Signs of life has emerged from the Seattle Beer Week website. You may all commence celebration because, its officially on its way!
Seattle Beer Week is in its 3rd year, and will span from May 19 – 28, 2011. SBW 2011 will return some of the old favorites. This year’s kickoff will be held at Maritime Pacific, where they will unveil the special strong ale that the brewery whipped up for SBW’s 3rd Annual brew. The closing event is still up in the air, but we suppose that it will be announced shortly.
While the past two years have yielded SBW double IPAs from Hales Ales and Pike Brewing, this year promises a Strong Ale brewed with rare Falconer hops. According to the site, “Falconer’s Flight™ Hops are an exclusive proprietary hop blend created to honor and support the legacy of Northwest brewing legend, Glen Hay Falcone.” Cannot wait for that grog.
Wondering whether Sour Beer Fest is back? Seriously?! Did you honestly think it could die? Sour Beer Fest at Brouwers Cafe will return on May 26, 2011. Again, its a Thursday. Also, expect to see old favorites 5 Guys, Burgers & Fries (Brouwers – renamed to Burgers & Beers no doubt because of that burger chain), Back in Black Stout Fest (Brouwers), and Firkin Firkin (Elysian Capitol Hill).
Check out the Seattle Beer Week website for the initial listing of events. Be sure to check it frequently, as the 20 events up now will quickly swell to 300.
***Yikes. I jumped the gun and didn’t look at the dates on the Seattle Beer Week website – only the logo which has yet to be updated. The actual dates for the 2011 event are May 19-28.***
I’m not beating around the bush – its beer time. With a full spectrum of excellent city beer festivals right around the corner, your liver best get ready. Here’s a short preview of what’s up.
San Fran is tapped out, but Sacto is just getting carbed.
San Francisco just killed the final keg of their beer week, which spanned through February 20. While the city dries out over the next few days, beer geeks have something else to celebrate – Sacramento Beer Week! That’s right, Sacto is tossing out its second go round of beer week fanatics with a whole eight days of beer craziness. The festival officially spans from February 25, 2011 – March 6, 2011.
Sacramento Beer Week kicks off with the Sacramento Brewers Showcase on February 24, 2011. From that point on, the event organizers have over 300 events planned. They will close out Beer Week over at The Capitol Beerfest, which will take place at Cal Expo on March 5. Fifty-nine breweries are expected to attend that event. Giddy up.
Do not forget two of the biggest brew experiences on earth – Philly Beer Week and Seattle Beer Week. These two events are certain to shock and awe the senses. Both are worth the flight, regardless of where you are. Luckily, we just so happen to be in both places while the events go down.
Seattle priming up for 3rd annual beer adventure.
Seattle Beer Week is in its 3rd year, and will span from May 19 – 28, 2011. This year, the event planners have hooked up with Maritime Pacific to craft the festival’s annual brew.
While the past two years have yielded double IPAs from Hales Ales and Pike Brewing, this year promises a Strong Ale brewed with rare Falconer hops. According to the site, “Falconer’s Flight™ Hops are an exclusive proprietary hop blend created to honor and support the legacy of Northwest brewing legend, Glen Hay Falcone.” Cannot wait for that grog.
The self-anointed original American beer week gets ready for #4
Philly Beer Week is in its 4th year, and will span from June 3 – 12, 2011. The founders of this event consider it to be the original city beer week and boast that it attracts more visitors than any other beer festival.
We know from experience that Philly Beer Week is one hell of an attraction. Over the past years, I have paid attention to the Twitter updates of festival goers with great jealousy. Hopefully this year, we will be joining the experience.
You can follow the event details on their website.
This weekend, Friday through Sunday, Maritime Pacific is pulling out all the stops to celebrate one year since the grand opening of its new Jolly Roger taproom in Ballard.
Its been 21 years since this brewery began and after many years serving beers out of the small taproom on Leary Ave (with the brewery right next door), Maritime Pacific opened the new Maritime Pacific Brewery and Pub one year ago.
It seems like just yesterday, I was standing outside (3rd in line) watching beer lover after beer lover line up behind me. It was a successful day to say the least.
Starting tomorrow Maritime will be offering a different cask every day through Sunday starting at 5PM each day.
