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Events for Week of February 14, 2011

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Calling all Seattliest- stop by Latona for a beer. Pic courtesy of seattleweekly.com.

I hope you snuggled up with a beer on Monday for V. Day and got a bit tipsy. But now for your week in beer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Southern Tier Cask and Draft Night: Arlington, Virginia

6:00PM-8:00PM @ Rustico – Ballston

Enjoy all that is Southern Tier tonight!

THE SOUTHERN TIER BREWS:
Draft:
Southern Tier Choklat
Southern Tier Krampus
Southern Tier Unearthly
Southern Tier Gemini
Southern Tier Cuvee 3
Southern Tier Backburner

Cask:
Southern Tier 2X IPA

PRICE: Southern Tier beers will be priced by the glass and in 4 oz. tasters.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Silver City Brewing Night: Gig Harbor, Washington

6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Tides Tavern

Featuring Silver City Brewing Co.‘s Ridgetop Red Ale, WhoopPass Double IPA, & Fat Woody Scotch Ale.

Head Brewer and Gig Harbor local Gary Winn will be on hand to share a pint with.

Buy a pint keep the Silver City glass while supplies last & Silver City Brewery giveaways as well!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Allagash with Rob Todd: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

6:00PM-11:00PM @ Union Jack’s

Join amazing brewer, Rob Todd for some even more amazing Allagash beers. Here is what he has is store for you tonight.

Bourbon Black
Big Little Beer
Confluence
Interlude
Curiuex
Tripel
Dubbel
Odyssey
Grand Cru
Hugh Malone
Fluxus 2010
Four
White

Friday, February 18, 2011

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner: Mesa, Arizona

6:30PM-8:30PM @ Il Vinaio

Come join us for a Special Firestone Walker Beer Dinner hosted by Firestone Walker’s ~ David Walker. See below for Beer Dinner Details!.
Menu:

Course 1: Baked Crawfish Cheddar Tart with Pale 31 Pale Ale

Course 2: Grilled Shrimp with Roast Corn & Black Bean Fritter with Double Barrel Ale

Course 3: BBQ Duck Sausage with Okra and Cheesy Grits with Double Jack Imperial IPA

Dessert: Chocolate Bread Pudding with Velvet Merlin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout

Firestone Walker Beer Dinner Nightcap @ilvinaio: 4oz Tulip of 14th Anniversary Ale!

$29.00 per person / Firestone Glassware included.

See Il Vinaio for Details!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boulder Strong Beer Festival: Boulder, Colorado

12:00PM-5:00PM @ Avery Brewing Company

Mark your calendars for Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th for the 9th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Festival! We’ve decided to move this event back to February for 2011, since strong ales seem to taste even better in the dead of winter. This event featured nearly 80 different strong beers over 8% abv in 2010, and we hope to have even more this time around. All attendees will receive 16, two-ounce tasting tickets and a commemorative festival tasting glass with admission, along with the chance to mingle with many of the brewers and creators on the beers on hand. The Friday tasting session will run from 5PM-10PM and the Saturday session will be from 12PM-5PM.

To ensure that all attendees have a fantastic time, we’re limiting ticket sales to 400 tickets per day. Tickets will go on sale for $35 apiece on Monday, January 3rd from our online ticketing partner Ticket Alternative (Friday tickets: Saturday Tickets: ) and from the Avery Tap Room. Tickets will be available at the door only if they do not sell out in advance. Act fast!

We hope to have over 50 participating Breweries this year!! To name just a few who have already committed: Allagash (ME), Avery (CO), Cambridge (MA), Deschutes (OR), Dogfish Head (DE),Moylans (CA), Ommegang (NY), Oskar Blues (CO), Pizza Port (CA), Pumphouse (CO), Redstone Meadery (CO), The Bruery (CA), Trinity Brewing (CO), Victory Brewing (PA)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Keg of Bell’s Hopslam: Raleigh, North Carolina

12:00PM-2:00PM @ Busy Bee Cafe

Looking for something to do on your lazy Sunday? Well go to Busy Bee Cafe and down a couple of Hopslams- Bell’s amazing Double IPA. The keg will be tapped at noon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter into Spring with Rouge: Seattle, Washington

7:00PM-9:00PM @ Latona Pub

Latona is a cool place to get a beer. Tonight they feature Rouge.

