About- Katelyn Pelak
The collaborative spirit of the craft beer industry has long been one of my favorite topics to cover, so I was ecstatic to learn about the first-ever Washington Beer Collaboration Festival put on by the Washington Beer Commission. The two-day festival featured 25 collaboration beers from 50 different Washington breweries and celebrated the collaborative and creative culture among Washington brewers. I attended the inaugural festival on a sunny Saturday afternoon and sampled about half of these unique brews. Read on for some of my favorite concoctions from this innovative festival.
6.8% ABV | 67 IBU
West Seattle Brewing Company is one of the quieter breweries in the Seattle area, but that doesn’t make it any less quintessentially Seattle. The brewery, which reopened after renovations last summer, offers a coffee bar for early morning commuters, 18 taps, and a kid/dog-friendly space that has been called “West Seattle’s living room.” To top it all off, the Seattle Sounders 2016 schedule has a permanent location at the entrance of the bar. West Seattle Brewing truly offers the unassuming, laid back experience that Seattle breweries are known for, complete with plentiful options, friendly staff, and – most importantly – delicious beer.
ABV 5.5 | IBU 18
Seattleites take a lot of things for granted – gorgeous mountains, delicious beer, quality food options at every price point – but one unique benefit of Seattle that I had to discover for myself is the accessibility of Hawaii. The first time I booked a trip to Hawaii and realized that there were direct flight options from Seattle to multiple Hawaiian Islands, I thought I had uncovered a secret vacation destination. As it turns out, everyone was in on the secret but me, including two of my close friends who got married in Maui a few weeks ago. The wedding was lovely and the island was beautiful, but I’m here to write about the beer. To my delight, the bride and groom planned a post-wedding day-drinking session at Maui Brewing Co., so in honor of their marriage and my nostalgia for Hawaiian sunshine, this showcase will focus on the wedding party’s collective favorite beer from that day, the Mana Wheat.
ABV: 5.2% | IBU: 18
Though all of us Seattle Porchdrinkers like to think that great beer is Seattle’s most popular exported beverage, there is one Seattle drink that may beat even beer in terms of reputation and recognition, and that drink is coffee. As the home of Starbucks, Tully’s and many other roasters, Seattle’s coffee industry rivals its beer industry for options, quality and appreciation. In acknowledgment of the popularity and similarity of the two industries, Two Beers Brewing Co. created the Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale.
ABV: 9.9% | IBU: 26
Even in a beer-crazy neighborhood like the Ballard area of Seattle, Hale’s Ales stands out as a symbol of the early craft beer revolution. Mike Hale, the brewery’s founder, opened Hale’s Ales Brewery in 1983 and the brewery has been a staple of Pacific Northwest brewing ever since. In the sea of Ballard’s microbreweries, growlers, and flannel shirts, the large Brewery and Pub that has served as Hale’s Ales home base since 1995 suggests a permanence that promises to outlive last winter’s mustaches, this year’s beards, and whatever new facial fashions are donned by Ballard’s trendy, beer-loving residents in the years to come. That is why the Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is a great topic for today’s review – the beer is a magnificent representation of the boldness, the longevity, and the stoutness of the Hale’s Ales institution.
The holidays are the time to enjoy exceptional food, delicious beers and your favorite people – so why not combine all three this year? We’ve compiled the Ultimate 6er for holiday dinner party beer pairings, so break out your tastiest recipes and throw a party!
ABV 6.7% | IBU 62
One of the great things about living in a beer-forward city like Seattle is the beer fluency of the entire city. Virtually every person in the area can carry on a conversation about beer styles and the relative virtues of one brewery over another without prompting, guaranteeing that a diverse set of opinions is just a conversation away. It’s in this way that I discovered the Schooner EXACT 3-Grid IPA.
ABV: 5.8% | IBU: 44
No, it’s not your GABF hangover playing tricks on your eyes, you read the title of this article correctly: Guinness is releasing an IPA. A Nitro IPA to be exact. PorchDrinking was invited to a pre-release tasting on the Nitro IPA’s three-week tour around the U.S. to sample the beer and get a little history lesson on the origins of the Guinness widget, the brewery, and the IPA style of beer itself.
Looking for the perfect beer to bring to a Labor Day cookout (or any other Labor Day activity)? I’d like to introduce you to the Conviction Pale Ale from BridgePort Brewing. Read on for a one-minute review in which I quickly make my case for the perfect Labor Day beer.
ABV: 10.3% | IBU: 45
When I found myself alone in San Francisco for a night after a conference, I did what any good PDer would do and took myself to the nearest beer bar. I ended up at the Mikkeller Bar, which had rave reviews for its unique draft list and boasts “the Perfect Pour” thanks to its gas blending system. After scanning the 40-plus draft options, I chose the Cellarmaker Imperial Coffee & Cigarettes Porter from the San Francisco-based Cellarmaker Brewing Co. Nothing else seemed as appropriate in a dark San Francisco bar on a Wednesday night.
