beer bars, can only be purchased from the Abbey that brews it. To top it all off, due to the limited nature of the brew, the Abbey limits the amount of cases one can purchase at any one time.
Point is, as rare as Younger is, not many beers in the world are rarer than 12. One can assume, of course, that flavor plays a large role in the grand status of these beers as well. I have, luckily, had the fortune to taste the great Younger and can honestly say that I believe it is worth the hype. It is, well… a liquid hop candy delight poured from the chalice of God himself. I cannot, yet, tell you of the flavor majesty of 12, but Belgium is only a month away and you can be assured that Saint Sixtus Abbey is on the agenda.
Now, how can us Seattleites find Younger?
Sadly, the first Seattle keg has already been slain.
Collins Pub in Pioneer Square was the first Seattle bar to tap Younger, putting it on at 4:00 pm on Friday and announcing it, again via Twitter, at 12:41pm. The keg was kicked in 20 minutes. We do however believe that this was a 1/6 barrel keg (per rumor). We hold out some hope for 1/2 barrels elsewhere.
Your next chance: Naked City Taphouse in Greenwood. Today at 5:00 pm the next keg will be tapped alongside a keg of Elder. Naked City, yet again proving why it was rated the 42nd best beer bar in the world on ratebeer.com.
Beer Blotter has also caught wind of a tapping at Brouwer’s Café tonight (we don’t need to talk up Brouwer’s). Indications were that Brouwer’s would be tapping around 6:00 PM.
If you work today, or otherwise have a life not entirely dictated by beer, there may be more opportunities to savor Younger in the near future. Considering Brouwer’s relationship with Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they have more than one keg, and that they save it for Brett Pack night of Seattle Beer Week or for their annual IPA fest.
Beer Blotter, on the other hand, has a life entirely dictated by beer, and therefore will be found, most likely, at both Naked City and Brouwer’s tonight. Find us, say hi, and salute great beer!
Pliny the Younger, Best Beer in the World?
Ok, I just realized that 1999 was 11, yes 11 years ago. Just imagine all of the great beer we will drink for the next 11! For the first week of 2010, we bring you beer events, the only way to start year off right.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sad to say, the first Monday of the year proves uneventful. So grab something special from your cellar and drink up! In place of events for the day, as everyone is catching up from the holidays, we present you with “Whats on Tap” at one of our local favorite beer bars, Naked City. Head to the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle to try, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada’s Life and Limb, Speakeasy’s Old Godfather Barleywine, Russian River Damnation and Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper. All amazing and/or new beers!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Victory is Mine!: Burlington, Vermont
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth
Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing is heading up North for a night and they are bringing the goods. Prima Pils; Golden Monkey; Hop Wallap ON CASK; Storm King Imperial Stout; Helios; Old Horizontal Barleywine; Yakima Twilight; and Wild Devil which is only available in bottles. We recently had the Old Horizontal Barleywine and it was amazing. That beer alone would entice us to attend this event. However, Victory has a great range of styles for all beer lovers.
Bigger, Badder, Blacker Beer Week: Portland, Oregon
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM until Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:00 PM at Belmont Station
Not only is Belmont Station worth a trip due to their amazing bottle selection, but attached is a beer cafe. This week, the cafe will have the following “dark” beers on tap: Deschutes Abyss & Black Butte 21, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti, Hebrew Jewbelation 13, Alaskan Baltic Porter and Firestone Walker Velvet Mirkin, among others. Your mouth should be watering just from reading this list. We can only hope that some will survive for Saturday as we make our way to Portland.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Shelton Brothers Presents: New York, New York
4:00 PM until close at the Blind Tiger Ale House
The Shelton Brothers, importers of fine, microbrewed beers from around the world are at the Blind Tiger to showcase some of the finest. The beers on tap for the night/event include Nøgne Ø Winter, Cantillon Pure Kriek (100 on ratebeer.com), Ridgeway Bad Elf and Mikkeller Imperial Pils, among others. Tonight is a great night to try some beers from afar!
Hop Slam: Cincinnati, Ohio
4:00PM- 9:00 PM at JeanRo
Come join Bell’s Brewery for the release of HopSlam, a bitter, hoppy ale. Tonight’s specials include $1.00 off all Bell’s Brewery’s beers and cheap treats! Later this week on Saturday, Bell’s Brewery will continue to promote HopSlam at the Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Vintage 2007 Old Stone Guardian Barleywine Tapping: Las Vegas, Nevada
5:00 PM-12:00 AM at Aces & Ales
Las Vegas has more to offer than strippers, lights, gambling and strong cocktails. Stop by Aces & Ales to enjoy a beer worth the two year wait. Stone Brewing’s Old Guardian is a bold barleywine with prevalent hop notes. Being poured from the tap, these flavors and the thick body will be sinfully enhanced.