They will have a special cask on the bar each night starting at 5pm, as well as some special menu items from the kitchen. All pints of beer will be just $3 from tonight through Saturday, and on Sunday beers will be just $2.50 in honor of their anniversary. Each day with bring a special beer on tap.
February 18th – Special Release of Navigator Weizenbock aged with vanilla beans
February 19th – Dry Hopped, Oak Aged Imperial IPA
February 20th – Jolly Roger Christmas Ale aged with Oak Chips soaked in Rum
This Brewpub has amazing food. So of course, to celebrate food specials are in order.
Seared Halibut Cheeks tossed in Moroccan spices with pistachio cous cous & preserved lemon
Smoked Pork Spare Ribs dressed in ghost chili-mustard BBQ sauce served with Cheese Grits
Deep fried calamari lightly breaded in blue corn and seasoned flour served with a Habanero / Buttermilk aioli
Congrats on all the success with the new space and with the new brew for 2011 Seattle Beer Week this May! Is it May yet?
We have the dates for your favorite beer festival! May 19th- May 28th, Seattle will showcase the best in the world’s beer.
If you were lucky enough to live here the past two years, you probably know all about Seattle Beer Week. Its a 10 days celebration of all things barley, hops and yeast.
Last year’s celebration included visits from Port Brewing’s Tomme Arthur, Trappiste Rochefort’s Gumer Santos, and Patrick Rue of The Bruery, among many others. The 2010 variety also included a menagerie of mind bending events, such as 5 Guys, Burgers and Fries – featuring the creations of Sam Calagione, Rob Todd, Tomme Arthur (P, Dick Cantwell (Elysian) and Christian Ettinger (Hopworks).
We expect nothing but the best from the SBW crew. These guys are some of the most important people in the Seattle beer industry; their hard work has made Seattle Beer Week a huge beer destination.
Stay tuned to their website. We expect updates on the first set of events shortly.
Also, there has been some chatter that they are meeting with the SBW brewer this week. The past two years, Pike (09) and Hales (10) have created a Double IPA to commemorate the week. We are very curious to see who has been selected to make this delicious grog this year!
Enjoyed on 12/21/2010
Brewery: Hale’s Ales LTD.
Location: Seattle, WA
Beer: Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double India Pale Ale
Presentation: 22 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Style: American Style Double India Pale Ale
Hops: Columbus and Magnum in the bittering, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial in the late hop additions, and Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe in the dry hop.
Malt: Belgian Aromatic and Munich, oats, likely NW pale or 2 row or Maris Otter…possibly others.
Seattle Beer Week II Double IPA We do a couple different IPA’s here at Hale’s Ales, Mongoose, Supergoose, Aftermath, and so we were aiming for an IPA that was outside of these flavors. The big feature of this beer is the hops, so naturally we argued first and last about the malt bill. Our target was a rich orange color based around a couple of light color malts, Belgian Aromatic and Munich. We also were looking for a strong malt backbone to support a pretty aggressive hop bill, so we incorporated oats to allow for a rich body and mouthfeel. On to hops. Our goal was a blend of Northwest Hops emphasizing floral, citrus and pine characteristics. We did a couple of trial batches attempting to dial in the right hop character. We went a little heavy on Columbus in the first batch and ended up with a weird pineapple character. The second batch was dynamite on the flavor, but didn’t quite hit the perfect aroma. Our final batch incorporated Columbus and Magnum in the bittering, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial in the late hop additions, and Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, Chinook and Simcoe in the dry hop. Late hop additions were 1.6 lbs/bbl. Dry hops were at 1.0 lb/ bbl.
Beer Advocate: A- (4.1)
Rate Beer: 97 (3.68)
Remember Seattle Beer Week 2010? I do and I don’t, if you know what I mean. It’s nearly impossible to exercise moderation during said week, and I partied like a rock star. Err…a beer nerd. That notion, non-existent moderation that is, seems to hold true when creating the week’s beer as well. The inaugural brew in 2009 was crafted by Pike Brewing and was also a Double IPA. When the Seattle Beer Collective gets down, they get down. They destroy palettes with booze and IBUs. The dates have already been set for SBW 2011, May 19 – 28, but the official beer’s brewer has yet to be announced. Who will it be? I can’t wait to find out, but for now, lets just enjoy my last bottle of the 2010 before the massive hop character becomes…well, less massive.