If you want us to promote an event or if you want to review an event, then please email me at jess@beerblotter.com or leave a comment! Cheers!

A Seattle Beer Excursion Across the Pond

December 2, 2010 1 comment

Der Blokken means "the block."

Written by Jess R.

“The Pond” refers to the Puget Sound, a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. Yea…that’s right.

The day after Thanksgiving, we woke feeling better than expected and ready to hop on a Washington State Ferry and head across “The Pond” first to Silver City Brewing Co. on the Kitsap Peninsula, then to Bremerton Island for a drink at Der Blokken and then South to Gig Harbor were we indulged in some 7 Seas.

 

Silvery City Brewing Co.

 

We had expectations of Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, but due to the weather, the release was pushed back. Instead we were greeted with Old Scrooge and their non- BBN Imperial Stout. But first, before I excite your senses, a word about the atmosphere. Silver City is located near the Silverdale Mall and shares a parking lot with all those eager shoppers. There is something for everyone inside this large space–a plethora of seating areas and styles bar seats.

As a family friendly establishment, our preference is the bar area. Since it was a rainy holiday, this area was packed. However after just a few minutes and some lively conversation with a few local beer lovers we grabbed a few seats, an Old Scrooge, a Woo Pass Double IPA and the Imperial Stout. All of these beers are well crafted to the style. The Old Scrooge really caught our attention as a Belgium style ale with hints of Christmas cheer- i.e. nutmeg and cinnamon. After a bowl of delicious clam chowder (highly recommended) we bought a few bottles and headed back into the rain.

 

Der Blokken

 

The days become nights so quickly these days and by the time we arrived at Der Blokken, beer bar and new brewery on Bremerton Island, it is pitch black out. The rain glistens on the streets, reflected by the street lights.

This is my second time to Der Blokken. The last visit was on a beautiful spring day in the middle of a bike ride around the island. Tonight, we pulled into the driveway and had this weird feeling that Der Blokken was closed. My heart sinks.

Lucky for us, the owner of Der Blokken pulls in next to us and confirms the news. Due to the “snow storm” that hit Seattle and the greater Seattle area that week, many homes and businesses on Bremerton Island lost power. Just as we are about to sulk back into the car, the owner turns to us and invites us in to try his new beers. Der Blokken recently opened and even more recently started brewing beers.

A taster of the stout, IPA and Christmas wheat are presented to us in the empty bar along with these amazing sweet potato chips- house made. We are offered frites but do not accept as they would have to open the kitchen to do so. Is this hospitality or what?

Der Blokken is a wide open space with an exposed fermentation tank, a slick looking bar and large windows. Approximately 16 taps are always available with some staple beers such as Bittburger and rotating craft beer options. Tonight, due to the circumstances we stuck to the three tasters and I was impressed by all. The IPA is well-balance, the stout has an amazing body and the Christmas wheat had a welcomed hoppiness.

Thanks to the people at Der Blokken for being so welcoming. Der Blokken is worth the trip to Bremerton and is a place where I could sit and spend a day.

 

7 Seas Brewing Co.

 

Home of the ultimate proper pint.

We had some trouble find this place thanks to Google Maps, a dark, rainy night and the sheer location of this tasting room. Once we pulled into the parking lot, a gigantic fermentation tank towered over us. This tank verged on being comedic due to the size. As we past the beast, we noticed a quaint outdoor area, wet and abandoned. We open a wooden door to the excitement contained within this small space.

We walk in and it is packed to the brim. A tiny space that has windows which over look the brewing area- a nice touch. The small bar area is instantly approached. A Ballz Deep IPA and two Saisons are ordered in their sweet glassware. I have had Ballz Deep before and it did not disappoint tonight, but my taste buds were all consumed with the Saison in my hand. This delicious, refreshing, well-spiced farmhouse ale was one of the best I have had in the USA.

