#pnwbeer – PorchDrinking.com
I’ve written before about Seattle’s best bottle shop, The Beer Junction, and how lucky I am to live in the same neighborhood so I can access their brilliantly curated selection and knowledgeable staff as frequently as I want. But earlier this year, The Beer Junction gave me and fellow West Seattle residents a new reason to appreciate their craft beer expertise in the form of Best of Hands Barrelhouse.
Going to the Great American Beer Festival, or GABF, is like going to another giant establishment with four letters: IKEA. If you don’t have a plan, things are going to turn out ugly. You end up with a shopping cart/stomach full of things you didn’t need, and because of your inability to resist the siren’s call you’re going to cover your home with all sorts of terrible colors.
Here at PorchDrinking.com we’re playing the Jedi to your beer Padawan, guiding you through the overwhelming forest of malts to beer nirvana. Our experts have selected a few noteworthy beers from their region that you need to seek out. So make a list, stick to the plan and do not be distracted by the beautiful celebrities. Here are seven great beers to try, all hailing from the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
We are in the midst of a craft beer revival in this country. The excitement and allure of the newest brewery or beer is tantalizing. However, this array of ever-expanding options can easily steal focus from the foundation of this revolution. One such brewery is Pike Brewing Company in Seattle. Pike Brewing was founded by husband and wife team Charles and Rose Ann Finkel in 1989. This October they will celebrate the brewery’s 30th anniversary.
One of the greatest pleasures in writing for PorchDrinking is the opportunity to introduce new breweries to PorchDrinking.com readers across the country. Today, we’re honored to introduce you to Stemma Brewing Co., a new brewery out of Bellingham, WA and their collaboration with Vancouver, WA-based Brothers Cascadia Brewing. This result, Chateau de Stemadia Brut IPA, weighs in with a 6.5% ABV and 15 IBUs.
It’s not every day that you get to taste a truly marvelous beer – a beer that defies expectations across flavor, aroma, body; that leaves you “oohing and ahhing” at every sip. Personally, when this happens to me, I feel the need to share it, to sing its praises. I send texts, take notes and, as demonstrated with this post, divulge all the details here on PorchDrinking. The Matryoshka, from Fort George Brewery, is such a brew – and is perhaps one of the best beers that Iâ€™ve been able to get my hands on this year.
What do you call these hazy IPAs that seem to be everywhere? This style goes by many names; NEIPA, Juicy IPA, Hazy IPA. But whatever you call these juice bombs it seems they’re here to stay and in full effect from coast to coast.
pFriem (pronounced “reem”) Family Brewers is a German and Belgian-inspired brewery in Oregon, a location where breathtaking views of the mountain and rivers make you wonder why you haven’t moved to the Pacific Northwest. Josh Pfriem devoted his career to learning as much as he could about crafting delicious beer and, in 2012, he achieved his lifelong dream of opening an artisanal brewery in Hood River with partners Ken Whiteman and Rudy Kellner. Today, they have several award-winning beers pouring from their taps along with a well-earned, loyal following.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
It’s hard to overstate the natural beauty of Washington state. The state is home to mountain ranges, temperate rain forests, desert plains, active volcanoes and other natural wonders that are so varied and abundant, you could easily spend every weekend of the year in a new terrain. Even from my home base of metropolitan Seattle, the closest mountains are less than 30 minutes outside the city and you can book a whale watching tour that leaves from downtown.
If you’re a beer drinker in Seattle, you’re a Holy Mountain Brewing drinker in Seattle. It’s as simple as that. Even in a city renowned for its thriving and creative craft beer scene, Holy Mountain effortlessly stands out thanks to a niche it has filled in the heavily-hopped Pacific Northwest market: Holy Mountain is your go-to for great Belgian styles, or any beer that has been flirting with mixed fermentations or barrel-aged ingredients. One of Holy Mountain’s latest releases, Afterswarm, is an ideal case-in-point.
Just like in any other city, Seattle has its fair share of beer celebrities. The electricity that craft pulses through this town, not to mention the quality of the drinks themselves, make it near impossible not to point and whisper when some of our favorite owners or brewers make cameos in their respective taprooms. So, when I sat down with Rose Ann and Charles Finkel, owners and founders of The Pike Brewing Company, and some of the original craft pioneers in Seattle, I couldn’t help but be just a bit starstruck.
It doesn’t take a lot for me to crave a beer. Has it been a good day? Let’s have a beer. A bad day? Let’s have a beer. It’s sunny out! Let’s have a beer. Oh no, raining again? Better have a beer. Needless to say, I’m easily convinced. But tell me that I’m drinking for a good cause? Well, then let’s have more than one, without a doubt. This is the case with Stoup Brewing’s recently released Mother of Exiles IPA, which benefits the Refugee Women’s Alliance as part of the Beer Trumps Hate campaign.
I’ve been drinking a lot of imperial stouts. Unlike most, I believe every season is stout season. Luckily for me it’s February and I don’t get flak for drinking a 12% Russian imperial stout. The proliferation of adjuncts to the market has been interesting. Brewers adding coffee, vanilla, cocoa, peppers, mint, you name it. While fun for the palate, I still prefer an adjunct-free stout. Let that malt shine, those chocolate and coffee notes should develop alone. One favorite is Cavatica Stout from Fort George Brewing.