Ninkasi Brewing Company out of Eugene Oregon puts out some excellent craft brews, including several different IPAs. I really enjoy their Total Domination IPA and Tricerahops Double IPA, as well as their Hop Cooler Citrus IPA; and don’t forget about their Maiden The Shade Summer IPA, which I told you about just last week.
With Summer right around the corner, Ninkasi has decided to pull together a few of their most popular IPAs into the Summer IPA Variety Pack. An easy way to please the hopheads in your life, this variety pack will include four different Ninkasi IPAs: Total Domination, Dawn Of The Red, Beer Run and Hop Cooler.
Spring is in full swing in the Northwest and Summer is right around the corner. While I’m still enjoying plenty of tasty Stouts and Porters, the warming weather out there has begun to turn my palate back towards the hoppy beers of Spring and Summer. Ninkasi is preparing to satisfy that hop craving with the impending return, and new look, of their popular Maiden The Shade IPA.
Dubbed a ‘Summer IPA’ by Ninkasi, Maiden The Shade boasts a combination of eight different hops and flaked barley for a smooth finish. It will be available at Ninkasi and on craft beer store shelves wherever Ninkasi beers are sold starting on May 1st.
It seems these days, there’s a ‘National’ day of… well, just about anything. We’ve got National Rotisserie Chicken Day (June 2nd), National Golf Lovers Day (October 4th), heck there’s even a National Day The Music Died day. It can be difficult to keep track of all those ‘National’ days out there but, if you’re a craft beer lover like me, there’s only a few you have to worry about.
One of the big ones that should be on your radar is National Beer Day, which takes place in just over one week on Friday, April 7th. Breweries and craft beer bars around the nation will be celebrating, and I’m here to tell you about a few selections coming your way from Elysian Brewing Company for this special day, as well as the return of a Seasonal favorite: Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale.
Time for a short history lesson. Benjamin Franklin (who lived from 1706 – 1790) is often credited with the quote: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” Unfortunately, he never said it. For one thing, the word ‘bacteria’ wasn’t first used until the year 1881. For another, I happen to believe there’s just as much wisdom in beer than there is in wine.
In any case, perhaps that’s where Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) got part of the inspiration for one of their most popular beers: Wisdom Seeker Double IPA, which makes it’s annual return this coming Friday, March 10th.
Last year, I told you about a new Spring Seasonal from Pike Brewing Company: Hive Five – a tasty collaboration between Pike Brewing Company and Salish Lodge & Spa. Salish has 120,000 honey bees that live in their apiaries, which produce 600 pounds of superb and local honey every year. Pike’s brewers use this honey to brew Pike Hive Five.
After last year’s release, Hive Five was so popular that Pike has decided to bring it back year-round. Starting now, you’ll be able to pick up Hive Five year-round in cans at Pike Brewing Company and your local craft beer retailer.
I’m a fan of all different styles of craft beer, but I think my two favorite styles are barrel aged Stouts and IPAs (actually, double IPAs). So, whenever I hear of an impending barrel aged Stout release, I get a little excited.
Unfortunately, since I’m currently doing a dry 30 days (no alcohol from January 26th to February 25th), I won’t be able to enjoy the latest Alta Series release from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) until this Saturday. For the rest of you, however, drop by The Woods today when they open their doors at 3 pm and grab yourself a few bottles of Fall Line Russian Imperial Stout. They’ll also have it on tap for you to enjoy.
I hear a lot of people saying, now that President’s Day (or ‘Not My President Day’ depending on who you talk to) and the rest of the holidays are behind us, they just want Spring to get here. I can relate. This Winter hasn’t bee too harsh, but I’m definitely ready for more sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Many breweries are getting into that Spring frame of mind too, as they prepare their Spring releases/Spring Seasonals. To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is happy to announce the impending release of their latest IPA (which they’ve created specially for Bartell Drugs): Spring Break Key Lime IPA.
Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate. Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher. I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company. They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet. Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.
If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider. Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint. Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.
Back in early 2015, I first told you about the debut of Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s coffee-forward aroma and flavor are the perfect marriage of two quintessentially Seattle flavors: coffee and craft beer. Available seasonally from late Winter through Spring, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale is low in acidity and subtly sweet.
For this year’s iteration of Cold Brew, Two Beers has partnered with Seattle’s own Anchorhead Coffee. According to Two Beers’ founder, Joel VandenBrink: “Their unique roasting process and the flavors that shine through make this beer one of our favorites, and perfect for everything from brunch to backpacking.”
Is it too early to start thinking about Spring? I know we’re still in the middle of Winter right now, but it hasn’t been too horrible this year and who knows what news the groundhog will have for us this Thursday (Groundhog Day is February 2nd). At Pyramid Brewing they’ve been doing a bit more than just thinking about Spring and earlier this month they announced the release of their Spring seasonal, Triangulate Citrus Pale Ale. Dry hopped with Lemondrop™ hops and real lemon peel, Triangulate brings us Spring a bit early this year.
Also arriving now from Pyramid is their limited time Brewer’s Reserve Railroad Avenue, which will be available from mid-January to late April. An Imperial Porter, Railroad Avenue uses deep roasted malts and roasted barley with dashes of vanilla, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. According to Pyramid: “Railroad Avenue is a big, malty brew that conducts the palate to a nicely spiced, mildly sweet finish.”