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.
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!
Written by Jess R.
If you all recall, and how could you forget, bb.com took an epic trip to Belgium in March of this year, marking one of the most exciting, most educational, most delicious beer experiences of a lifetime.
Among the beer tastings, beer bar dominations and brewery visits, we stopped at Cantillon. Founded in 1900, Cantillon is a staple in Belgium beer making. Known as the Museum of Geuzes, this brewery has perfected the process of making lambics and gueuzes. Time stands still here despite the ever changing background of the city of Brussels.
On March 16, 2010, Day 7 of our trip, we make the hour or so drive from Antwerp to Brussels. First stop, a little piece of history. We pull up in our rental car, and walk up to a non-descript facade with a large open garage door. We are greeted with a “Bonjour” as Brussels is primarily French speaking and receive a glass to taste Rose de Gambrinis and Faro. I am instantly in love.
Touring the Brewery:
A self guided tour is offered with a beer in one hand and a brochure in the other. I found this description on Cantillon’s website that I wanted to share:
Machines, most of them original, barrels with Lambic, Kriek or Framboise, cellars where bottles of Gueuze, Kriek or Lambic Grand Cru wait patiently till they get transferred to a customer’s table, a mashing tun and boilers, a granary with a cooling tun where the Brussels air has free play, a filter and a bottling machine, these are the things you’ll see during your visit.
We begin our walk through the process- the mashing tun, boilers, the process of natural fermentation, barrel aging and the bottling of these amazing beers. Each piece of equipment shines with copper lining and glistens with wisdom. I remember climbing up these rotting wooden stairs to the attic area. Open rafters let the sunlight in, as well as the wild yeast used to ferment the beer. When I first became a fan of lambics, I was fascinated by the natural occurrence of wild yeast in Belgium.
Brettanomyces is a genus of wild yeast important in brewing lambic, a beer produced not by the deliberate addition of brewer’s yeasts, but by spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts and bacteria. Brettanomyces lambicus, B. bruxellensis and B. claussenii are native to the Senne Valley region of Belgium, where lambic beer is produced. Here at Cantillon, once the beer is ready to be fermented, it is placed in open containers begging for the hungry yeast to eat the sugar and produce alcohol.
Next is the barreling room. Lambic fumes escape from the barrels in which the beer matures for three years. This process is not for the impatient individual. After our tour, we were lucky enough to try a one year old lambic straight from the barrel! Subtle in taste and without carbonation, it still possessed a sophistication and complexity that I will never forget.
Throughout the tour, cobwebs hung from the corners, from the machinery and cats wandered throughout the aisle and slept on window sills. Every creature, every organism plays a part in the creation of these beers. A well constructed eco-system was before us and we reaped the benefits of these lambics and guezes.
At the end, we took a seat by a fire place (as the place was on the colder side), glanced at the list consisting of Gueuze, Kriek, Rose Gambinus, December 2008 Lambic, Faro, Saint Lamvinus and Lou Pepe (Kriek, Framboise and Gueuze). What a sight! We sat in silence, in awe of this church of beer.
Side notes about Cantillon and the beers they produce. 1. Lou Pepe refers to their top notch batches. A Lou Pepe Kriek would be their best cherry lambic, for example. 2. Gueuze are not brewed, lambics are brewed. Gueuzes are blends of lambics. See how much you just learned?
Cantillon remains a staple in my growth as a beer writer, beer lover and beer drinker. To see this process, to acknowledge the dedication to historical integrity while producing high quality beers is something I think about quite often when tasting beers of this nature. Brewing lambics is a tedious, scientifically extravagant and well defined process. To honor the memory, we brought back several bottles (at 8 euro per 750ml, how could we not) and a little piece of our amazing trip!
Yesterday was the 27th birthday of our editor and fearless leader – Jessica Reiser. We all really appreciate her dedication to BeerBlotter.com and her amazing thirst for excellent beer at home and abroad on our many beer excursions!
We celebrated this joyous event with a weekend full of camping in Southern Washington’s Seaquest Park, topped off with a day in Seattle drinking beer at Collins Pub, dining at Cafe Campagne and having a nightcap supplied by cellar treats! There was some good beer along the way….
On the way down south, we stopped for a lunch over at the Nothwest Sausage and Deli, the home of Dicks Brewing Co. This place is a mecca of smoked meats, cheeses and of course Dick Young’s famous beers. A more substantive article will appear this week in our 52 Weeks column – but this place is simply amazing and should never be missed by any beer lover.
Lazy Boy Brewing supplied a jockey box and 1/4 kegs of its new Pale Ale and its Imperial Red for our camping trip over the weekend. New Lazy Boy assistant and Beer Blotter writer Timperial Stout helped create what we are calling a “dixie cup randall” filled with fresh smoked wood chips, soaked in Makers Mark. We used the mini-randall to create a bourbon wood infused imperial red (we kind of wish we had used the Pale Ale, but this was still a damn good beer).
Yesterday, Seattle’s Collins Pub supplied some exciting beers with pours of Boundary Bay’s Imperial IPA, Midnight Sun’s 3767 Belgian-style IPA, New Belgium’s Eric Sour Peach Ale and Allagash’s Trippel. We are all such big fans of 3767, an IPA wort engineered by Ballast Point Brewing (San Diego) and infused with 3 different yeast strains (Brett included) and bottle conditioned by Midnight Sun (Anchorage). Its amazing beer in the bottle – and better on the tap.
We enjoyed an incredible dinner at Cafe Campagne, comprised of escargot, country pate, roast duck, steak and fine grenache wine. But we finished up with a nite cap filled with some cellar favorites that had been pushed back for a special occasion. Avery Brewing‘s Brabant Wild Ale was a splendid surprise. The beer has the body of a Cascadian Dark Ale, but the Belgian undertones of a Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire. The beer is fermented with Brett and conditioned in Zinfendel barrels. Very impressive, though not as sour as we hoped.
We also enjoyed a special beer from Brussels’ Brasserie Cantillon. Cantillon’s Grand Cru Bruscella was a beer that we first enjoyed during a meal at De Gans, a quirky house/restaurant on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. After visiting the Cantillon brewery back in March, we decided to take a bottle for the road. The beer is a simple 3 years old lambic with virtually no carbonation and little body – but bursting with flavor. This particular bottle was from the 2006 vintage and is from the “Bio” series of beers made with organically grown ingredients. We very much enjoy this beer, as its flavor develops down to the last drop.
Again – Happy Birthday to Jessica! Expect to see an article reviewing her night with Tomme Arthur during Seattle Beer Week at Brouwers Cafe, later this week.