As you can assume 7 Seas Brewing Co. does not sell food, but they do offer free mini-snickers and these amazingly seasoned nuts. At this point, I was head over heels in love. So much in love I purchased a zip-up hoodie and this is now my most prized beer apparel. Check this place out, it won’t disappoint.

Have other suggestions about where to go and what to do on a rainy day? Leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com.

 

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.

2010 Washington Beer Fest: Brouwer’s Cafe

It was all here. Washington beer.

Yet again, Brouwer’s Cafe rises to the occasion and presented local beer drinkers with the best of local beer. An entire 5 day stint dedicated to Washington state brewers. From Naked City to Silver City, Peaks to Paradise, Snipes Mountain and Iron Horse, it was a tap list to remember.

This post will be more informal then our other event reviews: less time = less beer. One subject that absolutely must be breached is the recent trend in WA to infuse tea with beer.  Our first experience was at Naked City, who, in the summer months, released an incredibly refreshing Ginger Peach Hefe where all of the the ginger and peach flavors came from infused herbal tea bags.  This night, we must give honorable mention to Port Townsend Brewing Co. for their Green Tea Golden Ale. We are generally not inclined to jump on the golden ale train, but PT gave it a twist and the tea like essence really came through. Several people at our table voted this their favorite of the night. It is flavorful, clean and aromatic.  The earthy green tea flavors really pop in the nose and playfully mingle with the light ale malts in the finish.

Yet another example came to us via Epic Ales Mathilda.  Though we have very little information about the ingredients used, Timperial’s love for both tea and beer seemed most inspired by this concoction.  It took some warming up, but this one seemed to grow on us like Ca…stan…za (Seinfeld reference, deal with it).  Initially, there was questions about…chamomile…no…mint…possibly both?  It was light in color and the epitome of curious in flavor.  Respect for ingenuity.

Der Blokken, a brewery out on Bremerton Island which recently opened showcased their Brown Porter. I thought I was ordering an IPA and despite the mix up, was pleasantly surprised. Dark and chocolaty, it had some bittering qualities and a perfect body. Not too thin, not to syrupy, just right!

Next, and is this really a surprise, but Black Raven’s All Washington Fresh Hops was amazing! It tasted like peaches with a perfect pairing of a bittering hop profile.

The Iron Horse Fresh Hop was a no brainer for Timperial, who sampled said beverage at the Yakima Fresh Hop fest 2 years ago and was floored.  This years version may or may not be the same in recipe, but surely produced a similar reaction as the ’08 did in him.  A near perfect example of a well balanced wet hopped IPA.  It’s a cloudy dark amber with amazing lacing.  The flavor profile is overwhelmingly syrupy sweet with a slight raw hop skunkiness in the nose and flavor.  A sizable pine profile accompanies the cannabus in both fronts as well.  Ultimately, very smooth in the mouth and a near perfect finish with little dryness and a lingering malt quality that rears many smiles.

Snipes 2 Fresh was another selection that took little to no effort to choose.  If you live in WA and drink fresh hop beers, you have most likely tasted something that Snipes head brewer Chris Miller has had a hand in.  He is the local fresh hop guru in these parts and has most recently assisted in the production of Black Raven’s and Naked City’s fresh hop IPAs.  This version, like Iron Horse’s had a green hop skunkiness and a respectable pine nose.  There was enough residual sweetness to make me happy, but not nearly on the plane of IHB.  Here, bitterness takes the reigns above and beyond anything else.  This is a great example of balance in a fresh hop and would be a supreme example for the newcommer.

At the recommendation of Brouwer’s manager Ian, a Yakima IPA 1 was ordered. Apparently, this is a different brew than the bottled version bearing the same name.  It was clear bronze in color with a stark white head.  I felt that this would have been a much more appropriate beer to begin with than to follow all of the above.  It seemed a bit thin, but the malt core had some legs.  This was a bitter bomb of an IPA with very little floral hop flavor.  The  malt profile made a gallant attempt at bringing balance, but inevitably it failed to compete against the bitter power that assaulted the back of the tongue well into the aftertaste.

Let us know which ones were your favorites!

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!

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