Summer is waning and Fall is drawing closer each day. That must mean it’s Fresh Hop time! Each year, when it’s time for the hop harvest up in Yakima Valley, many local craft breweries prepare to brew their annual Fresh Hop beers – loaded up with fresh-picked hops right off the vine.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) prides themselves on always being the first local brewery each year to debut their Fresh Hop IPA, and this year is no different. They held their annual hop picking party, and brewed their Fresh Hop IPA back on August 9th. By next week it will be ready to serve, and Two Beers is welcoming it with a Fresh Hop IPA release party on Wednesday, August 23rd.
Each year, as Fall approaches in the Northwest, it’s hop harvest time. That can only mean one thing: Fresh Hop IPAs are coming. Most beers are brewed using kilned or dried hops, usually in the form of compressed hop pellets. Fresh Hop or Wet Hop beers, on the other hand, utilize fresh, un-kilned hops straight off the vine. This allows them to retain all of their natural oils (some of which can be lost or reduced during the kilning/drying process), and impart a more Earthy and natural character to the finished beer.
When brewing a Fresh Hop Ale, the hops must be utilized with 24 – 48 hours after picking to ensure freshness. Any longer and they’ll start to become soggy and begin to develop mildew and rot. So, when the season arrives, you’ll see plenty of trucks from local breweries making day-trips up to the Yakima Valley to procure their fresh hops for brewing.
Every year, when certain craft beer styles return to taps and bottle shop shelves, you know the seasons are changing. We’re finally coming out of our long Northwest Winter and Summer is right around the corner. I can tell not only by the calendar on the wall, but by the return of certain beers. One of those beers, which heralds the arrival of longer days and warmer nights is Day Hike Summer Ale from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
Light and crisp, Day Hike Summer Ale is the perfect accompaniment for all of your Summertime outings. Coming in at just 4.1%, it won’t weigh you down or make you feel like you’re ready for a nap. Bring some to your next BBQ or while you’re out hiking, climbing, kayaking, cycling or however you like to fill your Summer days and nights.
I’ve always been an advocate for Seattle’s South end breweries. Living in the South end myself I, of course, spend a lot of time at these places and enjoy seeing them succeed. A couple of years back I penned an article with some great reasons to visit Seattle’s South end breweries and, earlier this year, I told you about the newly formed South Seattle Brewery Coalition.
Aging Stouts in Whiskey barrels is nothing new. Breweries have been doing it for years and indeed Whiskey and Bourbon barrel aged Stouts are some of my favorites. This time, however, things went a bit in the other direction. 2bar Spirits used the actual mash bill from Counterbalance’s Kushetka Imperial Stout to produce this particular Whiskey, then aged it for 2 years in 2bar Whiskey barrels.
Summer is almost here. It may not officially start until June 21st, but things are warming up out there and we’re starting to see other signs of Summer’s return as well. For example, the return of Lima Loca Mexican Lager from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
This Summer-inspired brew returns this year as pat of Two Beers’ new Pub Series and even has a brand new look. It will launch next Tuesday the 2nd with a Taco Tuesday release party from 3 pm – 9 pm at The Woods taproom (the shared taproom for Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company), and will even be available in three limited-edition infusions: Raspberry Lima, Agave Rosemary Lima Shandy and Coconut Lima.
SEATTLE (April 17, 2017) – Pyramid Brewing Co. today debuted an invigorated brand aesthetic and experience encompassing an expanded line of canned brews, the addition of Outburst Citrus IPA to Pyramid’s year-round line-up, all-new packaging and revamped digital channels across its website and social media.
The new branding for each beer is pictographic and shares the story of its ingredients by paying homage to iconic Pacific Northwest (PNW) sceneries with a bold color aesthetic. For example, Outburst Imperial IPA’s new label art celebrates the iconic Mt. St. Helens near the brewery’s founding home in Kalama, Wash. and Hefeweizen celebrates classic Pacific Northwest scenery of a tree-lined mountain lake. The bottom of 6-pack carriers will have a call-out to fans to share their adventures with Pyramid. Whether exploring mountain lakes and coastal beaches, walking orchards in Hood River County Fruit Loop, smelling the aroma of hop fields in Yakima and Willamette Valleys, or sipping brews at Pyramid Alehouse before a baseball game, these scenes honor the region’s beautiful surroundings and represent Pyramid’s brand ideals of adventure, curiosity and discovery.
Spring has finally arrived in the Northwest and that means, of course, the return of baseball. For the past few years, I’ve kept you up to date on what delicious craft beers and gourmet food choices you can expect to find each Seattle Mariners season at Safeco Field.
Well, it’s that time again and I’ve been invited back to check out some new offerings for this year’s menu. Ethan Stowell has, once again, partnered with Centerplate and the Seattle Mariners to bring you some amazing creations including: Seattle ‘Wings’ (Taylor Shellfish Farms fried oysters with Frank’s RedHot sauce), authentic Oaxacan chapulines (toasted grasshoppers with chile-lime salt seasoning), and frozen custard cookie sandwiches.
Pyramid Brewing Company was one of the first breweries I ever visited in Seattle, before I even moved here from California back in ’98. In those days there were far fewer breweries in Seattle. In fact, I’m not sure any of my current favorite Seattle breweries even existed back then. So Pyramid has been playing the game for years now, and they still have a few new tricks up their sleeve.
Today Pyramid is pleased to announced the limited release of their new H7 IPA. This unfiltered, imperial offering joins their new Brewer’s Reserve Series which, so far, only includes H7 and their Super Snow Cap, which I told you about just last November.
I’m a fan of all different styles of craft beer, but I think my two favorite styles are barrel aged Stouts and IPAs (actually, double IPAs). So, whenever I hear of an impending barrel aged Stout release, I get a little excited.
Unfortunately, since I’m currently doing a dry 30 days (no alcohol from January 26th to February 25th), I won’t be able to enjoy the latest Alta Series release from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) until this Saturday. For the rest of you, however, drop by The Woods today when they open their doors at 3 pm and grab yourself a few bottles of Fall Line Russian Imperial Stout. They’ll also have it on tap for you to enjoy.
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.