Ninkasi Brewing Company out of Eugene Oregon puts out some excellent craft brews, including several different IPAs. I really enjoy their Total Domination IPA and Tricerahops Double IPA, as well as their Hop Cooler Citrus IPA; and don’t forget about their Maiden The Shade Summer IPA, which I told you about just last week.
With Summer right around the corner, Ninkasi has decided to pull together a few of their most popular IPAs into the Summer IPA Variety Pack. An easy way to please the hopheads in your life, this variety pack will include four different Ninkasi IPAs: Total Domination, Dawn Of The Red, Beer Run and Hop Cooler.
Spring is in full swing in the Northwest and Summer is right around the corner. While I’m still enjoying plenty of tasty Stouts and Porters, the warming weather out there has begun to turn my palate back towards the hoppy beers of Spring and Summer. Ninkasi is preparing to satisfy that hop craving with the impending return, and new look, of their popular Maiden The Shade IPA.
Dubbed a ‘Summer IPA’ by Ninkasi, Maiden The Shade boasts a combination of eight different hops and flaked barley for a smooth finish. It will be available at Ninkasi and on craft beer store shelves wherever Ninkasi beers are sold starting on May 1st.
Time for a short history lesson. Benjamin Franklin (who lived from 1706 – 1790) is often credited with the quote: “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” Unfortunately, he never said it. For one thing, the word ‘bacteria’ wasn’t first used until the year 1881. For another, I happen to believe there’s just as much wisdom in beer than there is in wine.
In any case, perhaps that’s where Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) got part of the inspiration for one of their most popular beers: Wisdom Seeker Double IPA, which makes it’s annual return this coming Friday, March 10th.
Last year, I told you about a new Spring Seasonal from Pike Brewing Company: Hive Five – a tasty collaboration between Pike Brewing Company and Salish Lodge & Spa. Salish has 120,000 honey bees that live in their apiaries, which produce 600 pounds of superb and local honey every year. Pike’s brewers use this honey to brew Pike Hive Five.
After last year’s release, Hive Five was so popular that Pike has decided to bring it back year-round. Starting now, you’ll be able to pick up Hive Five year-round in cans at Pike Brewing Company and your local craft beer retailer.
Many of the commercial ciders on the market today tend to be too sweet for my palate. Measured on a scale called Brix, many of those ciders come in at a Brix rating of 4, 5 or even higher. I think that’s why I enjoy so many of the ciders from Seattle Cider Company. They keep their ciders low on the Brix scale, which means they aren’t as cloyingly sweet. Their Dry cider, for example, is 0 (zero) Brix and their Semi-Sweet cider clocks in at just 2.6 Brix.
If you’re also a fan of ciders that stay a bit more on the dry side, then you’ll be excited to learn that Seattle Cider Company is ready to bring back their Spring Seasonal: Basil Mint Cider. Coming in at 6.9 ABV and just 1.8 Brix, this Spring Seasonal starts off with a base of 100 percent fresh pressed Washington apples, accompanied by 100 pounds of fresh basil and 100 pounds of fresh mint. Muddled on site, the basil and mint are then added directly to the cider during fermentation, providing savory and floral characteristics and a clean finish.
Back in early 2015, I first told you about the debut of Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s coffee-forward aroma and flavor are the perfect marriage of two quintessentially Seattle flavors: coffee and craft beer. Available seasonally from late Winter through Spring, Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale is low in acidity and subtly sweet.
For this year’s iteration of Cold Brew, Two Beers has partnered with Seattle’s own Anchorhead Coffee. According to Two Beers’ founder, Joel VandenBrink: “Their unique roasting process and the flavors that shine through make this beer one of our favorites, and perfect for everything from brunch to backpacking.”
Payette introduced themselves to the Seattle market with their Rustler IPA, North Fork Lager, Rodeo Rye, Pistolero Porter and 12 Gauge Imperial Stout. They were warmly received with events at various locations throughout the city, including Toronado and The Sixgill. Now, they’re back to announce that their Recoil IPA has joined their year-round lineup and is now arriving in cans.
Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company. This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.
Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time. As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores). Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.
Schooner Exact Brewing Company has been busy lately. In addition to keeping the great beers and delicious food flowing at their 1st Avenue South location and their recent attendance at the 2016 American Craft Beer Experience Japan in Tokyo, they’ve also been busy with their latest expansion (including a new kitchen, restaurant, bar and, of course, more brewing space). You can see a few photos of the remodel work on their Facebook page.
You can tell Winter isn’t far off at Schooner Exact, when they release Hoppy The Woodsman, which arrived just last month. Now, with the first day of Winter just over two weeks away, Schooner Exact is ready to release their Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter this coming Thursday.
Ivar’s is a Seattle icon. They’ve been around since 1938, which is a good 30 years longer than I’ve even been alive. When was the last time you stopped by Ivar’s to enjoy a few drinks and some delicious seafood – especially their award winning Chowders? My wife and I hadn’t been for a visit in quite a while, but stopped by the Salmon House on NE Northlake Way, my favorite Ivar’s location, just last week.
The drinks were great and the food was as good as I remember. I also love the look of the Salmon House. The did a major remodel on the bar about three years ago, and the results are fantastic. If you haven’t been by that location since the remodel, you should check it out.
If you need a good excuse to drop by Ivar’s, I think I can help you with that. Coming up this Thursday, December 8th, Ivar’s is hosting their 6th Annual Northwest Winter Beer Tasting at their Acres of Clams location on Alaskan Way from 6 to 9 pm.