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.
Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales. Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.
The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients. I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII. It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.
Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey. Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.
For a long time, the craft beer World was dominated by men. That may still seem like the case on the surface, but more and more women are discovering their love of craft beer and have become an important demographic. Unfortunately, the marketing we see aimed at women, even for craft beer, is often somewhat demeaning or degrading, perhaps suggesting that women will only like the lighter, sweeter, more easy-drinking craft beers offerings out there.
I can tell you from my own personal experience, including with my own wife (whose favorite styles are Belgian Ales, Scotch Ales and Stouts) that is definitely not the case. Girls Pint Out, a national craft beer organization for women, understands this. Their mission is to build a community of women who love craft beer and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community. They hold regular ‘Pint Night’ events at various locations and also host other special events.