I’d say, based on looks, that Hale’s was right on with what they were aiming for. This brew has a rich orange hue that is very inviting. When the light isn’t quite so direct, the fluid takes on a more amber color, but when held directly to the light, SBW2010DIPA glows a gold flaked orange. Though the beer is hazy from the dry-hopping, there is barely any sediment to speak of. The carbonation is visible, but not so strong as to build an out of control head on the pour. The lacing is worthy of a double thumbs up, and the head sticks around throughout. Very impressive.
There is little doubt that this beer has a solid malt backbone. It’s possibly odd that I started this section with that statement. Yes, hops dominate. Was I supposed to mention that? I thought it goes without saying. I’ll get to the lupulin in a moment.
The first thought I had when evaluating the malt essence was Victory malt. There may or may not be Victory in the grain bill, possibly it’s the Munich, but I got a whiff of peanuts and a dash of popcorn. Those notes came right after the pour when the effervescence was at its peak. Now that the beer has calmed a bit, I can’t seem to discern anything other than a faint caramel stickiness draped upon the overpowering hoppy fruitiness.
I smell and smell again, and each time I seem to get a slight nuance from the hops. At times, it’s all fruit, mostly passion fruit or some soft tropical pleasure. Other times, it’s completely floral. Unfortunately, I’m no botanist, and therefore am unable to provide genus, but I can tell you that the potency is immense. I think of Elysian Jasmine IPA and its overwhelming ability to transport me to a Japanese tea garden. A garden, we surely are in.
As the beer warms, some more of the malt is uncovered, and it easily coalesces with the flora to place me directly within the leavened pores of a fruit cake. If you could take that scene in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids where they stumble upon the Oreo in the front yard and snack time ensues and replace the cookie with a fruit cake…yeah I’m doing a swan dive right into the fluffy cakey goodness right now.
As it warms even more, the booze enters the jaunt, and some slight uninvited vegetal scents pop in. Try to drink this one cold(er).
The body of this guy is truly lovely. I can’t say that I would have guessed there were oats in this, but since I do know, I’ll strap on my monocle, clutch my jolly old belly (lavishly draped in a vest of the Queen’s finest textiles) and bellow deeply in an English accent that this beer’s “silky smooth mouthfeel is made possible by the almighty oat”. The oats effect may also be responsible for the killer head retention, or maybe Cara-Pils could hold a minor percentage in the bill.
The carbonation is rocking well after the pour but never overbearing. All in all, a great success.
Much like the nose, this element seems to fluctuate, oscillate, ebb and flow. When the experience is averaged, balance is reached so astutely. Doubtless, the malts are mighty strong here, standing tall amidst the triple digit bitterness units. Bitterness… what a challenging topic right now. With the fear of skipping ahead and spoiling the aftertaste section below, I must reference the moments after the swallow to make any attempt to wrap my mind around the role of bitterness here.
If you’ve read my Hop Briefs in the past, you know that, ultimately, my enjoyment of IPAs rest in the bitter vs. sweet, hop candy battle. When this beer hits the tongue, the tongue recoils in fear. On a sensory level, one must then pay close attention to the aftershocks, not the heavy hitting initial blow, to fully appreciate this beer’s nuance and complexity. The aftershocks, or the aftertaste in this case, is so, so pleasurable. It’s sweet and hoppy and not at all dry. The malts are twinkling in the background and everything is right in the world. How this contradiction holds together in the rolling centrifuge across my tongue, I can’t explain, but allow me to again bellow, “Roll on my intrepid friend, be free!”
When it comes to the actual hop flavor, it still holds a lot of fruitiness, but not so much floraliness (new word discovery, chalk it up!). I’m actually getting a large dose of spice just at the moment that I swallow. If beer is liquid bread, this beer is a culinary joy ride. I’d feed on this one for days and days. It’s all too hop-laden to realize any specific, legitimate malt characteristic, but the balance is undeniable.
It’s glorious. See above.
