Craft beer has always had a conscience and a desire to give back to the community. In my travels, I’ve been to countless craft beer events that also serve to benefit various charitable organizations and raise money for some worthwhile causes, etc. In that spirit, Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has teamed up with KZOK (102.5 FM) and Columbia Distributing to introduce KZOK Classic Rock Amber.
Set to release tomorrow, August 6th, this complex and hoppy Amber Ale will not only quench your thirst for delicious craft beer but also help benefit a number of different local charities.
We’ve been having a great Summer here in the Northwest. The long days and warmer temperatures have turned our taste buds on to the lighter, crisper beers of the season and it’s with this in mind that Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has released their first lager ever, a Bohemian Pilsner.
Perfect for those long Summer evenings and weekend barbecues, Bellevue Brewing’s own John Robertson believes it to be one of the best representations of the style that he’s ever tasted.
I’m a big fan of rye beers. I even dropped by the 3rd Annual Rye Fest at Reuben’s Brews‘ new brewery and taproom in Ballard during Seattle Beer Week. There’s just something about the taste of rye in an ale that really agrees with my palate. Some of my favorite Cascadian Dark Ales contain a little rye as well. I think it just helps smooth out the flavor profile.
That’s why I’m eager to try Rye IPA from Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it yet, but their description makes it sound like it’s definitely right up my alley.
The return of Spring in the Northwest brings with it a desire to enjoy more beers outside. This wonderfully warm and early Spring we’ve been having is beginning to turn my palate away from all those dark, silky, luscious Stouts and Porters and back towards the hoppy goodness of IPAs. I just want to sit out on a patio on a nice, sunny day and enjoy a pint.
Many of the IPAs I seem to enjoy the most are Double/Imperial IPAs, meaning they are both hoppier and higher in alcohol than most single IPAs. There’s something about that extra hop and alcohol punch that really agrees with my taste buds. Of course, there are other times where I still want the hops, but I want something lighter than I can enjoy more than just one or two of before having to stop. That’s where the ‘Session’ IPA (SIPA) comes in.
Often a Seasonal offering (though I did just recently tell you about Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack, which is now available year round), Session IPAs are more prevalent in the Spring and Summer months. Now, Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is set to release their Session IPA.
Are you feeling Irish yet? Everyone has a bit ‘o the Irish in ’em on St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately it’s on a Tuesday this year so, if you’re usually one to overdo it a bit on St. Pat’s, you’ll have to try to control yourself a bit, especially if you have to work the next day. Or will you? Read on.
Traditionally, and contrary to popular modern belief, St. Patrick’s Day is not primarily about drinking. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. It’s that ‘celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general’ that leads people to think that, since the Irish have acquired a bit of a reputation or rather stereotype as a people who really enjoy drinking.
The stereotype isn’t necessarily wrong. According to 2012 figures, annual beer consumption is 98.3 liters per person in Ireland. The only countries with higher figures are Poland, Estonia, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The U.S. is farther down the list with an average of 77.1 liters per person.
I enjoy a good Wee Heavy Scotch Ale when I can get one. The rich, malty and slightly smoky/peaty full flavor doesn’t agree with everyone but, when they’re made right, Scotch Ales are quite delicious. The problem is, not a whole lot of local breweries make a Scotch Ale with any regularity. One of my favorites from breweries in the Northwest is Fat Scotch from Silver City Brewing Company out on the Olympic peninsula. It’s especially good when you can get the more rare Fat Woody Scotch (bourbon barrel aged).
Another locally made Scotch Ale that’s very high on my list is the one from Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), which also comes in a more rare bourbon barrel aged variety. Unfortunately, it’s not quite bourbon barrel time yet (in bottles at least – the bourbon barrel aged version is on tap at the brewery right now but won’t be for long!), but the regular version of Bellevue Brewing’s Scotch Ale will be making its return in bottles on February 20th. This is one of Bellevue Brewing’s flagship beers (meaning that it’s always on tap at Bellevue Brewing), and the only flagship beer they bottle seasonally. Their other seasonally bottled beers include their Rye IPA and their Winter Ale (Summer & Winter, respectively).
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.
I’m quite a fan of Scotch Ales. Granted, I’m a major hophead and think that single, double and even triple IPAs are still my favorite overall style. However, when I’m in the mood for something more on the malty side, Scotch Ale hits the spot; particularly ‘Heavy 70’ or ‘Export 80’ Scotch Ale for you beer geeks out there. My favorite locally-brewed Scotch Ales are Fat Scotch & Fat Woody from Sliver City Brewery, Scotch Ale from Bellevue Brewing and, of course, Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor).
So, how do you take an already delicious Scotch Ale and make it even better? Barrel age it! That’s what Silver City does for their Fat Woody Scotch Ale, and that’s what Black Raven has done with Splinters: a bourbon barrel aged version of their Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale.
Penumbra: “(Definition-a partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination) – AKA the darkness that defines the silver lining.”
We’re fortunate here in the Northwest to have a plethora of craft beer festivals and events; far too many to name them all here. You can usually find at least one craft beer-related festival or other event going on somewhere around the Sound just about every week/weekend of the year (and often, far more than just one). We also have a few notable music festivals in town but, so far, nobody has successfully combined both types of events into a single beer and music festival that does justice to both the beer and the music. Penumbra is here to change that.