This Saturday, February 26, 2011 (TOMORROW) for approximately 4 hours, you should go on a tour of the local craft brewing industry.
The Washington Beer Commission organized an Open House of sorts where local breweries open their doors to beer lovers providing them with the good stuff to make this an epic Saturday afternoon. From 12PM-4PM you can plan your route or pick an area of Washington to tour:
CENTRAL and EASTERN WA
NORTH and EAST of SEATTLE
American Brewing, Edmonds
Anacortes Brewing, Anacortes
Black Raven Brewing, Redmond
Boundary Bay Brewing, Bellingham
Chuckanut Brewing, Bellingham
Diamond Knot Brewing, Mukilteo
Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell
Gallagher’s Where U Brew, Edmonds
Lazy Boy Brewing, Everett
Redhook Brewery, Woodinville
Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, Snoqualmie
SOUTH and WEST of DOWNTOWN SEATTLE
WEST of PUGET SOUND
This event will showcase a number of special beers, beer pairings and surprises at many locations. You will just have to go and find out what is in store. Don’t forget this Saturday is the Grand Opening of American Brewing Co.
This event is free but beer prices at each location will apply. Drive safely or don’t drive at all and ENJOY!
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!
Enjoyed on 8/31/2010
Brewery: Yakima Craft Brewing Co.
Location: Yakima, WA
Presentation: 22 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: American Style India Pale Ale
Yakima Craft Brewing Co.’s IPA features a substantial, well-balanced taste with an emphasis on the hop.
Beer Advocate: B- (3.31)
Rate Beer: 49 (3.21)
Believe it or not, this is my first dance with YCB. Yes, they are still relatively new to the Seattle market, and their distribution here is spotty at best, but I’m a beer blogger… I’m slightly embarrassed. Better late than never I guess.
When I see that this brew is over 100 IBUs I have mixed feelings. Part of me says “touche” to the brewers for being bold and not at all thrifty when it comes to hop additions. Another part of me asks, “why?” Bitterness is nice and all, but it’s fairly common knowledge that the human tongue can’t distinguish flavor differences above 100 IBUs. Plus, brewers should be crafting brews with flavor and balance, not just ramming hops down our throats. Well, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Lets see how these brewers from the heart of hop country utilized the almighty humulus lupulus.
Very strong carbonation brings about a massive head that forces a slow pour. The brew’s color is on the darker side of amber, approaching rust. The clarity is strong. The head lingers throughout my time with the beer and is a fluffy white color of varying sized bubbles. Lacing is found all over the glass and is very impressive.
The hop scent is a bit subdued and nondescript, but I’d venture to use herbal and piney as descriptors. A strong amount of malt sweetness makes its way through the flowers, bringing an impressive balance to a very bitter beer. Hop bitterness is the most prevalent scent, but caramel maltiness stands tall.
I wouldn’t say that there is anything particularly striking about the mouthfeel. The carbonation calms a bit once it sits for a few minutes, settling it right in to the zone that it should be in.
The flavor, overall, is reminiscent of an overly bitter English style IPA. I have no doubt that the hop bill is sizable in this one, but I can’t place any particular hop attribute other than overwhelming bitterness. The malts only barely push through at the very end of the sip, just as I swallow, and present a bread like flavor and a pleasant sweetness. If only that sweetness could compete.
High alpha hops may have been used to spike the IBUs, but I’d ask at what intervals they where added. Conventional wisdom would tell me that the earlier the addition, the more bitter the result. YCB, heavy on the early addition?
As the brew warms a bit there is some alcohol burn that swells up through the bitterness. Yes, the bitterness continues to dominate the back and rear sides of my tongue well after the swallow. I find it a bit hard to get past. It masks the other flavors with its intensity. The bitterness mostly drys me out and weighs on me.
