If you’re a craft beer drinker in the Seattle area, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been to Elysian Brewing Company. They have three brewpub locations around the city: Capitol Hill, Tangletown and Elysian Fields down by the stadiums, as well as their new Elysian Bar down on 2nd Avenue downtown. If you ever make it to Georgetown, then you’ve also likely seen their big production brewing facility down on Airport way, where they have held their Great Pumpkin Beer Festival for the past few years.
Founded in 1995 by Head Brewer and Founder, Dick Cantwell, CEO and Founder, Joe Bisacca and Founder, David Buhler, Elysian Brewing has grown to become one of Seattle’s largest and most respected craft breweries. They brew several iconic beers that are well known around the Puget Sound and indeed across the country. Now, Elysian prepares the latest release in their ‘Dick’s Picks’ Series: Knock On Nelson Wood Aged IPA.
Here is some more information about this beer from Elysian Brewing Company:
Knock on Nelson, the latest in Elysian’s Dick’s Picks series of favorite old and new beers, has been a long time coming, and for us, like Admiral Nelson himself, it’s a real pioneer. Knock on Nelson is the first beer to be aged in one of the foeders we acquired a year or so ago and have since been prepping for eventual use in our fledgling sour program. Hold on a minute–Knock on Nelson is not a sour beer–it’s a wood-aged IPA–but it has undoubtedly picked up a bit of a tang due to its residence for several months in a wooden tank once used to age the Cabernet Sauvignon of a majorly venerable California winery which for the moment shall remain nameless. We certainly wouldn’t want you to blame them if you don’t like it (though we hope you will).
Like the beers that down the line will be coming from the foeders, Knock on Nelson is a blend. We started with a Nelson Sauvin-heavy IPA of fairly straightforward construction. Pale, Munich and Cara-Vienne malts went into the grist, and then lots of Nelson Sauvin was used to finish and dry hop, and after fermentation into the foeder it went. Then, after several months, as time took its toll and wrought changes on the beer–some soaking into the wood and some evaporating by the slow and inexorable process that is wood aging–we found that some topping up was required. After some taste trials we decided that about 10% Space Dust was just the ticket. The fierce Amarillo and Citra finish brightened up the aged IPA just a bit, combining Northwest citrus fruitiness with the more tropical passion fruit and mango notes of the New Zealand hops.
Knock on Nelson picked up a fair amount of wine character during its time in tanks previously used to age Cabernet, and after the scraping and reconditioning undertaken by cellarmaster Dan-o Beyer, there’s some wood character on display as well. It’s a richness beyond what most IPAs generally show, and the brightness of the hops remind you what element in this beer is boss. It’s already poured at the Portland Winter Beer Festival, but you can check it out in all the Elysian pubs and here and there wherever Elysian beers are distributed.
I’m a big fan of IPAs and also a big fan of wood aged beers. However, you rarely see the two combined in a single style. I’ll have to drop by Elysian soon and have a pint or two. Knock On Nelson is available on tap only, so if you’d like to try some you’ll have to drop by one of Elysian’s locations. Also, be on the lookout for it anywhere else you can find Elysian’s beers on tap.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.