Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

Give the gift on knowledge! November 21, 2012

With Black Friday just days away, I’m sure many of you are thinking “What do I get for the beer lover who has everything?”  How about something to read while enjoying his or her holiday pint? Over the last few years there have been many great books published about everything in the craft brew culture from what to drink, where to drink, and what exactly are you drinking.  There is a book out there for every level of beer enthusiast.

For the craft beer newbie there is The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer (2009). Written by the original “beer chicks”, Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune, The Naked Pint is a wonderfully comprehensive and humorous guide to the history of beer, various beer styles, flavors, characteristics, beer by regions, and even recipes to try your hand at making some home brew. This book is perfect for anyone just starting out in the craft brew scene or even the beer connoisseur who just wants to learn a bit more about the beer culture. Fantastic read!

Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia (2011) is a great book for the beer lover who has never been to the Pacific Northwest but would like to make the trek. Lisa Morrison (AKA the Beer Goddess) put together a wonderful book for the beer traveler. She discusses the PNW micro-brew culture that exploded into the craft brew culture the region is known for today. Lisa lists the breweries that are worth a looksy and what to have once you get there. She shares stories of her visits and what special pub crawl or bottle shop to hit along the way.  This book is a must have for your next road trip to the PNW!

For the beer historian in your life Brewing in Seattle (2012) offers a glimpse into the history of Seattle breweries and where the Seattle beer culture is today.  Beautiful, rare photos, vintage advertisements, and interviews from some of Seattle’s best-known brewers saturate this little paperback. From the earliest brewery established in 1864 through Prohibition and then on to the beer mecca Seattle is today, Brewing in Seattle is a must have for any beer historian near or far.

For the well learned beer enthusiast there is The Craft of Stone Brewing Co: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance (2011). Stone Brewing Company shares the history of the company along with a behind-the-scenes look at what has made the company the fastest growing brewery in the USA. Homebrew and food recipes, beer & food pairings, and gorgeous photos are just some of the wonderful features in this hardcover.

Does your home brewer want to make a business out of it? Well, Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, has written the book on it. Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (2011) tells Sam’s story about taking his home brewing kit and turning it into one of the country’s best craft breweries.  He discusses his successes and failures, strategies in marketing, competing and keeping up with other companies, and what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.   This is a must have for anyone starting a new business.

I own all 5 of these books and highly recommend them. There is more to beer than just drinking it. Knowledge truly is power and the gift of books will never go out of style. Feed your brain and always continue learning more about your hobby or craft.





Dogfish Head digs into the past…again. July 22, 2012

Filed under: beer,breweries,Craft Beer Breweries,Craft Beer Trade,Dogfish Head Beer — pnwbeerchick @ 11:26 am

Most people who meet me say I have an “old soul.” I like that.  I’ve always had a love of all things history:  antiques, vintage clothing, old cars, and older people (do you hear me Sir Sean Connery?). So when I heard a few years back that Dogfish Head Brewery brewed a beer based on the oldest beer recipe known to man I began a quest to find and drink this beer.

About 10 years ago Dr. Patrick McGovern, biomolecular archeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeologyand Anthropology, took his study of ancient fermented beverages to a little town in the Henan Province of China called Jiahu. While studying a 9,000 year old Neolithic burial site he discovered some pottery jars that once contained a fermented beverage consisting of rice, honey and fruit. He contacted his friends and Dogfish Head and that’s when the magic happened.

Dogfish Head, never being one to turn down a chance to brew history, took the ancient recipe and created something truly special: Chateau Jiahu (jee-ah-who). In keeping with the ingredients of the original recipe Dogfish Head used brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, Muscat grape, barley malt and hawthorn berry. Sake yeast is added to the wort and then left to ferment for about a month. The result? A very elegant beer worthy of an emperor.

While pouring into the glass the body is reminiscent of honey mead: thick and syrupy. The aroma is definitely heavy with honey. To be honest, I was little worried that this beer would be too thick and too sugary to enjoy. I have to say after my first sip I was pleasantly surprised. This full-bodied beauty is definitely a sipper, but a very nice one. Honey is the dominant flavor with fresh grape notes and a resin and clove finish. After a few sips I had to remind myself I was not drinking wine.

As I sipped away at this ghost of millennium past, my old soul was wondering if our ancestors enjoyed this beverage as much as I was. Maybe I’m a reincarnation of one of the lucky folks who got to partake in the drinking of this pretty beer. Or maybe, the 10% ABV was getting to me. Chateau Jiahu is only available for a limited time so be sure to go onto Dogfish Head’s website and use their “fish finder” to locate a bottle near you!






This isn’t your grandmother’s “tea time.” July 1, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Dogfish Head Beer,Micro brew,Uncategorized — pnwbeerchick @ 5:42 pm

Just when I thought Dogfish Head Craft Brew Ales has done it all…they surprise me again with another amazing concoction.  While browsing through a local beer store I stumbled upon one of Dogfish Head’s rarities, Sah’Tea. Of course the label on the bottle is gorgeous but after reading the ingredients I was a little leery of what was inside.   Boy was I wrong!

Sah’Tea is based on a 9th century Finnish beer, Sahti, which was made with juniper berries, rye, and hot rocks. The beer was
boiled in wooden tanks by heating river rocks in a wood fire until white-hot and adding them directly into the tank. Dogfish Head, being who they are, cannot pass up a chance (or challenge) to craft a beer using the same techniques and ingredients as the originators. Like the Finnish recipe, Dogfish Head brews Sah’Tea using rye and Finnish-foraged juniper berries. To put their own signature on the brew, Dogfish adds their own twist on the 1,200-year-old recipe by adding a tea type blend of black tea, chai tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper…yes, black pepper. To further replicate the Finnish brewing process, Dogfish caramelizes the wort by throwing in white-hot river rocks and then ferments the beer with German Weizen Yeast. “So what’s it like” you ask?

An exotic aroma of spiced tea and raisins swirl around the nose. On first sip I caught flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, banana, and sweet potato. Sah’Tea is medium bodied and well-balanced with a black tea and spice finish. Dogfish Head founder and President, Sam Calagione, describes Sah’Tea  as “a banana bread-like, unique beer.” And he’s not kidding! Sah’Tea is a lovely, exotic, unique beer.

Overall? I truly enjoyed this unusually splendid brew I don’t think I would pair this beer with food; it’s just too tasty! Oh…and it’s
9.0%ABV so be careful…be very, VERY careful. Being one of Dogfish Head’s rarity beers I would suggest running out to your nearest beverage store and picking up a bottle, or 3 or 4. You won’t be sorry!





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