Friday, January 8, 2010
First Ever Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: New York, New York
Friday January 8, 2010 at 1:00 PM until Sunday. January 10, 2010 at D.B.A.
Expect at least 12 rare and tasty cask beers to be pouring over the weekend, including beers not normally seen in cask in NYC. Stop by the newest of the three D.B.A. locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see whats flowing. Beer Blotter has been to the New Orleans and East Village locations, enjoying pint after pint during our trips. Great atmosphere, great beer lists!
Where the Wild Beers Are: Atlanta, Georgia
6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at The Porter Beer Bar
Need we say more than…Allagash Brewing Co. is taking over the tap list at this Atlanta beer bar for two hours???? Didn’ t think so. The list will include the following beers: Hugh Malone; Fluxus; Odyssey; Interlude; Victory; Burnam Road; Four; Triple; White; and Curieux. Taste, take notes and report back….please.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Hair of the Dog Tasting: Tustin, California
2:00PM to 8:00 PM at Whole Foods
For those of you close enough to Tustin, stop by your local Whole Foods, bring $10.00 and try a variety of Hair of the Dog beers. Now you all must know of our new found obsession with this brewery. Thank you Brouwer’s Cafe and Big Wood Fest 2009. For six hours, Whole Foods will be pouring Adam, Ruth, Fred & Blue Dot.
Blue Point Raids the Taps!: New York, New York
5:00 PM until close at Rattle-N-Hum
Not only do you want to just be at this bar because of its location, beer selection and excellent bartenders, you want to taste many, all and every beer from Long Island’s Blue Point Brewery. Although we are not familiar with all the beers, here are a few on the list that sound interesting or just plain good: Sour Cherry Imperial Stout; Toasted Lager; Oatmeal Stout; Hoptical Illusion and Winter Wizard.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Pale Side of Tasting Beer: Los Angeles, California
5:00 PM until 10:00 PM at 55 Degree Wine
This local “beverage” shop is hosting a Sunday evening tasting of pale, blonde, fresh, and even hoppy ales. Featuring four Belgium beer and one from France, this tasting will not only tantalize your taste buds but will expand your mind. We intend to drink only French, German and Belgium beers for the month of February as Beer Blotter gears up and primes our livers for the epic trip to Europe in March. More to report on that later.
Another week has come and gone, and another week is ahead. There are so many great events every week around the country, its difficult to pick and choose. However, we hope that our weekly events span the country, touch on a variety of styles and introuduce new breweries and venues. If you attend an event this week, are looking forward to an event or even want to promote your own event, please leave a comment or email us at email@example.com.
So……Friday is the day where we will be introducing the Taplist – an adventure into America’s top tap lists. Beer Blotter did a survey (no we didnt), and we tallied the votes (certainly did not) and we decided in unanimity (eh…maybe) that there are 8 epic beer cities in the U.S. of A.
Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Denver won out. Thus, they will be routinely displayed here every Friday (morning from now on) so that you know where to go to get a beer in your city, your vacation spot, the place where work stuck you with that guy, the place you got stuck on a layover, the place your in-laws live and you tentatively visit, and/or the place you bought that stuff from that dude that knew that chick.
We will try to get to all 8 cities each week…but this week we only get to 6.
And now for the list……
- The Map Room – Updated 12/11/09 – Founder’s Red Rye Ale is up and seriously lacking a response in the beer community. The reviews are spicy with a great caramel balance. Worth a look. Also, appearing are Cleveland’s Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Montreal’s McAuslan St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (99 on RateBeer), Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Life & Limb (10.2% with maple syrup and birch) – best for last Three Floyds Alpha Klaus (beer of the month = $4)
- The Publican – Get the pig ears. order beer. Green’s Quest is brewed at Mikkeller’s De Proef Brouwerij (8.5% tripel); the list has Port Brewing’s Panzer Imperial Pilz and Older Viscosity (taste like hot pretzels – 2nd at Big Wood); you might want to save your cash and get a Matilda from Goose Island, a beer full of funky yet citrusy belgian flavor while adding a smooth but strong hoppy note.
