Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

For those of you serious about the craft beer industry,….. March 24, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Craft Beer Trade,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,WA — pnwbeerchick @ 9:51 am

   I received this publication from Valerie Chapman-Stockwell of Central Washington University.

                                                                                  

CWU’s Craft Beer Trade Certificate Responds to Industry Needs

March 24, 2012

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University is one of a very small number of universities in the nation to offer an academic program about beer. The Craft Beer Trade Certificate is open to individuals 21 years or older who are interested in craft beer brewing and the craft beer industry. Launched in 2010, the goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in this important and growing Washington industry.

Craft beer is an important part of Washington’s economy. The state has more than 120 breweries, ranking second in the nation only to California in that category. Overall, the brewing industry is responsible for about 100,000 jobs in the United States. That means CWU’s certificate program produces highly sought-after graduates.

“One of our major challenges is finding new employees with the knowledge and skill set we need to staff our growing businesses,” says Dan Lee, owner of Odin Brewing Company in Seattle. “The CWU craft beer program is helping us meet that need by preparing qualified applicants for the job market.”

With an advisory board of industry professionals from companies such as Hop Union, Northwest Brewing News, Hale’s Ales, Diamond Knot, and other well-known Washington breweries, the program is geared toward industry needs. The board provides important feedback and direction to CWU faculty, ensuring that the program stays current and provides students with skills and knowledge that the industry is looking for.

Along with math and chemistry prerequisites, students in the certificate program must complete four courses (16 credits) to receive the certificate: Brewing Microbiology, Principles of Malting and Brewing, Merchandising Management for Micro Brewing, and Brew Process Technology. The program includes lectures, laboratory work, field trips, industry speakers, brewing, and tasting components. Most students can expect to complete the program in less than a year, graduating with a well-rounded knowledge of brewing and the craft beer industry.

In 2011, A.J. Keagle, a senior recreation and tourism major from Selah, was among the first to receive the certificate. ”In the courses, we explored not only the science and the equipment used in brewing, but also the business side of the industry,” he said. “I’d like to open my own brewery someday, and this program has given me opportunities that I would otherwise not have had.”

Last year’s program graduates are already working in the industry, and the second wave will graduate this spring.

The Craft Beer Trade Certificate program is a collaboration of CWU’s Office of Continuing Education and the departments of Biology, Industrial & Engineering Technologies, and Information Technology and Administrative Management.

For more information visit http://www.cwuce.org/beer_education or e-mail pangrazi@cwu.edu.

Media Contact: Franklin Pangrazi, CWU Office of Continuing Education, 509-963-1563, pangrazi@cwu.edu

Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu

Cheers!

Liz

 

My Beer Vacation – Part 1 March 18, 2012

A few weeks ago hubby and I took a nice week-long vacation. We hit various beer spots stretching from Seattle down to Centralia. I can’t include my favorite places in one article so I will write in parts.

Our vacation started off on a very elegant note. I have wanted to attend a beer pairing dinner for a while but due to my unpredictable work schedule (yes, I have a real job) and the fact that most of the dinners take place during a weeknight, I haven’t been able to go to any. Just so happens the first night of our vacation we were able to go to a great beer pairing dinner at Trellis; a lovely restaurant inside the Heathman Hotel in downtown Kirkland, WA.  This gorgeous hotel is chic and artsy. Beautifully decorated it would be easy to sit in front of the fireplace in the lobby and enjoy a book or good conversation. Our hotel room was very upscale and I felt like queen. As for the beer dinner….

Lord knows I am no food critic but I will do my best to describe the incredible meal we had. The Hub Brewery (AKA Hopworks Urban Brewing Company) from Portland was the guest brewer of the evening. We started with hors d’oeuvres in the lobby which consisted of popcorn shrimp, beef skewers, pulled pork sliders, homemade potato chips and pork rinds just to name a few. We sipped on tasters of The Hub’s Pale Ale and Lager. The Pale Ale is honey gold in color. The aroma is citrusy and floral. There is a nice hint of caramel in the flavor and it finishes crisp and clean. The Lager is light, smooth and malty. Soft honey flavor coats the palate and a sweet floral finish. Also crisp and clean both of these beers were a perfect teaser for what was to come.

As we sat down at our tables I was shocked and excited to discover that my husband and I would be sharing our table with Don Scheidt of Celebrator Beer News and his lovely wife. As we settled in we were handed what has to be the most creative menu I have ever seen. Drawn up like a blue print the menu contained hand drawn visuals of what we were going to be served for the duration of our dinner along with which beer was to be paired with it. Chef Brian Scheehser uses the freshest of ingredients from his own farm located just a few miles from the restaurant. And boy does it show!

First up was Bone Marrow with Prawns served with The Hub’s Galactic Imperial Red. I have never had bone marrow before but I must say it was surprising good! Served with small crackers this appetizer was rich with a smooth texture. The Imperial Red was toasty, crisp and malty. Medium to full-bodied this beer went very well with the richness of the marrow.

Next up was Stuffed Quail and the Deluxe Organic Ale. Another first for me, the quail was tender and flavorful. The Organic Ale was very clean, crisp and fresh. Nicely hopped this is a very well-balanced beer and paired well with the quail. For a palate cleanser we were served sorbet in a tall glass with a side of The Hub’s Ace of Spades. This double IPA was very hoppy and crisp. According to our blue print menu we were to pour the IPA into the sorbet glass. Following suit I did and wow what a great surprise. The IPA mellowed out the sorbet’s sweetness while the sorbet cut down on the bitter hoppiness. I’ve never had an IPA float before, but this one was delicious and different.