When I wrote the original Ultimate 6er for 2016 Presidential Contenders list, there were only four confirmed presidential candidates across the political spectrum. To my delight, 15 candidates have announced since then, making it high time for a second round of the Ultimate 6er: 2016 Presidential Contenders.
Biking culture, for the uninitiated, can be a very daunting subject to master. From practical information such as how to fix a flat, to the huge array of options for bikes, tires, saddles, and shoes, there’s a seemingly limitless amount of knowledge that one needs to acquire before purchasing a bike, let alone joining a group ride or a biking brewery tour. Fortunately, despite the many rules that simultaneously shadow and support the popularity of the sport, Peddler Brewing Company has figured out how to create a space that caters to cycling novices and connoisseurs alike. I stopped by the Ballard brewery to check out their new beer garden and have a glass of their flagship On Your Left IPA.
Reuben’s Brews was one of the first breweries I covered when I began writing about craft beer and has always been one of my favorite taprooms to visit, so I have happily monitored their rapid growth into a well-recognized force within the Seattle craft beer scene and beyond. Reuben’s opened in August 2012 but, thanks to a delicious and award-winning rotating beer list, they reached brewing capacity within six months. This lead the team at Reuben’s to begin looking for a location in which to expand their operations two years ago, and they opened the doors to their new, spacious brewery and taproom on May 9 of this year. I stopped by the brewery to pay homage to my roots as a craft beer writer – and to sample one of their rotating brews, the American Brown.
Average Reading Time:[est_time]
We still have a long, expensive, and amusing campaign season ahead of us before the 2016 presidential election, so I thought it would be wise to make sure we’re all aware of which beers pair best with each candidate’s shenanigans. I think you’ll find that each of the beers in this list will have its own time and place to be enjoyed in the next 18 months as the as the pool of candidates grows, fights with itself, and ultimately shrinks to a few shrewd (or lucky) frontrunners. So read on for the only source of political news you’ll need today, the Ultimate 6er for 2016 Presidential Contenders.
As I write this showcase, it’s a Sunday night, I’m behind on work, and my flight to a conference leaves in about six hours. Given those realities, it’s not really surprising that I’ve reached for a bomber of Iron Horse Brewery’s Mocha Death to sooth my nerves. The thought of coffee, chocolate, and dark beer wrapped into one promises to calm my frazzled mind and besides, bottles with skulls on them are always more appealing.
I know what you’re thinking, but no, I did not choose to write about Elysian’s Loser Pale Ale because it’s from Seattle and the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl and everyone is (still) talking about how Pete Carroll made the play call that lost it all… But now that you mention it, my choice of beer does allow me to draw some interesting comparisons between the Anheuser-Busch acquisition of Elysian Brewing and the Super Bowl.
If you’ve been to the Founders taproom – particularly on a Monday for $3 pint night – in Grand Rapids, MI, you know it’s a lively, friendly place. Chalkboard beer lists hang over the long wooden bar that’s almost always packed with people jostling to get closer to the rotating taps. Outside on the deck, tables and benches are organized around large fire pits that enable guests to enjoy their beer outdoors even during harsh Michigan winters. The Founders taproom is, in fact, my favorite place to visit and catch up with friends and family when I return to my hometown for the holidays. On a typical trip, I spend at least one night each weekend in the comforting arms of my favorite brews like the namesake of this article, the Founders Porter. It’s a plan that works well, as it enables me to combine my favorite people with my favorite brewery.
Friendsgiving: the greatest excuse for you to binge eat, binge drink and binge watch the NFL with all of your closest friends in a single day. It’s also a great day for your friends who are amateur cuisiniers to demonstrate their skills while those of us who can barely cook noodles properly get to benefit from their endeavors.
I first met the team at Reuben’s Brews in early 2013 at their brewery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. At that time, they had already finished brewing their 50th batch of beer and they had been open for about six months. This is an impressive and important feature of Reuben’s Brews, as well as a very good reason to find their beer next time you’re in the Seattle area. Brewmaster Adam Robbings prioritizes giving his customers as many options as possible on the brewery’s twelve taps and brews in smaller batches in order to keep the recipes true to form. The emphasis on taste and the drinker’s experience has resulted in a plethora of awards and recognition for the family-owned brewery, including 15 medals at the World Beer Championships since opening in August 2012.
Since I couldn’t attend GABF this year, I decided to do the second-best thing and write about it. Today I’d like to introduce you to Pyramid Breweries’ Apricot Ale, the 2014 GABF Gold Medal Winner in the Fruit Wheat Beer category.