We may be well into Winter in the great Northwest (Dang it’s cold out there!), and that currently has me deeply engrossed in lots of dark, rich, roasty, chocolaty, delicious Porters and Stouts – especially the bourbon barrel aged variety, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy the occasional hoppy and satisfying IPA. A hophead like me can never go too long without one. In fact, I think I’ll make my next one a Double IPA just for good measure. I like ’em strong and quite hoppy. I’d have a Triple IPA, but they’re a bit more difficult to track down this time of year. That will change, however, in just a few short months.
Last February I told you about a unique new series of events dubbed the Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow. It was a celebration of the relatively new and still unofficial style, the Triple IPA. Featuring 12 different breweries and spanning 5 events around the Sound from Lynnwood down to Tacoma, the Roadshow was a great way to explore this strong and hop-heavy style of craft beer. Well, the Roadshow is back for 2014 with more breweries, more events and even more Triple IPA goodness.
There are plenty of IPAs out there. So many that I’ve lost count of all the different IPAs I’ve sampled over the years. India Pale Ale is probably the number one most popular craft beer style out there and you’ll have no problem finding an IPA (or several) on tap at just about any craft beer bar out there and at most craft breweries.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) already makes several different versions of India Pale Ale including: Trickster IPA, Wisdom Seeker Double IPA, Son Of Birdserker Session IPA, Nothing But Flowers Session IPA, Beak Tweaker Citrus IPA and Birdserker Triple IPA. Even so, according to their latest announcement, Black Raven believes “The World needs another IPA! (Not really but we brewed one anyway.)” So, set for release today, December 23rd, Black Raven brings us Prototype IPA.
Now, a few more events are coming up fast at these popular Seattle craft beer spots. Do you like strong beers. Do you like imported beers? Do you like Foie Gras? Do you like beers from The Bruery? Do you like multi-course beer pairing dinners? If you answered yes to any of these questions then keep reading, because I’ve got information on a few events coming up later this week (and next month) that you might want to check out.
We’re fortunate here in the Northwest to have so many great craft beer events. With so many breweries and craft beer bars (not to mention Seattle Beer Week and the plethora of other craft beer festivals that take place throughout the year), the number of events happening each week and indeed almost every day is just amazing. It’s gotten to the point where you, quite literally, have to pick and choose because, sometimes, two (or more) events are happening at the same time on opposite ends of town.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining by any stretch of the imagination. As I said, we’re fortunate to have so many great events to choose from around here, and one place in particular that does a great job of hosting craft beer events is Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle (which also just won Pub Of The Year (WA) from Northwest Brewing News). Did you know that they have some type of craft beer event every single Thursday? Be sure to check their events page regularly, so you always know what events are coming up.
Odin Brewing Company first launched back in December of 2009, but have grown quickly. Their mission of creating not just a few large, single-batch beers but instead focusing on brewing beers that pair well with different foods has served them well. Most of Odin’s beers are available year round, with just a few special limited/seasonal releases like Equinox Dark Belgian Strong Ale with Brettanomyces yeast or Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout.
Odin originally had two locations: the brewery itself in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood and Odin’s Tap Room, Asgard Tavern, in Fremont. What many people may not be aware of, however, is that Odin has been in the process of moving their entire operation to their new location in Tukwila, WA, just outside Southcenter Mall and right next door to California Pizza Kitchen (you can even order pizza from CPK while you’re enjoying a few pints at Odin, and you’ll find a few Odin beers on tap at CPK!)
Airways Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) out of Kent, WA makes a few different styles of Stout. The two you are probably most familiar with are their Chocolate Stout (rich, roasty and made with cocoa nibs and baker’s chocolate) and Maylani’s Coconut Stout. You get just one guess as to the special ingredient in that one.
Now, returning for its third year, Airways Brewing is set to bring back Final Departure Imperial Stout. This year’s version, however, will have a special twist. It’s been aged on coffee beans from Rad Roasting Company which, in turn, were aged in whiskey barrels from Bainbridge Organic Distiller.
Breakside Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon makes a wide variety of beers. I’ve had their Wanderlust IPA many times, but haven’t really explored the rest of their offerings too much. I’ll have to make sure I visit them the next time I make a trip down to Portland.
Now, with Winter bearing down on us, Breakside felt it was the right time to release their new Winter Seasonal: La Tormenta, a dry-hopped sour ale. There will be a special release party on December 5th at Bottleworks.
Each year, Brouwer’s Cafe put on some of Seattle’s best and most anticipated beer festivals. With Hop Fest, the Hard Liver Barleywine Festival, Sour Fest, the Back In Black Stout Fest as well as other festivals (for example: the Hop Mob Triple IPA Road Show), they’ve got a festival to cover just about every beer drinker’s taste (unless you’re a Bud drinker, in which case you’re out of luck). I was about to say that one of my favorite festivals is coming up at Brouwer’s, but I can’t say that. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have a favorite; I really do love them all. I’m a hophead at heart but I enjoy all beer styles, so I always find plenty of beers I truly enjoy at each one of their festivals.
Now, with December upon us, it’s time for Brouwer’s 8th Annual Big Wood Festival. This festival features all beers that have been aged in barrels or on wood chips. I’m a huge fan of wood aged beers, especially bourbon barrel aged stouts, so I’m really looking forward to Big Wood (as I do each year). As I said above, I can’t really pick a favorite festival at Brouwer’s Cafe – but they can.