The next dish on the menu was also my favorite. Beer Braised Short Ribs serve with the Session Cascadian Dark Ale. The meet on the short rib sat in a rich broth and was incredibly tender and fell apart on first touch. I wish I had more of the short ribs. The Dark Ale was the perfect beer for this dish. It’s dark and smoky with a toasted malty finish. Hints of chocolate and coffee complimented this dark ale.

For dessert we were served Sandra’s Creation. A dark chocolate, hazelnut, flourless cake. Rich, decadent deliciousness. And the beer? The Hub’s Dark Helmet Schwarzbeer. This malty beer had notes of dark chocolate and was like drinking an iced mocha. Chocolate and chocolate. Just when I thought we couldn’t end a meal any better we were served the Final Nail. In other words; dark chocolate truffles. Absolute rich decadence at its finest.

So, we slowly waddled our way to our gorgeous hotel room and crashed. We are still talking about what a great experience we had at Trellis. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The hotel was beautiful. The food; incredible. And the beer, well I have to say, the beer was great and paired perfectly with the meal. I enjoyed my dinner companions, the food, the beer and the atmosphere. My thanks to the Heathman Hotel, Trellis, and the Hub for an incredible evening.

Part 2 of my beer vacation coming soon!

Cheers!

Liz

www.heathmankirkland.com

www.hopworksbeer.com

 

Beer…it’s not just for guys anymore! March 15, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,Washington beer — pnwbeerchick @ 8:43 pm

Let’s be honest…the beer brewing culture is dominated by men for men. Beer is usually brewed for the male palate and sweeter beverages like ciders and mixed drinks are marketed more to women. That’s a shame. I know a whole slew of chicks that love their IPA’s and Pale Ales just as much (if not more) than their male counterparts. More and more women are jumping on the beer bandwagon and long gone are the days of “men only” bars and saloons. Women are beginning to make their mark on the culture becoming head brewers and, in some cases, brewery owners…and they are producing some tasty stuff!

Case in point is a lovely beer I had just a couple of weeks ago. Très Fem is a collaboration beer by Kathleen Hale of Hale’s Ales, Jessica Husted and Reina Powers of Der Blokken Brewery. This lovely cherry beer is brewed with 2-Row Pale malt, Wheat malt and Flaked barley along with Saaz hops and Belgian yeast blend and, of course, tart cherries. The aroma is absolutely lovely and full of cherries. The flavor is crisp and tart with a nice, sour finish. One of the great things about Très Fem is the touch of cherry sweetness that is not so overpowering that it no longer tastes like beer. The brewers compare this beauty to a Belgian Kriek and I couldn’t agree more. Très Fem would drink very nicely with a lovely fruit salad or chicken. On its own it would make for a great spring afternoon treat. For the dudes out there that think this sounds like “chick beer” I noticed just as many men enjoying Très Fem as the ladies.

Très Fem is available in kegs, 22oz bottles, and on tap but for only for a limited time so grab one while you can and….GO GIRL POWER!

Cheers,

Liz

 

 

Get your pig on! March 9, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer,Poulsbo,WA,Washington beer — pnwbeerchick @ 8:41 pm

As many of you know I have been a big fan of Slippery Pig Brewing Company since its opening last year. And just when I think “the Pig” can’t do any better, they continue to surprise me! On a recent visit I noticed some great enhancements to the tasting area and got the chance to try some of Dave’s new creations.

The first physical enhancement of note is that the dirt road the brewery sits on has now been renamed “Slippery Pig Way.” This makes the brewery MUCH easier to find for the first timer and is a great nod to the efforts put forth by Slippery Pig’s owners: Dave and Shawna Lambert. After all, not everyone gets a street named after them! The tasting area has had a facelift as well. Still located on the farm the tasting area is now covered with reclaimed beams from the Alamo Theater that was once located in old Poulsbo. Now during any PNW weather we can sit and enjoy a pint.

Do you like scavenger hunts? Ask for a list of the “recycled” objects in the tasting area that highlights the farm and Lambert family history. Oh! And they have pigs!

Now I know you are chomping at the bit for the new beers on tap, so here goes…

Western Red Cedar Lager (6.4% ABV) – This crazy good beer has the most unusual of ingredients…Western Red Cedar tips. You read correctly. Three pounds of them are added at the end of the boil and steeped like tea giving a surprisingly beautiful, spicy flavor. The cedar is definitely present in the aroma and has a sweetness that tastes like it belongs there. I couldn’t get enough of this beer…  and neither could the other customers!

Hildisvini, Battle Swine (9.8% ABV) – One of the craziest beers I have ever had also has the craziest ingredients. Rhubarb, cinnamon stick, raisins, and caramelized squash just to name a few. Battle Swine is unfiltered, full-bodied, thick and syrupy. Lovely sweet, brown sugar and caramel finish. This is definitely a sipper and not for the faint of heart. Battle Swine is a great after dinner beer.

Slippery Pig is also a working farm with a lot of history and character so if you haven’t visited the brewery yet it is definitely worth the trip.

 

Cheers!

Liz

 

 

 
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