When I first got into craft beer, I was a big fan of Amber or Red ales. Two of my favorites were Boont Amber from Anderson Valley and Red Tail Ale from Mendocino. Unfortunately, these days, Red Ales are often relegated to the background; pushed out of the way by many in favor of IPAs, Stouts, Porters and (more and more these days) even sours styles.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people branching out more. I just wish I’d see people ordering Red ales a bit more often. I’m a fan of Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s Dawn Of The Red India Red Ale and now, another popular Red Ale is making its return from Ninkasi: Believer Double Red Ale.
Back by popular demand, Believer joins Ninkasi’s Seasonal Release Series available late December through April. This release of Believer Double Red Ale will also benefit three different non-profit organizations. A portion of all Believer sales will be donated to Conscious Alliance, Team River Runner, and Women Who Code through our Beer is Love program. Your votes will help determine how the donations are allocated.
Ninkasi Brewing Company has been quite busy this year. They just celebrated their 10th Anniversary and, earlier this year, they started rebranding their flagship lineup of beers. Now, it’s time for their popular Stout, Vanilla Oatis, to get the rebranding treatment.
As the rebranding of Vanilla Oatis gets under way, Ninkasi will also be retiring the original Oatis, which has been a year-round offering but will begin to phase out as Vanilla Oatis takes it’s place.
Do you dominate the outdoors and perpetuate better living in an inspiring way? Many Ninkasi Brewing Company fans do, so Ninkasi is pleased to announce: “Team Total Domination.”
According to Ninkasi: “Team Total Domination is a crew of explorers, adventurers, professional athletes and artists who we think totally dominate. No matter the season or terrain, you’ll find this bunch out in the wild, doing what they love. We’re thrilled to be a part of the action and share a few beers along the way.”
Have you been getting out and enjoying that sun? Despite a slow start, Seattle Summer is here and that means IPAs. Most craft beer drinkers I know enjoy a good IPA any time of year, but when the temperatures rise and that sunshine beckons, who can resist a delicious IPA out on the deck or patio?
Choice is never a problem with IPAs. We have more IPAs to choose from here in the Northwest than most beer lovers could ever hope for. So there’s never a shortage of new, hoppy, delicious IPAs to try. Now, Ninkasi is increasing your selections by one and adding their Citrus IPA, Hop Cooler, to their Flagship Series, making it available year round.
Today, Monday May 16th, is day number 5 of Seattle Beer Week #8, which means we’re about halfway through. Things kicked off last Thursday at Reuben’s Brews with the official tapping of the first keg of the official Seattle Beer Week beer: Daily Pale, followed by the opening night pub crawl. I had to drop by Reuben’s, of course, for the kickoff and then found my way to Beveridge Place Pub for stop #3 on the crawl.
As craft beer drinkers, we see a lot of different beer labels. Some of them are rather plain, while others can be quite fancy and artistic. They are all unique in one way or another and each one tells a story of sorts, giving you at least some hint of what to expect from what you find inside the bottle.
With their 10 year Anniversary coming up this Summer, Ninkasi Brewing Company has decided that it’s time for an update to the labels for their Flagship beers. It’s an update they feel better represents the personality behind each brand, with each new label telling a bigger visual story.
Fall has indeed returned to the Northwest and yes, Winter is on the way. One reason I don’t really mind the return of the cold, wet weather too much is that, along with it, return some of my favorite styles: Winter Seasonals, Imperial Stouts and Holiday Ales. While I may be a hophead at heart, my palate gets a decidedly seasonal craving for stronger, darker, maltier, wood-aged and even spicier beers around this time of year.
Belgium. It’s Nirvana for craft beer lovers who enjoy all the different Belgian style beers. Belgian beers are so popular, in fact, that countless U.S. breweries brew various Belgian styles as well (and many of them do a damn fine job of it). Having never been to Belgium myself, I only know the Belgian beers we’re fortunate enough to get here, either in the bottle or on tap, but I’d love to take a trip there someday.
If you’ve never been to Belgium either, but would love to make the trip, Ninkasi Brewing is giving you your chance. They’ve partnered with Zephyr Adventures to offer a beer trip to Belgium this September dubbed: “Over the Pond: Belgium Bound with Ninkasi Brewing Company.” The trip will feature 7 days and 6 nights of travel lead by Zephyr tour guides and accompanied by Ninkasi founding brewer and co-founder, Jamie Floyd.
Back in 2008, a few friends (including Ian Roberts, Matthew Younts and Mike Baker) were wandering around the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and realized how many of the great beers they were seeing there were from the Pacific Northwest. That simple realization became the spark that helped them decide Seattle needed its own annual celebration of all things craft beer. Less than a year later, Seattle Beer Week was born.
Kicking off in 2009, Seattle Beer Week (SBW) has grown steadily each year. This year there are well over 300 different events, spanning 11 days. That’s incredible. The first Seattle Beer Week that I attended and covered was the 3rd annual, in 2011. That year, there were fewer than 200 total events – still a very respectable number for such a young festival.
With so much going on over the 11 days of Seattle Beer Week, from May 8th to May 18th, you’ll want to take a little time to look over the complete list of events on Seattle Beer Week’s website, and decide which ones you’d like to attend. If you’re entertaining notions of attending every single event, you can abandon them now. Unless you have the ability to teleport and/or replicate yourself, as well as the ability to drink more beer than any human being would likely be able to consume safely, then you’re pretty much out of luck.
Last night I attended a tasting event for four new beers from Ninkasi Brewing out of Eugene, Oregon at Olaf’s (formerly the Copper Gate) in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Probably known best for their Flagship Series of beers: Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA and Oatis Oatmeal Stout (and Vanilla Oatis) – and of course their Seasonal Series release: Sleigh’r, Ninkasi wants to bring more attention to some of their Special Release Series, Prismatic Series and Single Hop Series offerings.
The venue selected for this tasting, Olaf’s, is… uh… interesting to say the least. I never made it there when it was still the Copper Gate, but I have seen some photos. If you know the place, then you know about the Viking Ship-shaped bar and the vagina-shaped entrance to the ‘Pussy Lounge’. The old ship bar is gone, replaced with a more traditional style bar top, but the vagina door and the Pussy Lounge remain. Decked out with plush red velvet booths and big screen TV on one side, and 5 pinball machines on the other, the Pussy Lounge is a quirky little place to hang out and enjoy a few drinks and snacks. The Juicy Lucy burger and the corn dogs are popular choices.