The absolute best part about this beer is the fact that it seems to be a living organism. It’s like the sea breaching the shore – it attacks over and over again, but never twice in the same manner. By this right, this is the most complex IPA I’ve had in recent memory. Oddly enough though, complexity only goes so far with IPAs as far as I’m concerned. This one beer may have the aspects of 4 different IPAs, possibly more, but maybe only one of those would be a perfect 10 in my book. Though I deeply enjoyed the ride, the moments where SBW2010DIPA tasted like something slightly less desirable left a blemish with enough weight to set in scar. If for nothing other than to deepen my confliction, may it be that this scar lends an endearing quality and in time I regret not distributing the highest of marks. May time tell the tale.
Color/Head/Retention [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99
Odor [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.94
Carbonation/Mouthfeel [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.98
Hop Flavor [maximum of 3.00 points possible]: 2.70
Malt Flavor/Balance [maximum of 2.00 points possible]: 1.88
Finish/Aftertaste [maximum of 1.00 point possible]: 0.99
Total [maximum of 10.00 points possible]: 9.48
This Friday, October 22nd, Naked City Brewery & Taphouse will be celebrating its 2nd Anniversary by tapping a bunch of exciting in-house brewed specialty beers and screening the film that inspired its name.
Naked City has so quickly become a staple in the diets of Seattle’s most eager craft beer junkies, that it’s really hard to believe that they have only been around for 2 years now. They have accomplished so much in such a short period, from acquiring the proper licensing to serve their stellar in-house brewed beers, to hosting great brewers nights, to art openings, to becoming a major part of Seattle Beer Week, and so much more.
There is no doubt that NCB is one of Beer Blotter’s absolute favorite pubs in Seattle, and we are really big fans of the owners and staff as well. We are very excited to share in this occasion.
Just in case you were wondering, Naked City, the film, is a “film noir” that was produced in 1948 about a police investigation that follows the murder of a young model. Part of the movie was filmed documentary style in New York City. It was awarded an Academy Award for best cinematography and best editing and was nominated for best writing. It is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet.
And the beers…well, check out the press release below. There is going to be some seriously exciting stuff to behold. We’ll see you there.
Join us for Naked City’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration Friday, October 22nd Open-Close! We will have prize giveaways and some very special one-off beers on tap for the occasion. Here is a sampling: Double Header Anniversary Ale (Oak Aged Imperial IPA) New Riders of the Purple Sage (Blackberry Sage Porter) Tay Yay Inna Win (Barrel Aged Sour Ale) Whiskey Oaked Brimstone & Treacle (Cask Old Ale) The Big Lebrewski (White Russian Imperial Stout) Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale Big Chocolate Wood (2010 Pro-Am by Dan Hansen & Will Fredin) Broken Bicycle (Fresh Hop Saison) You get the picture…Mark your calendars!!!
It was a normal Wednesday in every sense of the word. I woke up, ate breakfast, went to work and planned on coming home, going for a run, cooking dinner and watching TV. Yes, my life in general is boring and so is yours. Around 4PM, I got a call, an invitation to the beer experience of a lifetime.
In the midst of Seattle Beer Week, I went to the Tomme Arthur Experience at Brouwer’s Cafe, a five course meal paired with 15, yes 15, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing (Lost Abbey is one brand which focuses on Belgium style beers and Port Brewing is the other brand which focuses more on American style beers, such as IPAs) beers out of San Marcos, CA. A normal, boring Wednesday turned into a night to remember.
First off was a cheese course, 5 delicious cheeses ranging from tangy to savory paired with farmhouse style beers from Lost Abbey: Devotion, Avant Garde and Red Barn. Tomme Arthur described Devotion as having the most hop quality of all three, but was dry and one-dimensional. I do not think he meant anything negative by stating that Devotion was one-dimensional as it was the perfect food pairing beer and allowed the various flavors from the cheese to distinguish the direction of your palette. Avant Garde is Mr. Arthur’s “Saturday Afternoon Beer.” In response to that, I found it slightly strong, although I would drink it on a Saturday afternoon. Again, this went particularly well with the strong flavors from the cheeses. Red Barn was my personal favorite from this course: spicy….just the way I like it. Ginger, black pepper with a slight funk.
Next up, the one and only course that was paired with Port Brewing beers. We had a tostada with smoked trout topped papaya and Habanero chili salsa and arugula paired with pure hops. Wipeout IPA is the best-selling beers across both brands and I can see why. It is well-balanced, not too bitter, not too citrusy but has an intense, complex, hoppiness.
