Pyramid Brewing Releases Berry Tart IPA

As my regular readers well know, I’m quite the hophead and I love a good IPA. I’m sure at least some of you out there are serious hopheads too, but do you have a favorite IPA sub-style?  What I mean is, do you prefer regular, straight up, West Coast style single IPAs, Double/Imperial IPAs, New England style IPAs, White IPAs, Black IPAs, Red IPAs, Belgian IPAs, etc?  Most of my favorites are Double/Imperial IPAs and I’ve also enjoyed many of the New England style IPAs we’ve been flooded with lately, although I am starting to grow just a bit weary of the haze (thankfully, it’s usually not too difficult to find a non-hazy IPA on tap).

What about tart IPAs?  Have you ever had one?  They were called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by All About Beer Magazine back in April of 2016, though I’m not sure they’ve quite lived up to that level of hype.  I’ve only had a few myself, the most recent being Passionate Clouds from Skookum in Arlington, WA.  They can have a juicy quality without necessarily including fruit (though some do), thanks to late hop additions and sometimes dry hopping. Their tartness is somewhat comparable to that of a kettle sour but not so tart as to obscure the hop character.

Pyramid Brewing Company wanted to get in on the tart IPA scene, so they’ve taken one of their most popular beers: Outburst IPA and turned it on it’s head. Outburst Berry Tart IPA is loaded with hibiscus, cranberries and black currants to provide a crisp tartness that should be a real thirst quencher as Summer approaches.

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Black Raven Releases Kitty Kat Blues In Cans

Do you like a good pale ale?  Do you like blueberries?  Do you like vanilla?  How about hibiscus?  Now, what if you combine all of these things together and then can them?  The result would be Kitty Kat Blues Pale Ale in cans from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).

Kitty Kat Blues is not a new beer. Black Raven has been making it for years, but this is the first time ever they’ve put it into cans. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a change in the recipe.  Prior to using hibiscus, Kitty Kat Blues got some of it’s unique and distinct flavor from the use of catnip in the recipe.  Yes, catnip.  I’m not certain why Black Raven has swapped out the catnip for the hibiscus.  The photo for the can release event on Facebook even still uses the old label – which clearly shows catnip as an ingredient, but I’m curious to try this new iteration.  Kitty Kat Blues in cans arrives this Friday, 3/16 at 3 pm.

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Hive Five Returns In Cans Year Round From Pike Brewing

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.

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Kitty Kat Blues Joins Black Raven’s Year Round Lineup

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Back in 2009, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) introduced one-off Cask beer that was brewed with vanilla, blueberries and a slightly more unusual ingredient: Catnip.  Their press release below says it was called Kitty Kat Blues but I can also recall a version (which you can still get) of Kitty Kat Blues mixed with Trickster IPA – called Tricky Kitty.

The combination of ingredients worked well and, despite it’s slightly unusual description, Kitty Kat Blues has become one of my favorite Black Raven beers.  Until now it’s been a seasonal offering, so it wasn’t always available when I wanted one.  Now that’s all changed.  This Friday, March 3rd Kitty Kat Blues joins Black Raven’s stable of year-round  beers during a Cat Shirt launch party.

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Firestone Walker Brings Easy Jack Back Year Round

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The ‘Session’ IPA has become a popular style for hopheads who sometimes want a lower alcohol brew, so that we can enjoy more of them in an afternoon without getting too sloshed or being ready for a nap.  I have a few local favorites (including Trailhead ISA from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Son Of Birdserker from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor)), however both of these beers are Seasonal and not available year round.

The same was true of Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack Session IPA when it first arrived last Summer.  Due to its popularity, Firestone actually ran out of the hops needed to make this tasty brew.  To ensure that won’t happen again, Firestone’s own Matt Brynildson traveled to Germany last year to secure the necessary supplies of the hops he’d need.  As a result, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is now set to offer Easy Jack Session IPA year round.

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