- The Hopleaf - Updated 12/11/09 – they win for today’s list. The list includes localites Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge (Barrel Aged Brown), Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (quintessential IPA), Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA (wet hop!), Metropolitan Generator Dopplebock (who makes these? – 8.2% is just right), Half Acre Magnus Schwartz and Point Brewing Cascade Pale Ale. But the show stoppers here are (a) Stone/Brewdog Bashah (8.6%, get this – Black. Belgian. Double IPA – i love these guys) and (b) Goose Island Pere Jacques (9% – banana monster that will turn you upside down)
- Ginger Man – Weyerbacher Quad. enough said. This went up today. Also going up are Abita Christmas Ale (New Orleans favorite), and Smuttynose Big A IPA; but the king has to be Harpoon’s Leviathan Imperial IPA – we sampled this down in New Orleans and were floored. This is an extremely well bittered IPA with perfect smooth sugars. The beer is comparable to Ruination.
- Rattle N Hum – Updated 12/9/09 – Woo. Wow. 40 taps and 4 Dark Star (England) Casks. This list is incredible – we will just rattle them off: Allagash Burnham Road, Smuttynose Finest Kind Kind (2x IPA – no ratings – rare as hell), Captain Lawrence Freshchester Pale, Dogfish Head Burton Baton (2x IPA), Stone Sublimely Self Righteous, Southern Tier Old Man Winter, Brooklyn Back Breaker, and Sixpoint Otis – – but the champs are here Brooklyn Monster ’07 and Cigar City Hunaphu (got to love the NY and FL connection – thank NYC shitty taxes and FL no taxes) . Hunu is a RateBeer Top 50, aged in cigar box wood and severely limited in production. Get it now.
- Monk’s Cafe – East Coasters – they still have Port Brewing High Tide – go get it. Its your last amazing taste of fresh hops for the season. You want a Belgian – get the Nogne O Tiger Trippel.
- Eulogy – Austria’s favorite is Samichlaus (14%) Dopplebock, aged for 10 months and ready for the Holidays. Very rare on tap. The Belgians here are the fare; there are plenty you will like.
- Toronado – Updated 12/11/09 – Unlike the SF version, these guys maintain an ever changing tap list online. Holiday beers on parade. Today you can grab a Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi. This beer is biblical in theme and in effect. An incredible Biere De Garde that has been reviewed as having “hints of egg nog” – really? They also have Mikkeller’ Santa’s Little Helper 2009, Oggi’s- Freakin’ Awsome (SD brewer with some amazing IPAs), Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, and Santa Cruz Mountain’s Ginger’s Winter Warmer
- Stone Bistro - Stone Brewing’s own brewpub/bistro has probably the most consistently-impressive tap list in the city. Right now you can grab any of Stone’s brews, including Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, as well as Avery duganA (one of the more impressive new 2x IPAs), a winter ale offering from Bootleggers of Fullerton, CA, and Mission Brewing’s Armada Imperial IPA (collaboration with San Diego Brewing @ 9.2%). We would love to try and get our hands on that Mission offering.
- Toronado - These guys do not keep an updated taplist. But, they do have a pleasant surprise for you – Speakeasy is holding an Old Godfather Release Party today at this pub. This beer is a tasty caramel barleywine (10.2%). But the versions on tap today will be Barrel-Aged and extra special.
- The Trappist – OK OK we know its in Oakland, but this bar is incredible. They are hold KerstBier Festival right now, with some amazing Belgians. De Struise Tsjeeses (10%), Mikkeller To From, and Brouwerij De Regenboog‘s Catherine the Great Stout.
- Latona – UPDATED 12/12/09 – They just put up their new tap list. Big Time Malaprop 8 is very intriguing. This abbey style ale (7.2%) has excellent reviews and an interesting spiced malt. Check this beer out.
- Naked City Taphouse – UPDATED all the time. Naked City’s use of Twitter has been an excellent tool for beer lovers. Now you can be sure to know what is running on their taps at all time. Its a must follow. Right now they are pouring Speakeasy Brewer’s Reserve Old Godfather, Snipes Diminished Returns Double IPA and Diamond Knot Industrial Ho Ho. We were especially impressed with Snipes’ 2x IPA. The beer is not too bitter, very floral and extremely smooth, while maintaining a high alcohol content (9%). Snipes has been getting a lot of attention for hoppy beers over the past year. Take a trip to Greenwood people!
- Brouwer’s Cafe – UPDATED 12/11/09 – Brouwers put some good beers on last night, notifying us via Twitter.
Let us know if we are missing something. Next week expect to see a post about all 8 cities!