We’re finally feeling the weather changes here in Northern California. It’s beautiful, and my favorite time of the year. Not only because of the crisp air, but because it’s now barleywine season. Don’t get me wrong, I can drink barleywine anytime of the year; however, it’s difficult to find someone to crush the strong stuff with in the middle of summer.
I attended the 25th annual barleywine festival at Toronado in San Francisco a few weeks ago. 50 taps flowing, sweaty bodies crowding the bar, and the smell of future hangovers filled the room; I was in heaven. Soon I was sampling with other malt enthusiasts. A ton of great and not-so-great examples of the sweet stuff were tried, but one was particularly delightful.
7 Seas Brewing Cascadian Dark Ale has been one of the premier representations of the Black IPA style within the Pacific Northwest for quite sometime, however it was only recently that this fall gem was packaged for the first time.
Named “Boobytraps” with inspiration coming from the 80’s PNW cult classic film about kids searching for treasure, this Black IPA style beer starts off with nuances of orange marmalade fleeting across the palate. Then a wave of pine and sticky resin comes rushing through with a restrained bitterness and a touch of roasted coffee. From beginning to end this one is velvety smooth.
A few weeks ago, on a cloudy Seattle Friday night, dozens of beer fanatics flooded the basement of the Pike Brewing Company in celebration of the establishment’s 29th Canniversary. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the taproom and restaurant, guests mingled amidst the brewery’s fermenters and bottling lines – sipping away on the quintessential Pike brews and slurping down oysters from the Puget Sound.
Readers of PorchDrinking.com, I’d like to introduce you to Seattle’s pale ale. That’s right – in the city with the most craft breweries in the entire country, known for pioneering brewers and enthusiastic hopheads, I’m daring to single out one brew as Seattle’s illustrative pale. Please raise a glass and introduce yourself to Manny’s Pale Ale from Georgetown Brewing Company.
Everyone has a favorite brewery, or a few of them. If the stars ever align and those breweries get together and brew a collaboration beer, then that’s about as good as it gets for a beer lover. In this case, …
If you’re not familiar with Holy Mountain Brewing out of Seattle, then this beer, The Ox, will motivate you to change that. This barrel-aged saison is brewed with orange zest and Cascade hops, fermented in oak barrels (drooling). I had the pleasure of trying some of their brews for the first time recently and was floored by both the innovation of their brewing and quality of beer, particularly this saison.
Beer: one of America’s staples. One of the biggest, most popular industries in our beloved country. When you think of beer, you think happy hour, late nights with friends, summer nights, fall nights, unwinding after the kids go to bed or maybe even visiting one of your local establishments to find something new to taste. When I’m joining in on any of those festivities, I think about finding a beer that will satisfy my never-ending quest for delicious beer. I don’t care which craft brewery I get my beer from; I just care that it’s good, and that it was made with the hopes that the craft beer world would enjoy it.
Does anyone else feel like mere mortals when walking into an iconic brewery? We put these places on pedestals because it’s more than beer; it’s an art and art should be praised and marveled. Fort George Brewery is one of those places in the Pacific Northwest, having created an epic name for themselves in the town of Astoria, Oregon. A lovely way to celebrate the brewery and its home city is with its City of Dreams New England Style Pale Ale.
Come for a drive with me. It will only take two hours or so. We’re leaving Seattle – taking I-90 out of town, going east. Within half an hour or so we’ll hit the majestic Cascade Mountains – one of the countries’ most expansive ranges, stretching from Northern California all the way into Canada. It’s home to some pretty famous volcanoes – Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens if we’re naming names. But we’re not stopping in the Cascades. We are pushing onward, for another hour, until we cross into Eastern Washington. It’s a vastly different landscape than the wet, lush, rainforest on the other side of the state. Here it’s dry, arid and almost desert-like. A beauty that’s starkly different, but no less beautiful, than the Cascades that we’ve just driven through. Within a few minutes, we’ll hit Yakima – our final destination. Why are we going to Yakima, you ask? It’s an obvious answer this time of year: It’s hop harvest.
If you love Seattle’s craft beer scene, you love Chuck’s Hop Shop—it’s as simple as that. Chuck’s Hop Shop, which has two locations in the Emerald City, has gained a reputation for being the fan-favorite, no-frills watering hole and bottle shop for craft beer fanatics. It’s where you go for an incredible and ever-rotating selection with dozens of beers on tap and hundreds of bottles available to go as well as knowledgeable and approachable bartenders that are eager to give recommendations on what brews simply cannot be missed. As a result, Chuck’s has cemented itself as a pillar of the Pacific Northwest craft community in the four years since its founding.
