Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

Something’s fishy in Olympia! June 24, 2011

Attention vegetarians, vegans, and lovers of all things organic: Have I found the brewery for you!

Located in downtown Olympia, WA Fish Brewing Company has been crafting beer since 1993 beginning with its first brand, Fish Tale Ales. The Brewery is housed in the historic Skoog Building which once housed the Olympia Knitting Mills. The building is beautifully adorned with murals making it very hard to miss. In 2001, Leavenworth Biers began brewing under Fish’s roof and in 2004 Spire Cider joined the group. At the turn of this century, Fish began brewing their Organic line of beers.

Located directly across the street is the Fish Tale Brew Pub serving Fish’s entire line of beers and ciders, and the food is to die for! The décor is simple and a little retro. They even have a “living room” where you can grab a book off the shelf and enjoy a brew. But first things first; let’s talk about the Organic line of Fish brews.

Organic Blonde (4.0% ABV) – What a pretty beer for summer! Gorgeous golden color and delicious honey, wheat and floral taste really put a smile on my face. The Blonde is nicely balanced and Glacier hops and a dab of rye gives this light bodied brew
just the right touch of citrus and spice.

Organic Wild Salmon Pale Ale (5.0% ABV) – This lightly hopped gem has a beautiful caramel color and orange blossom aroma.  Yakima Cascade hops and 4 organic malts balance this ale very nicely and it finishes crisp and clean. Yum!

Organic Amber Ale (5.0 % ABV) – The first of the Fish Tale Organic line, the Amber Ale is sweet, malty and smooth with a lovely hint of hazelnuts. Fish creates this lovely amber using 3 different malts and Hallertauer hops.

Organic India Pale Ale (6.7% ABV) – As many of you know by now, my hubby is a “hop head.”  Well, needless to say this brew was his favorite. Dark honey in color this IPA has a beautiful hoppy aroma and taste thanks to New Zealand hops. There is a slight sweetness and wonderful clean finish. I really enjoyed this IPA.

Fish Brewing also has an incredible menu with homemade, organic dishes and uses nothing but the freshest ingredients. They even make their own sausage!

Hubby asked me which Organic beer was my favorite. I could not give him a definite answer because they were all amazingly good! Fish Brewing Company crafts the freshest, cleanest beer I have ever enjoyed and it is quickly becoming my favorite brewery in Washington State.





The Great White North Hits The Lower 48! June 13, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Canadian Beer,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer — pnwbeerchick @ 10:57 pm

One of the perks of being the PNW Beer Chick is that I occasionally get a chance to sample upcoming or newly released beers.  Last week I was given a sample of three of Canada’s very own Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Style beers and the opportunity to join in a virtual tasting. It was loads of fun sampling the brews while chatting live via webcam with the brewmaster himself; Graham Kendall.

Alexander Keith emigrated from his native Scotland to Nova Scotia (“New Scotland”) in 1817. In 1820, he started up Keith’s Brewery at the tender age of 25. The brewery has been running continuously ever since making Alexander Keith’s one of the oldest breweries in North America.  Just recently Anheuser-Busch began brewing three of Alexander Keith’s beers; the Nova Scotia Style Lager, Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale, and the Nova Scotia Brown Ale, while Alexander Keith’s Canadian beers will continue to be brewed in Nova Scotia.  Alexander Keith’s is now available in 22 states in the United States.

So how’s the beer?

Nova Scotia Style Brown Ale (5.4% ABV): Dark brown color and strong honey nose. This brown beauty is full-bodied but not too heavy. The Brown ale is sweeter than I expected with caramel notes and a slight toasty finish. Not bad.

Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale (5.4% ABV): I was a bit disappointed with this beer. I enjoy hoppier pale ales and this one was just too weak for the PNW palate. There were a few floral notes and a soft wheat flavor, but this pale ale resembled a Budweiser more than a pale ale. Bummer.

Nova Scotia Style Lager (5.4% ABV): My favorite of the three was the lager. This beer is dark honey in color and has notes of caramel and wheat. Crisp and clean this lager is a great spring/summer beer.

While I enjoyed the virtual tasting, I have to be honest and say that these beers are good, but I don’t think they will appeal to the  PNW beer enthusiast. I’m a sucker for tradition and legacy but I’m afraid Anheuser-Busch is producing something that resembles a product they already brew. I hope Alexander Keith’s continues their long legacy in Canada and wish them the very best of luck in the U.S.!




doing cartwheels for somersault! June 6, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew,New Belgium Brewing — pnwbeerchick @ 8:58 pm

Ah, the beauty of summer! Sunshine, warm weather, blue skies, picnics, shorts and t-shirts…oh wait, I live in the PNW. Well, the
calendar may say we should be hitting summer, but the weather in the Pacific Northwest is dictating otherwise. Leave it to New Belgium Brewing to bring that summer feeling to even the gloomiest of regions! Somersault is that little bit of liquid sunshine.

With a beautiful dark golden color and lightly hopped aroma, Somersault immediately pleases two of the five senses. Centennial and Cascade hops create a sweet yet citrus flavor. New Belgium then sneaks a touch of
apricot, ginger root and oats into the mix creating an elegant, smooth, fruity beer.  Somersault is 5.2% ABV and medium bodied so you can enjoy this beauty all summer long.






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