If you live in the Seattle area and you like beer enough to read this blog, chances are pretty good that you will be hitting up Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe, if not on opening night (Thursday Dec. 2), at some point this coming weekend. Hopefully you have already gazed upon the outstanding preliminary list which can be found on our site here and on Brouwer’s blog.
Clearly, there’s a lot of options to chose from, and all of us, most unfortunately, only have one measly liver to assist us in tackling them. This is where we come in. We drink a lot of beer. We have been to BWF several times now. If you want to make sure that you order your barrel aged beers wisely, heed our advice. We don’t think that you will be disappointed.
I’ve decided to choose my top 15. These are the beers that I plan to sample, based on the current list. It’s my game plan. I know what you are thinking, and yes, I actually do think that I can try 15 beers. When bb.com goes to big beer events at Brouwer’s, where there is never a cover, we make sure to roll deep. We bring out as many friends as possible, we direct them on what to order, and then we drink their beers (of course we let them drink ours too). Always be sure to order the smallest size that is offered, every time. These events are all about getting your hands, and tastes buds, on as many special and rare beers as possible.
This list is, as always with Brouwer’s events, subject to change because it is very likely that the final list will include a few eye-popping secrets. This year I’m hoping to see a few more special Hair of the Dog beers, more vintage Bottleworks Anniversary beers like barrel aged Ivan the Terrible, and maybe some more killer locals like Petite Mort from Black Raven or some Big Time treats.
Deviation is the best Russian River beer that I have ever had (and that puts it very high on my all time list, if not at the top). Also, Bottleworks periodically pulls some out of their cellar and sells it for nearly $100 a bottle. I think I bought it for $15. This beer is the epitome of rare and the epitome of mind-blowingly delicious. Please, don’t order this so that I can drink it all, that is, if it really does still exist…
These days with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, blogs updates, Email and Flicker — information is constantly and rapidly communicated. Tonight, Boundary Bay Brewing Co. is celebrating the importance of these social media outlets and web based resources in promoting their beers.
We are partnering up with Alligator Soul in Everett for a Virtual Brewers Night on Thursday, November 18th from 6-9 pm. Now, before you get all hot and bothered…we’re not asking you to taste VIRTUAL beers. We’d never deprive you of the joy of our hand crafted beverages! We do, however, want you to come to Alligator Soul and communicate virtually (meaning via social networks) about all the happenings…while it’s actually happening! There’s going to be live music, specials, prizes, and more!
As a writer for a blog, I totally appreciate Boundary Bay’s innovation in marketing the event and their brand as well as opening the lines of communication among beer lovers and beer drinkers. This is how it is going to work:
Here’s how it’s going to work: make sure you BRING you smartphone with you to this Brewers Night and use the #tag we’ve set up for the event, which is #bbaygotsoul – especially because everyone who tweets about the event (while AT the event) and uses the #tag will be entered into a drawing for some sweet, sweet schwag!
Also, be sure to look for tweets before the event for a coupon for some awesome FREE cajun food, then bring in your smartphone and show them the coupon from your phone to score free food that night.
During the event, the Boundary Bay Twitter account will be fully staffed and ready to answer all your questions about our beer, our business…or whatever! So tweet your questions to us during the event and keep an eye on the live Twitter feed up on the tv at Alligator Soul for our answers to your inquiries. There’ll be plenty of other fun too like live music and trivia questions that just might net you $1 off your beer if you get the right answer!
So tonight, do what you do best and update your status!
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.
Its a happening time at Boundary Bay Brewing Co.. The end of this summer will include two special events that will make you want to hop in the car and head North to Bellingham.
Boundary Bay will host this weekend’s WABL event on August 22, 2010 and then their 15th Birthday Party (way to go) on September 16th, 2010. Below is some more information on both events.
Boundary Bay’s Backyard BBQ for WABL Members:
Here’s a reminder for the August WABL event at Boundary Bay this Sunday. If you are planning to attend please RSVP at email@example.com.
Sunday, August 22, 1-5 p.m.
Boundary Bay Brewery
1107 Railroad Avenue
Boundary Bay’s 15th Birthday celebration:
4pm – midnight
Boundary Bay Brewery Beer Garden
1107 Railroad Avenue
BBQ, dancing, live music, Anniversary Ale and cake!
A quick shout out to something unrelated to beer. Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for their incredible season and Super Bowl win. New Orleans is a city close to Beer Blotter’s heart and we couldn’t be happier. So a toast in honor of a team and city well deserving of a celebration. WHO DAT?? And now, without further ado, your weekly beer events.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Release Party: Ann Arbor, Michigan
6:00PM @ Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery
Be one of the first beer drinkers to taste this stout by Jolly Pumpkin tonight at 6:00PM. Madrugada stands for “Dark Dawn”, and this Belgian inspired stout is as dark as a moonless midnight, and brimming with roasted malts and bitter hops. This beer is seasonal, so get it while it lasts!