Case in point – massive IBUs doesn’t equate to pleasing all the hop heads. That being said, I have a sweet tooth. I’m always in search of the hoplipop…err…hop candy. This isn’t it. But if you define your hop-head-i-ness by bitter, bitter, bitter…this just might be your king.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.90
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.50
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.90
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.10
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.25
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.80
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 7.45
Saturday was a good beer day- Big Al Brewing Co. for a sampler: Tripple, Alt Bier, Abbey Wheat, Smoked Porter and the IPA were all very tasty. The Alt Bier and Abbey Wheat stood out among the crowd. We stopped at Cask in West Seattle, a new wine/beer bar that opened just 5 weeks ago. The owner offers a “to-go” section that focuses on imports. We stayed for just one, Fremont Brewing Co.’s Interurban IPA dry hopped with Cascade hops, Lime, Orange and Grapefruit zest. Damn good. Porter House- just across the street has about 12-15 beers on tap- Pliny the Elder was up for grabs but I went with this new brewery- North Sound Brewing. Both their Stout (classic dry Irish stout served on Nitro) and their IPA were stellar. A night in was filled with IPAs- 7 Seas Ballz Deep Double IPA (in a tall boy can) and an IPA from Yakima Craft Brewing Co. But now for your week in beer:
Monday, August 30, 2010
Southern Tier Tasting: Jacksonville, Florida
4:00PM-7:00PM @ Grassroots Natural Market
Although I do not know what beers will be poured- Southern Tier will not disappoint!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Founders Nemesis Tapping: South Bend, Indiana
8:00PM-10:00PM @ Fiddler’s Hearth Public House
Nemsis, Founders’ Barley Wine is out and available tonight! Stop by and if you get your hands on this, please report back to bb.com. Look for this beer at your local beer bar – you lucky people that live in the mid-west or north east!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Back to (Beer) School, Mikkeller: New York, New York
11:30AM-11:30PM @ The Ginger Man
Get schooled on hops and yeast! The Ginger Man will be featuring Mikkeller’s Single Hop Series and their Yeast Series. The beers in the Single Hop Series use a control recipe with a different hop in each brew, showcasing the flavors and aromas of one variety of hop. Same rules for the Yeast Series, this time with varying yeast strands. The Single Hop Series will be on draught and the Yeast Series will be in bottle format.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Best of the Belgians: Beverly, Massachusetts
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Bogie’s Beer and Wine
Tonight- 15 beers…15 different styles….including Rochfort 8 & 10, Orval, Duvel, and many more. There will also be a special something from De Struise. This event is free, but Bogie’s is asking for a $5.00 donation. All proceeds will be donated to MCPCA Walk for the Animals.
Friday, September 3, 2010
The Little Woody Barrel- Aged Brew Festival 2010: Bend, Oregon
5:00PM-10:00PM @ Des Chutes Historical Museum
The Little Woody celebrates this ancient brewing technique as adapted by American craft brewers, featuring beers aged in wine barrels, whisky barrels and oak barrels, which uniquely flavors and intensifies the beer. The Little Woody 2010 will encompass two days-September 3 from 5 -10pm and September 4 from 12pm -10pm on the lawn of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in Downtown Bend. Admission to the event includes a commemorative glass. A tasting package is available and includes a commemorative glass and tasting tickets. For more information click here.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Tour de Fat: Fort Collins, Colorado
10:00AM-4:00PM @ New Belgium Brewing Co.
Annual national moving bike festival put on by hometown heroes New Belgium. Featuring bands, good people, good brews and a damn good reason to get silly! Bring a bike and a funky costume for maximum enjoyment. For more info, click here.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
6th Annual Festival of Iowa Beers: Amana, Iowa
1:00PM-5:00PM @ Millstream Brewing Co.
Iowa microbrews are getting some love today- Come down to the brewery and taste the best beers that Iowa has to offer and meet the brewers who make these great brews as they serve you. Live music, local food will also be part of the event! Proceeds go the the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and Iowa Brewers Guild.
So thats your week in beer. If you go to an event, want us to post about an event, please leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Cheers!