Here we are, smack in the middle of the Winter beer season. That means Stouts – big, bold, rich Stouts. I can enjoy a good Stout any time of year but, each February, Fort George Brewing Company out of Astoria, Oregon really brings the hits. Are you ready for this year’s Festival of Dark Arts and Stout Month?
As an added bonus, with this being a leap year, Stout month is a day longer this year. Fort George is taking advantage of that extra day and releasing more Stouts during Stout Month this year than ever before. Festival of Dark Arts tickets sold out in record time this year, so if you were fortunate enough to get one, I’m a bit envious. I’ll have to settle for drinking the Fort George Stouts that will make their way up to Seattle.
Back in late 2016, Firestone Walker Brewing Company announced, to the dismay of many craft beer fans, that they were discontinuing their Proprietor’s Reserve series of beers (which included their Opal Dry Hopped Saison, Double Jack IPA and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA). Since that decision, however, Firestone has been busy cranking out new beers at a furious pace by way of the Luponic Distortion Series as well as their Leo v Ursus Series.
I’ve really been enjoying the first three releases in the Leo v Ursus Series: Fortem (A worthy successor to Double Jack!), Adversus and Inferos. Now, Firestone Walker is set to bring back a classic. Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA has found new life as Wookus, the next beer in the Leo v Ursus Series.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company has two different series’ of IPAs going right now. First is the Luponic Distortion Series, which is currently in its 7th iteration (featuring Australian hops), and then, of course, they have the Leo v. Ursus Series. Both series take an experimental approach, and they allow Firestone Walker to be constantly coming out with something new and unique – which is the industry trend these days. Innovate or be left behind.
Luponic Distortion Revolution No. 007 arrived just last month and now, Firestone Walker is ready to bring us the next iteration in the Leo v. Ursus Series: Inferos. An unfiltered Rye IPA that’s absolutely jam packed with over 4.7 pounds of Galaxy (and other) hops per barrel, Inferos sounds like a rye loving hop head’s dream. I’ve always been a big fan of beers with rye in the malt bill and Inferos has an almost unheard of 25% rye in the malt bill. With all that rye and all those hops, this sounds like a beer I’ll really enjoy.
There are several breweries in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Most of them do great work but, for me, there are a few standouts who are head and shoulders above the rest. One of those standouts is Reuben’s Brews. They’ve earned over 100 medals at various competitions since first opening back in 2012 (quite an achievement for such a young brewery), and they make some of the best Rye beers I’ve ever had.
Now it’s time to celebrate those achievements in style. Coming up this weekend is Reuben’s Brews’ 4th Anniversary celebration. They’ll be tapping 25 different beers, including a brand new IPA dubbed Hopped off the Press!
If you’re a fan of Reuben’s Brews – especially their Rye offerings – then I’ve got some great news for you. Starting today, April 3rd, you can now get three Reuben’s Brews beers in 22 oz bottles: Roggenbier, American Rye and Imperial Rye IPA. Distribution for this initial run will be limited to Whole Foods Market (Lynnwood, Bellevue, Westlake, Roosevelt, Redmond and Interbay locations) and, of course, at the brewery.
Here is the full press release from Reuben’s Brews: