Seattle certainly has its share of craft beer events and festivals. I’ve been to more than my fair share and I’m betting many of you have as well. Some of my favorite annual events take place at one of my favorite craft beer bars in the city: Brouwer’s Cafe. I first discovered Brouwer’s way back in 2005, the year they opened, and immediately fell in love. They have great, Belgian inspired food and always have a great tap selection – especially during events/festivals.
Brouwer’s has several great events coming up over the next month. It all kicks off with the 18th annual Hard Liver festival coming up this Saturday, February 29th and culminates with their 15th anniversary celebration on March 28th. Now I know what you’re thinking. How can this be the 18th Hard Liver fest but only Brouwer’s 15th anniversary? Not to worry. This is a logical explanation for this discrepancy. The first few years of the Hard Liver fest were held at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center, before Brouwer’s Cafe opened.
Barleywine season is almost here. The 15th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival is coming up next month at Brouwer’s Cafe and the 15th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal will happen at Beveridge Place Pub in March. With these and other barleywine festivals on the way, local breweries are working hard to get their 2017 barley wines ready to go.
To that end, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is just about ready to release their 2017 Old Birdbrain Barleywine, which has been a multiple award winner at the annual Great Alaskan Beer & Barleywine Festival. This year’s vintage will arrive this coming Friday, Jaunary 27th.
There seem to be a lot of high alcohol beers around lately. With Barrel Junction wrapping up at The Beer Junction (lots of high ABV, barrel-aged beers – a few are still on tap) and the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow right around the corner (starting this Thursday at Brouwer’s Cafe and running through the 14th at various locations), we really have to pace ourselves. That can be difficult to do, however, when even more high alcohol beers are right around the corner.
Each year, as Spring approaches, I look forward to the annual return of Barleywines from all around Washington State and all across the U.S. Two of the biggest and best local events for enjoying all those wonderful Barleywines are returning soon. I’m talking, of course, about the Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub and the annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe.
Pour, Pour, Pour – The Beers
(Sung to the tune of Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds)
♫ To everything – pour, pour, pour
There is a season – pour, pour, pour
And a time for every craft beer under heaven ♫
Right now it’s Winter beer season. And I couldn’t be happier with this year’s lineup of great Winter beers. There is just so much wonderfully dark, rich, woody, bourbony, delicious goodness out there with the likes of Hoppy Holidays & Hoppy The Woodsman (Schooner Exact Brewing), Winter Bock (Silver City Brewing), Creepy Monkey Bourbon Barrel-Aged Brown (North Sound Brewing), The Abyss (Deschutes Brewing), Bindlestiff (Naked City Brewing), Jolly Roger Christmas Ale (Maritime Pacific Brewing), Bifrost Ale (Elysian Brewing), Bourbon Barrel Abominable Ale (Fremont Brewing) and many, many more. For anyone who is a fan of these darker, often barrel-aged, complex and delicious Winter delights, this is a great time of year to be a beer drinker.
There are some great events coming up soon at Brouwer’s Cafe. Things get rolling tonight with Ninkasi Brewing Company at 6:00PM with, “Wait, I thought you guys just made IPA’s?” Here is some information on the brews from Brouwer’s Cafe’s website:
Ancient Aleiens-Deep mahogany hued and fermented with an Alt yeast strain, it has a clean toasted malt profile that finishes with a bright citrus and floral hop presence. This beer was conditioned on 80 pounds of Chocolate Nibs (from Theo Chocolates in Seattle) with the addition of Guatemalan Coffee (from Water Avenue Coffee in Portland). Ancient Aleiens has a deep dark cocoa taste up front that warms into a sweet coffee expression, finishing with a fruity hop aroma. Smooth toasted malt flavor balances the rich cocoa bitterness. It has the brown hue of iced coffee with a tan head. The coffee sweetens the beer in the middle, lending to nutty, caramel, and chocolate coffee flavors.
Hops: Nugget, Summit, Amarillo and Crystal.
2013 ReNEWale: E.S.B. – ReNEWale Extra Special Bitter has smooth caramel malt notes upfront and fruity esters contributed by the yeast. Kent Goldings and Northern Brewer Hops add a deep earthy and grassy hop flavor and aroma.
Hops: Nugget, Northern Brewer and East Kent Goldings
Sasquatch Legacy Wheatwine– A Wheat Wine is a Barley Wine strength beer that is made with a large amount of wheat in its grist. Wheat Wines are typically smoother than their Barley Wine cousins with the wheat exhibiting toasted, bready, and Bock-like malty richness. The Falconer’s Flight hops used for bittering are balanced with the earthy and grassy Willamette and Brewer’s Gold Hops. Elegant, full-bodied maltiness with a balanced finish, this is a big beer with a little bite!
Hops: Falconers Flight, Brewers Gold and Willamette
Also pouring will be Allies win the War, and ImperiAle Stout.