New Belgium Brewing has been around for 20 years now. Wow! They have surely come a long way. So long, in fact, that they find themselves sitting in the number 3 position in the rankings for top craft breweries (sales) . There is very little doubt that their Fat Tire Amber has played a massive role in their great success.
In celebration, and in tribute to the beer that acted as a stepping stone for so many of us beer geeks into the world of better beer, New Belgium has packaged up the old classic in a new and exciting manner – unfiltered, dry hopped, and in cask format. From what Seattle Ranger Todd told me yesterday, 6 total firkins were sent to the Seattle area, each dry hopped with a different hop variety.
This has never been done before at New Belgium and each tapping is going to offer a very rare and unique take on the beer that put the brewery on the map. If I were you, I’d keep your ear to the ground (or your eyes on beerblotter.com) and do your best to attend as many of these special tapping events as possible. It’s not only an opportunity to celebrate with NBB, but it’s a chance to thank them for all they have done for the craft community and, obviously, to have some tasty and rare beer in the process. For me, it most exciting to get the chance to take in what each hop variety can lend to an amber ale. It will be educational, without a doubt.
So when is the first tapping? What hops will be featured first? Tell me. tell me, tell me!! Don’t fret, I have your answers!
This Thursday, February 10, the first two firkins will be tapped, simultaneously, across town from each other. One in Magnolia, at Mulleady’s Irish Pub and the other in Green Lake, at Latona Pub. Both are planned to be tapped around 5pm, for happy hour, and should be pouring for several hours. This will give you ample opportunity to maneuver between the two and make a night of it, without completely destroying all hope of being productive on Friday (not that you ever are you crazy slackers).
The Mulleady’s cask will be spiked with one of the “Three Cs” – Centennial. This is a moderate to high alpha hop that is very similar to Cascade and completely kicks ass! It’s pungent, citrusy, and mildly floral. Yum! The Latona cask will feature the uber-high alpha and somewhat rarely seen Bravo hop. This is surely a treat! This one has the potential to be a bit harsh and is often described as having an earthy spice, herbal, fruity and floral essence. Giddy-up.
Since Editor Jess is off living in the lap of luxury by means of a massive sea-faring vessel and therefore finds herself unable to pen the much heralded Events column, I figured I’d bring you my version of the events.
Many of our local readers may very well be savvy in the 140 character world of Twitter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they both follow all of the tweeters that I do and actually keep up with what they are saying on a daily basis. Admittedly, I find it nearly impossible myself, but today I made a point to sift through all the bird calls and pull out a few of the Seattle area events and/or beers on tap that may interest you all.
Let me know if you find this helpful or simply redundant by leaving a comment below. Have a great week and drink good beer!
Latona Pub (@latonapub) in Greenlake has the following on tap (as of 1/31/11):
Port Townsent Nitro Stout
Roslyn Dark Lager
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
Full Sail LTD 4 Pale
Hale’s Wee Heavy
Firestone Walker Union Jack
New Belgium Vrienden
Silver City Whoop Ass
Super Deli Mart (@superdelimart) in West Seattle (9051 35th Ave SW) has Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red and Flyers Hop Duster IPA on tap as of 1/31/11.
It’s most likely a joke, but Iron Horse Brewing (@ironhorsebeer) of Ellensburg claims to be releasing a beer called Double Rainbow Ale inspired by the impossibly hilarious YouTube video that went viral last year. Check it out here.
The Toronado (@toronado), an absolutely epic beer bar in San Francisco, is having a special event on 2/18/11 for the release of Pliny the Younger. Yes, that is during San Fran’s annual Beer Week, but this, most likely means that we should see kegs in the Seattle market either slightly before that or around the same time. Are you ready?
This Wednesday at the 74th St. Alehouse (via @twobeersbrewing) in Phinny – Two Beers Brewing will be providing a very special cask of Evo IPA. Here are the details from their Facebook page:
Wednesday Night: 74th St. Alehouse Cask of Double Dry-Hopped (Simcoe, Amarillo, Sorachi Ace, Centenniel) Evo. IPA. We also threw in some D’Anjou Pears and Pink Lady Apples to help with the secondary fermentation. Uhhh, you won’t want to miss this one of a kind beer.
That sounds redonculous!
Elliot Bay Brewing (@elliotbay_beer)will be sending out two barrel-aged beers today, one “Sour” to the West Seattle location and a “Bourbon Stout” to Burien. I would highly recommend checking these out if you are able.
The Porterhouse Pub (via @diamondknot) in West Seattle is hosting a Super Bowl party/fundraiser in conjunction with Beer Church that will feature brews from Diamond Knot, Port Townsend and Georgetown. For more details please check out this site. Go to this!
This Friday, 2/4/11, at 5pm, Cooper’s Alehouse (@coopersalehouse) in Maple Leaf will be hosting a 5 year vertical tasting of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. You can order a tasting tray and try all 5 side by side. If there are any beer aging naysayers out there, get you ass out to this event and see what age can do for yourself. They also have Sierra’s Bigfoot Barleywine on tap (as of Sunday).
As of Sunday night, Naked City (@nakedcitybeer) had Fish Brewing’s 10 Squared Barleywine on tap. If it’s still on, it won’t be for long. They also have Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum and Snipes Zombie Killer.
Apparently, Grandfather Raven, Black Raven’s Imperial Stout, is still on tap at the brewery’s taproom (as of Sunday, via @seattlebeerclub) .
This is a very cool event that warrants a little love from the blogging community. It also molds nicely into the Earth Day motif for the day.
You can check out photos of how breweries like Elysian Brewing, Big Time Brewing, Hales Ales, Fremont Brewing, Naked City Brewing and Maritime Pacific Brewing have each delivered their kegs to Latona. Each one has been delivered by way of hand truck (sometimes by relay).
It will be interesting to see if anyone finds some other alternative way to deliver their beer to the pub. Wheel barrow, bicycle, canoe (i know someone wants to go across green lake)?
At this moment, Two Beers Brewing of SODO is trying to figure out how to muster the 9.8 mile journey to the pub. You can join them in getting the beer to the public by visiting their facebook post and leaving a comment:
Two Beers Brewing Co. Help us sell a keg. Latona Pub is only taking kegs this week that are delivered in any form other than Car or Truck. This means we have to get a 140lb keg from SoDo to Green Lake under human power. Thoughts? Wanna help?
One thing is for sure – thanks to the resolve of great Seattle brewers and beer-fanatic Seattlites, Latona will not be dry this Earth Day.
(Photo Credit to Rachel Strawn, who wrote about Latona Pub on her site.)