Pilsners tell the truth about a brewer’s acumen and prowess as there is no place to hide within pilsners; many beer connoisseurs rely on pilsners as a litmus test for a brewery’s overall quality. If beer styles were musical compositions, then pilsners would be the Inventions and Sinfonias of Johann Sebastian Bach. And trust us when we say that discerning beer lovers want to give pFriem Pilsner a careful listen.
Here at PorchDrinking.com, we ran a series in August titled “the OGs of Craft Beer,” in which we featured classic or well-known beers that have helped to define and grow craft beer culture throughout the country. One beer featured in our series was Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Ales, a beer born in 1990 when the craft beer wave was in its infancy. Rogue Ales, established in 1988, is one of the true OGs of craft breweries and we’re proud to be featuring them today.
It was the summer of 2009. Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow was blasting on pop radio, the Lakers had just beaten Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals and for the first time in my college life, I wasn’t going home to Montana for the summer. It was also the summer that I had Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Hefeweizen for the first time and that summer I fell in love with craft beer.
Rogue Ales & Spirits Dead Guy Ale first emerged in 1990 during a special November 1 Dia de los Metros (Day of the Dead) celebration at Casa U-Betcha, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Portland, Oregon. For the rest of us, the beer came into our lives in 1994 during the Clinton Administration, the first season of Friends, and 14 years before Facebook arrived. Nevertheless, even after its nearly 25 years of roaming the craft world there’s nothing dead about Dead Guy Ale.
The beer received an extra boost in early 2017 when Rogue decided to can the beer for the first time and update its label artwork. Indeed, the beer has grown so iconic that one will not find the name “Dead Guy” anywhere on the cans because most every drinker knows the beer simply by the Dead Guy imagery.
It is summertime in Seattle – and in consequence, the city has, collectively, fled to the nearest patio from their non-air-conditioned apartments in search of a brew that can quench summer cravings. With the heat climbing steadily and the days continuing to seem never-ending, we Seattleites are all in need of something light, something delicious, something sustainable – nothing too strong. Luckily, Stoup Brewing has answered the call with their Loral Dry-Hopped Sour.
In case you missed it, glitter beer is a thing. Glitter beers are typically brewed with edible glitter dust – fine grains of glitter made from sugar-based compounds. Matchless Brewing in Tumwater, WA is the latest Washington brewery to venture into this trend. Their Built to Spelt with Glitter NEIPA is a delightfully flavorful interpretation that goes above and beyond the expectations of a simple trendy beer. It’s a juicy, fruity mouthful of liquid pizzazz.
Guy Fieri may be an unconventional catalyst toward opening a successful brewery, but when a video store manager and a truck stop bartender marry and open a restaurant in Washington’s capital, you may as well expect the unexpected. So when Nathan and Sara Reilly’s restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2013, they decided to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame — Three Magnets Brewing was born, and Big Juice Smoothie was not far behind.
It was quite possibly the best night of my life. What could have been better? I, and roughly 200 other Fremont Brewing fanatics, had been invited to the Heron Hunting Club’s annual get-together. The event, which I would argue is the best beer event in the city, had it all. We were being fed by James Beard award-winning Chef Edouardo Jordan of Salare and JuneBaby, taste-testing and purchasing some of Fremont’s most hard-to-get beers, and witnessing the metamorphosis of the brewery’s Frelard location. The space, which had been a packaging and brewing facility just a few hours beforehand, could now pass for a palace. Chandeliers dangled from the ceiling, vintage furniture and rugs awaited us in every corner, and Broadway-worthy props were found at every turn. Again – what could have been better?
A handful of weeks back, on a quintessential Seattle spring evening, dozens of Fremont Brewing’s most loyal and ardent patrons gathered at the brewery’s Frelard facility location in celebration of the Heron Hunting Club’s annual event. The event, which is rightfully hailed as one of the best in Seattle’s craft scene, is a chance for Fremont fanatics to mingle with the brewery’s staff, experience incredible bites from famed Seattle chefs, and perhaps most importantly, stock up favorite Fremont beers that the brewery releases from their cellars for the occasion. As one of the lucky fans that was in attendance for the Heron Hunting Club get together, I was not going to let this rare shopping opportunity slip away. I left with a plethora of beers that, to this day, has me giddy – one of those brews being The Lamb, a 2016 saison that was the first brew from Fremont’s Fermentation Lab series.
Love can be complicated, but those complications are usually worth one’s while. Fort George Brewery managed to capture love in a can with From Astoria With Love, their Russian Imperial Stout. I knew I had to get this beer from Oregon back to my home in Florida. Luckily, the airport in Portland had a couple of cans left, so now is a good time to share this bliss with you.