New Belgium Beer Tasting: Greenville, South Carolina
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
This tasting will feature New Belgium‘s spring seasonal Mighty Arrow, newly released Ranger IPA, 1554 Black beer, and of course Fat tire. Enjoy all of these with a few snacks while New Belgium’s local rep talks about the brewery and answer some questions.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Russian River ‘tion Night: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-12:00PM @ Toronado
Stop by San Fran’s legendary beer bar and indulge in all the goodness Russian River Brewing Co. has to offer. Beers such as (this is not official, just an assumption, so call 415.863.2276 if your looking for a specific brew) Publication, Consecration, Deviation, Damnation, Sanctification, Supplication….Temptation. Seriously if only 3 of those beers are on tap, its worth the trip.
Smuttynose Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
4:30PM-7:30PM @ Berts Better Beers
On the docket for tonight, Smuttynose Brewing Co.’s Big A, Baltic Porter, Wheat Wine, Barleywine and (hopefully) the Imperial Stout. We recently had the Wheat Wine and it is AMAZING. GO THERE, DRINK BEER, REPORT BACK!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Stone Brewing Co. Cask Tasting and Meet and Greet: Washington, DC
6:00PM-10:00PM @ Birch and Barley
What to expect on cask tonight from Stone Brewing Co.? LEVITATION ALE; SMOKED PORTER; ARROGANT BASTARD. Done, Done and Done.
St. Bernardus Beer Dinner: Tampa, Florida
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Mr. Dunderbak’s
Not only will you be able to taste amazing food and sample St. Bernardus beers, you will be able to meet the brewer, Marco in from Belgium. Lamb, mussels, salad and brie tarts will grace the menu tonight. The Witbier, Triple, Prior 8 and Apt 12 will be paired with the delicious menu.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Meet the Brewers of New Old Lompoc Brewing Co.: Portland, Oregon
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Green Dragon
Join all the New Old Lompoc brewers: Dave “Chowdah” Fleming, Bryan Kielty, Zach Beckwith, Sam Orlansky and Jerry Fechter for a meet the brewers session.
Some Like it Hop: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Allegheny HYP Club
The tasting includes beer samples, gourmet appetizers prepared by Chef Shawn, and a presentation on the selected beers. The cost to attend is $15 per person. Please RSVP for the event at the Malt Daddy website. Featured beers include: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar; Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA; Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine and Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Launch of Midnight Sun Brewing Co.: San Fransisco, California
6:00PM-9:00PM @ City Beer Store
California Beer Week continues into the weekend with a launch party for Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Although the beers are not listed, even on City Beer Store’s website, draft and bottle products will be available! This brewery has so many great beers, you really cannot go wrong!
Sour Ale Tasting: Aliso Viejo, California
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Pacific Park Market
CHECK THIS OUT—-> Jolly Pumpkin La Roja; Russian River Supplication (batch 4); Russian River Consecration (batch 3); Bruery Oude Tart; Russian River Beatification and Weyerbacher Riserva. Its only $5 per person to enjoy all of these amazing sour beers. Don’t miss out!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Big Woody 2010: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 12:00PM @ Spuyten Duyvil
Bottles, Drafts and Casks…this event is not only at a extremely cool beer bar in BK, it features some AMAZING beers. For the full list, go to Beer Advocates’ website or click here. Here is a glimpse into the epic beer drinking that those of you in attendance will endure (oh yea, these beers are all 10% and above- enjoy): from the tap-Mikkeller Black (17.5%, Denmark); In Gravity Poured Wooden Barrels-Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock (12%, Germany) and on the bottle list-Brooklyn Black Ops 2008 (10.7%-Brooklyn, NY, USA). Make sure to store the cab company’s number in your phone before going to this event!
Strong Ale Fest: Boyertown, Pennsylvania
12:15PM- 12:15AM @ Union Jack’s Inn On The Manatawny
Similarly themed to the above event, this Strong Ale Fest will feature beers all 10% and higher….so keep that in mind when your throwing ‘em back tonight. A few of the beers available for these 12 hours include, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 18%; Founders Black Biscuit Barrel Aged Porter 11% and Lost Abbey Angels Share 12%.
February 14, 2010
Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6:00PM- 8:00PM @ Hawthornes
We cant think of a better way to show your love for another than with and among amazing beers. Tonight at Hawthornes, celebrate your love with three courses and the following beers, Southern Tier 07 Choklat; Kasteel Rouge; Rosee d’ Hibiscus (Dieu Du Ciel) and Bells Oaked Aged Two-Hearted Ale. All for $60.00/person. Call (215) 627-3012 for reservations!
Have a Heart for Haiti: Bellingham, Washington
11:00AM-9:00PM @ Boundary Bay Brewing Co.
Ribeye Steak with Wort Compound Butter, Sea Bass in Pappilote, and Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce with Chorizo are just a few of the Special menu choices for Valentines Day. The menu will be available at 5pm along with our regular menu choices. Tables set for two and Music sets by The Mt Baker Toppers starting at 6pm and 7pm. Reservations are recommended. Servers will be donating a portion of their tips & all the proceeds from our Have a Heart dessert will go the Red Cross.
So have a great week, give some love to Haiti, give that someone special a big kiss and drink great beer! If you go to an event, would like us to report on an event or just want to spread the BB love, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org