Back in late 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced, to the dismay of many craft beer fans, that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series of beers (which included their Opal Dry Hopped Saison, Double Jack IPA and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA). Since that decision, however, Firestone has been busy cranking out new beers at a furious pace by way of the Luponic Distortion Series as well as their Leo v Ursus Series.
I’ve really been enjoying the first three releases in the Leo v Ursus Series: Fortem (A worthy successor to Double Jack!), Adversus and Inferos. Now, Firestone Walker is set to bring back a classic. Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA has found new life as Wookus, the next beer in the Leo v Ursus Series.
Sometimes, saying goodbye to an old friend can be difficult. While selecting just one beer as my favorite is a virtually impossible task, I do have a few favorites for several different craft beer styles. Firestone Walker Brewing Company‘s Double Jack double IPA, for example, is on my list of favorite IPAs (double IPAs actually). Now, it looks like I’ll have to say goodbye to Double Jack and a few of his brothers. Read on to find out why.
Part of the reason I don’t have a single favorite beer or a large number of set favorites is that new craft beers come out at such a brisk pace these days. It seems you can hardly go a week lately without discovering one or more new beers on tap each time you visit your favorite craft beer bar or even some local breweries. Sure, there are some breweries out there who come out with their set list of beers and hardly ever change or introduce something new, but that approach can seem downright boring next to the plethora of breweries who are constantly coming up with something new. After all, craft beer drinkers are explorers. Most love trying new things, so we don’t tend to fall into the same rut as those who prefer mass-produced American Lagers like Bud or Miller.
We’re fortunate in the Seattle area to have lots of great craft bottle shops around where we can find our favorite craft beers and ciders, and discover new ones from breweries and cideries both near and far. One such bottle shop is Full Throttle Bottles.*
Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, Full Throttle is a specialty beer and wine (and cider and mead) store that manages to carry an impressive selection of craft beers, craft ciders, wines and meads for you to choose from, despite its somewhat small size.
I first told you about them back in February, when they were just ‘officially’ opening their doors. My early favorites were their Bad Wolf Dark Ale and their Kushetka Imperial Stout. A barrel aged version of Kushetka should be coming soon. In the meantime, however, Counterbalance has two more beer coming your way during Seattle Beer Week #7 (SBW#7). Get ready for Storm Cycle Cascadian Dark Ale, which Counterbalance brewed in collaboration with Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (who just hired their very first head brewer), and Counterbalance’s new seasonal Wheat Ale.
Cascadian Dark Ale is a relatively new craft beer style. The first ones stated showing up in the early 2000’s and, at the time, many of them were were referred to as a “Black IPA” – somewhat of an oxymoron (is it black or is it pale (the ‘P’ in IPA)?). Personally, I’ve always thought they should be called IBA (India Black Ale), since they are, essentially, a dark version of the traditional IPA (with some variations, of course), but that’s another discussion.
Regardless of what you call them, Cascadian Dark Ales (CDAs) have become a popular style across the Northwest and indeed the craft beer World at large and several local breweries make great examples of the style. One such brewery is Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), whose version was called the best CDA in the Pacific Northwest in 2013 by SIP Northwest Magazine. Making it’s return for 2015, Bellevue Brewing’s CDA will return one week from today on Thursday, February 19th.