One of the best things about the cold, dark days of Winter are all of the dark, delicious Stouts that come along with it. Sure, you can drink a good Stout anytime, but Fall and especially Winter are when our palates seem to turn more towards the dark side and crave all those deep, rich, coffee/chocolate/roasty and often barrel-aged flavors that a good Stout provides.
February is Stout Month and Fort George Brewery is ready to celebrate with a full month of events and beer releases. Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to Oregon for some of the Traveling Carnival Of Stouts events. They’ve planned 5 events for Washington Fort George fans as well.
Just a couple of years ago, beers from Melvin Brewing Company out of Wyoming started appearing in the Seattle area. Being a big fan of hoppy beers as well as strong beers, I was immediately drawn to Melvin’s offerings, which satisfied both of these cravings quite nicely. I can recall drinking quite a bit of their Melvin IPA and, of course, their extremely popular 2X4 Double (some might say triple with its 10% ABV) IPA.
Fast forward now to 2017 – just a few months ago. Melvin Brewing decided it was time to expand and opened their first brewpub up in Bellingham on June 3rd. I visited them a few weeks after their opening but had to plan my day out carefully, because Melvin’s Bellingham location wasn’t set to open until 4 pm. That’s about to change. Starting on Monday, August 14th, Melvin Brewing Bellingham will start opening at 11 am and serving lunch.
Melvin Brewing Company out of Alpine and Jackson, Wyoming brews some pretty tasty beers. Since they began distribution in the Seattle area in early 2016, I’ve come to really appreciate several of their offerings. The two of their beers people around here are probably the most familiar with include their wildly popular 2×4 Imperial IPA and, of course, last year’s 3-Way IPA (brewed in conjunction with Fort George Brewing Company and Barley Brown’s).
First launched in 2009, Melvin took off quickly and gained high praise from the brewing industry, including a 2012 Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their 2×4 Imperial IPA (among other awards). Now, they’ve launched a 3rd location, and their first full-scale brewpub, right here in Washington State. Opened in Bellingham on June 3rd, Melvin’s brewpub offers 20 taps (including one rotating guest tap) and a full menu.
A few years back, IPA fans in Washington were dismayed to discover that Russian River Brewing would no longer be distributing their beers to Washington State. That meant no more Pliny The Elder or Pliny The Younger for Washington (among many other great Russian River beers). That drought of Pliny (and the over-the-top clamoring for it during the years when we could still get it here) led many Washington breweries to start crafting their own Triple IPAs.
The first two Triple IPAs I recall seeing, which were intended partly as a joke due to the insanity surrounding Pliny releases, were Big Time Brewing Company’s ‘Whiny The Complainer’ and Naked City’s ‘Cry Me A River’. Super strong and over-the-top hoppy, I was an instant fan of both. Since that time, more and more Washington breweries started crafting their own Triple IPAs and soon after the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow was born. That first year, just 14 Washington breweries participated.
This week, Pfriem Family Brewers is set to make a big splash in Washington. Hailing from Hood River, Oregon, Pfriem is a Belgian-inspired brewery that opened its doors in July of 2012. Head brewer and Washington native, Josh Pfriem, was a brewer at the award-winning Chuckanut Brewery when they first opened back in 2008 and, since opening, Pfriem Family beers have been receiving accolades for their delicious, Belgian-inspired Ales. Until now, Pfriem beers have been confined to Oregon alone, but they will be making their first several appearances in Washington State this week.
Starting tomorrow, March 12th, there will be a Pfriem Family Brewers event every night until the 18th: four in Seattle, two in Bellingham and one in Tacoma. With this many events lined up, you have no excuse to not come and give Pfriem a try.