I hope you enjoyed our white Christmas. If nothing else, it provided us with proof that Winter is indeed here, and Winter means Stout season. There’s been a virtual flood lately of big, dark, bold and barrel-aged Stouts. Have you been stocking up your cellar with them like I have?
Even though I love all those rich, heavy barrel-aged Stouts (and Porters), sometimes that 12% – 14% ABV can be a bit daunting to face – especially if you’re trying to down a whole 22 oz bottle by yourself. So perhaps it’s time for a stout that’s a bit more approachable. Arriving this Friday, and clocking in at just 6%, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is releasing their Feather Weather Mocha Stout.
As I mentioned in a few articles earlier this week (the return of Ground Control from Ninkasi and today’s release of Overhang from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor)), barrel-aged season is back. I just loves all those thick, dark, woody, bourbony releases that start flowing this time of year, and now Pike Brewing Company is getting in on the act.
Arriving tomorrow, Friday, November 3rd (which also happens to be International Stout Day), Pike will be releasing their 2017 Pike Entire Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. Aged for four months on Woodinville Whiskey bourbon barrels, Pike Entire is rich with chocolate and espresso flavors and clocks in at 9.9%
Last night my wife and I were fortunate to attend a special beer-pairing dinner at Urbane, located in the Hyatt hotel at Olive 8 in downtown Seattle. It was a preview of a few of the new dishes Urbane will be adding to their Fall menu, all expertly paired with beers from Seattle’s own multi-award-winning (over 30 awards received so far in 2017 alone) Reuben’s Brews, one of the fastest growing breweries in Washington State with production set to increase by more than 50% this year over 2016.
The dinner was hosted by Urbane’s Executive Chef, Brian Pusztai and Reuben’s Brews was represented by brewery rep, Conrad Hermosillo. Brian, Conrad and a few other members of the Urbane chef’s team greeted us upon our arrival and we prepared ourselves for a 3-course tasting menu by getting to know each other a bit while snacking on a very tasty cheese and charcuterie board.
Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company. This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.
Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time. As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores). Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.
I love this time of year. I may be a serious hophead (I’ve been in hop-lovers Heaven this fresh-hop Season), but I think most of my favorite craft beers are still dark beers. When Stout, Porter and Winter Lager season rolls back around, you’ll always find me with a big smile on my face.
Well, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is helping me out with that Winter beer smile. Just two weeks ago they releasedGrandfather Raven Imperial Stout. Last week they brought usFrost Beak Winter Lager and now, set for release this coming Saturday the 5th, is their Gunpowder Plot Nitro Porter. Brewed to commemorate Guy Fawkes Day, Gunpowder Plot is rich and complex. Brewed with bourbon-soaked coffee beans and cocoa nibs and served on Nitro, its a true pleasure to the palate.
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.
Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away and that means romance, fancy dinners, jewelry, stuffed animals and, of course, chocolate. However, don’t go for that same old boring heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolates. That’s boring. Instead, why not satisfy that chocolate craving by getting local and indulging your love of great craft beer?
Starting this coming Saturday, February 6th and running through Valentine’s Day on the 14th is The Beer Junction‘s 4th Annual Chocolate Beer Week. All week long, the taps at the Junction will be flowing with chocolaty beers of every variety. Most will be Stouts and Porters, since those styles lend themselves so well to the use of chocolate, but there will be other offerings as well.
It’s really pouring out there, but I’m not talking about the weather. It’s raining craft beer events; enough to keep your liver plenty busy between now and the arrival of Spring. Get you calendar out, because I’m going to tell you about 8 local craft beer festivals and other events coming your way between now and March 20; the first day of Spring, 2016.
Most of these upcoming events are free to attend. The amount you’ll spend only depends on how many beers and how much food you decide to purchase. The other two are ticketed events, where you’ll want to get your ticket(s) in advance to make sure you can attend.
(Please note – this is not a comprehensive list of ALL local events happening between now and March 20th. I’m merely highlighting some of the events I think my readers would be most interested in.)
The time has come once again to “Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) can’t think of a reason either so, back once again for 2015, is their Gunpowder Plot Nitro Porter. Releasing tomorrow, November 5th, of course, this coffee, cocoa and bourbon-infused ale comes in at 6.9%.