Jillian’s Billiards Club of Seattle is your quintessential sports bar: pool tables galore, a wide collection of large, flat screen TVs, sports apparel on the walls, okay food and a slim selection macro-brews on tap.
This past Friday, Jillian’s changed that with a beer fest called Micros and Music. $5.00 bought you 10 2oz pours of local, craft brews and unlimited finger foods, such as min-burgers, hot pretzels and spring rolls. As stated on Washington Beer Blog’s preview post about the event, this new direction and focus on craft brewing is largely due to new management. I think sports and great beer should always go hand in hand.
Aside from the fact that this was a great deal, I was able to taste not just Washington State beers, but several local, Seattle beers.
Georgetown’s Lucille IPA- fruity, smooth and refreshing.
Odin’s Smoky Bacon Beer- robust, perfectly smoked and slightly salty.
Schooner Exact Brewing’s Puget Soundian Dark Ale, Black IPA- a great balance of hops and roasted malt remaining consistent with the body and texture of an IPA- well done!
Other note worthy brews:
Big Al’s 5 Star Chili IPA got the group’s attention. Brewed with jalapenos, chili peppers and habeneros, this IPA will scorch your mouth and leave you wanting more.
Two Beers Brewing’s Fresh Hop was one of the first of its kind to pour this season, this beer uses 5 different hops in the process and is finished with fresh Centenniel. This was my first beer of the night and its balance of bittering hops and sweet, honey flavors kept me thinking about it the entire time (plus they were giving out stickers).
Sad to say, I did not get to taste all of the beers due to time constraints. Breweries I missed: Naked City, Diamond Knot, Red Hook, Widmer Bros., Alaskan Brewing Co. and Emerald City Brewing Co. This event was a great showcase of what Jillian’s plans on rotating on tap in the future. So if you hesitated about going to Jillian’s due to the lack of options, grab some friends, play some pool and enjoy the craft beer we love so much.
We have arisen from the ashes of Thanksgiving this morning to find about 12 lbs of turkey remaining (YES!) and about 5 lbs of gut remaining (Damn.). But the Beer Blotter festivities were for the record books, and the friends and family attendance was quite pleased with the food…..and more importantly the grog.
The list from last night is long. The Blotter had 18 bottles and 3 kegs up for tasting among its guests. But amongst all that beauty, a few stood tall. Utilizing a moderate budget, we were able to find a few great beers that earn recognition this morning.
This beer is produced on a limited basis during the early fall and winter months, generally right in time for GABF. We had this beer out at the brewery in Woodinville, WA back in October – and we were floored. Wanting to get a more up close and personal look, we added a bottle to the Thanksgiving list.
“Treblehook is vigorously hopped and patiently aged with aromatic malt and spicy hop notes. Smooth and complex, this beer is carefully brewed by hand with sublte caramel, toffee and chocolate notes”
Style: Barley Wine
Malts: Pale, Caramel, Special Aromatic, Flaked Barley, Black, Melenodin
Hops: Cascade, Palisades, Chinook, Simcoe
Bitterness Units: 52 IBU
Original Gravity: 22
Brewed Since: 2007
Shelf Life: 365 days
Awards: Gold Medal 2008 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal 2009 Great American Beer Festival
Cellaring: Can be cellared for up to 3 years
The bitterness rating might be an undershoot. This beer is hoppy and has the typical floral and spiced citrus flavorings of the Simcoe hop. The hop/malt balance of this beer is very interesting – in a very good way. The beer allows both the floral hop and caramel malt flavors exist independently, not muddling either taste.
This beer is very similar to Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven. The difference is complexity and finish. The Treblehook finish is pleasing – adding molasses smoothness to the end of the glass.
This is a GABF favorite. In 2008, it took gold. This year it followed up with a silver. We can see why everyone seems to like it.
No need for introduction on this bad boy. This is a perpetual 100 on Rate Beer and a repeat medal winner at GABF. This Stout is legendary and probably the best of the NW (Sorry Walking Man Cherry Stout). This year’s version is the 4th release and does not offer any changes – which is a very good thing.
“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.
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 marks the fourth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout. Limited availability in wax-dipped 22-ounce bottles and on draft at a few select establishments.”
“The Abyss was one of those beers I didn’t want to end. I was totally blown away – this is precious stuff.” Christian DeBenedetti, beer writer and Men’s Journal contributor”
Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2008 European Beer Star Awards
Gold Medal, Imperial Stout
2007 Great American Beer Festival
Best Beer Above 7%, International Champion Beer & Supreme Champion
2007 International Beer Challenge
#1 Best Stouts & Porters
2007 Men’s Journal October Issue
Gold Medal, Strong Ales
2007 California Brewer’s Festival
Gold Medal, Stout Category
2007 San Diego County Fair
Gold Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 North American Beer Awards
Gold Medal, Strong Ale Category
2007 West Coast Brew Fest
Bronze Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 Australian International Beer Awards
Food Pairings: Caramelized Onions and Abyss Infused Cream Cheese on Pepper Crackers
We will agree with all of the award organizations above, this beer simply cannot be beat. Abyss stands alongside elite Imperial Stouts like Three Floyd’s Dark Lord, Bells Expedition and Alesmith Speedway Stout. Deschutes is able to keep up this quality even though it is producing a larger volume on a larger scale.
This year’s version is very appealing, tasting almost identical to the 2008 version. We saved the Abyss until desert, right after the pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate mousse and butterscotch chow mein – oh yes. It went amazingly well with the butterscotch and chocolate flavors present in our desserts.
We are still awaiting the few shipments of Great Lakes Christmas Ale which is on its way. So we decided to grab Diamond Knot’s Ho-Ho and Corsendonk’s Christmas Ale. None of us were very impressed with the Corsendonk offering, and an unwilling member (me) was hesitant to crack his bottle of Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws. Diamond Knot’s offering was impressive and added to the holiday essence.
“A robust, ‘Winter Warmer’ Ale, ruby brown in color with a slightly sweet, fruity nose. Very hoppy, yet balanced with a residual sweetness.”
This Christmas beer has a great hop nose and finish. It is very sweet, but not syrupy in any way. The beer has a wonderful light citrus spice while having the perfect x-mas ale body. I suggest grabbing one of these bottles and drinking it pre-meal.