My new-found love, Mongo Double IPA came with a story, Mongo was a cat who was born into the brewing business (“litter”ally). This beer, unfortunately for me and 99.99% of the population is available only on tap. I feel very fortunate to have tasted this beer. Mongo is a big beer with the smoothest finish of any IPA, I personally have ever had. To round out this course was Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale which had a pure, hop resin character and was sweet in the nose. All of these IPAs paired perfectly with the citrus of the papaya, the salted flavor of the trout and the spiciness of the Habanero. Hats off to the chef.
Next up, the “Raisin Course” appropriately named, “Who the #$#% Put Raisins in My Beer?” This course, was rich, flavorful and down right unimaginable. Pork pate with duck tongue paired with dried, sautéed cherries and dates. This salty, sweet, savory, ‘raisiny’ course was paired with Lost and Found, Judgment Day and 10 Commandment. Lost and Found is an Abbey style beer originally made with raisin puree and is a well-rounded, strong, yet subtle sipping beer. Judgment Day as T. Arthur put it, “oozes raisin texture” and as stated on Lost Abbey’s website,
A stronger and more contemplative version of our Lost and Found Ale. Judgment Day is the base beer for our Cuvee de Tomme.
10 Commandment was my knight in shining armor this course, with rosemary and honey added to this brew, it remains the strongest of the three at 9% ABV. The addition of complex flavors masks the brut strength of this brew.
Interestingly enough, Tomme decided to pair the main course with three sour ales. He made a point to include these delicious brews as the attraction of the night. Generally, sours are a starter beer or paired with desserts. A hearty, medium rare, fine piece of meat with caramelized onions was cut with these fruity, at times oak barreled sour beers. Red Poppy was my favorite and is considered a sour brown ale with sour cherries. This Kreik if you will is one of the better ones I have tasted, as it is not overwhelmingly sour nor highly carbonated. The cherries leave a balance of sourness, sweetness and a savoriness with a dense mouth feel. The Framboise was very challenging to brew and with three different additions of raspberry during the brewing/aging process, it turned out perfectly. Locally sourced raspberries were added, then this beer was aged for a year. More raspberries were added and after three months raspberry concentrate was blended. There is a strong fruit quality (surprise) and that puckering sourness I have come to know and love.
Lastly was the Duck Duck Gooze which is a blend of 1, 2 and 3 year old lambics (these lambics were not spontaneously fermented). Once this is blended, the brew spends one year aging in the bottle- I love me some bottle fermentation! There is not a fruity component to this beer, but a complexity that arises out of an age old process which should be respected and desired by all beer lovers. Duck Duck Gooze is going to be very limited, so if you can grab a bottle, please, send me one.
I know, we aren’t done yet? You do remember I said 5 courses, 15 beers, right? Well on to the last, the dessert, the stouts. At this point my mind wanders off, away from the delicious, chocolate, hazelnut dessert in front of me. I do recall a side of Angel Share ice cream made that day by the chef.
Paired with this wonderfully decadent dessert was Serpent’s Stout, Angel Share and the 2009 Older Viscosity. I have had all three of these beers, but they were better than ever. Serpent’s Stout, encounters both brandy and bourbon barrels during the brewing process. Notes from their website are spot on:
Pours dark and thick, with a creamy mocha-colored head and aromas of roasted malts, dark chocolate and french roast coffee.
Angel Share is a beast of a beer. It is finished in a brandy barrel for the Fall release and has a bourbon finish for the Spring release. You can taste the liquor, the liquor almost cuts right through the texture of this heavy, complex stout. I closed my night with Older Viscosity, one of my favorite stouts. If you all recall this is the salted pretzel doused in chocolate and dipped in liquor. Older Viscosity is aged for 15 months and is worth the wait.
So yes, this was to date, one of the best beer experiences. After I was full and slightly intoxicated (15 beers!), I had the chance to chat with Tomme Arthur, the man behind the magic. What stood out during our conversation is despite the undeniable fact that he is incredibly passionate about making quality beer, innovative beer, he wants beer to remain accessible. This beer dinner proved that Lost Abbey/Port Brewing beers span an entire spectrum of palettes and will show you the light. Thank you to Tomme Arthur for the insight into your amazing beer, the chef at Brouwer’s Cafe for creating masterpieces and to Ian for the last minute invite to this event. Not to be forgotten.