Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

The Fruits of Summer June 16, 2019

Summer is finally upon us. The season of bathing suits, campfires on the beach, BBQ’s, and of course, fruit beers! What? Yes, I said fruit beers!

Ok, I know many of you are shaking your heads, because, IPA’s. I know this is hard to believe, not everyone likes the same beer styles. Crazy, I know.

Fruit beers don’t seem to get the kudos they deserve. Some are light and refreshing, others are best to sip after dinner. Many are great while sitting around a campfire, and there are even some that aren’t so bad with food.

I’ve taken it upon myself to do some research and find fruit beers, ciders, and honey wines that tie in perfectly with summer. Yes, I’m taking one for the team! Ha!

I’m going to start off with a cider. I don’t write about ciders very much because manyIMG_0752 American ciders are too syrupy and sweet. I prefer British ciders as they are dry and crisp, and don’t have that sugary vibe. The cider I’ve chosen is Ace Cider’s Space Ace Bloody Orange Cider. This cloudy, unfiltered cider is chock full of gorgeous blood orange from start to finish. Syrupy?? Nope! Fruity aroma, lovely mouth feel, and beautiful blood orange sweetness. Since it’s not overly sweet, it goes rather well with food! I would suggest shrimp tacos or a simple Cobb salad.

Next up is a honey wine made by Sky River Meadery. This Blackberry Honey Wine is made with Washington Honey and blackberries. The aroma is a harmonious blend of honey and fruit and the body is not as thick as you would suspect, which is a good thing. It’s not heavy, yet still very full-bodied beautiful, juicy blackberry from start to finish. This is he perfect after dinner sipper while sitting next to that beachside bonfire.

One of the most popular breweries in Western Washington is 7 Seas Brewing. They recently release their 2019 Sour Raspberry Wheat. What a delightful beer! Another sipper, it’s made with 400-600lbs of fresh raspberries. It’s a prefect balance of sour and sweet. It’s currently on tap in Western Washington, but if you can grab a waxed-sealed bottle, (In the words of the late Carrie Fisher) DO IT!!

Louisiana knows a thing or two about hot weather. Their favorite beer son, Abita IMG_0815Brewing, released their annual Strawberry Lager. I’m a huge fan of Strawberry beers and this one is “top drawer” in my book. Perfect for a day of yard work, lounging by the pool, or hanging with friends around the grill, this light- bodied lager has just enough strawberry yumminess to keep you coming back for more. It goes great with steak, BBQ, pretty much anything. This is a seasonal beer so grab them while you can. You will not be sorry!

A little gem from Oregon popped up on my list. Little Beast Brewing thought that a Blackcap Raspberry Ale was fair to release upon society. Not fair! This beer has now spoiled me when it comes to raspberry ales! Gorgeous beer! I cannot state that enough. It is medium to fuller bodied, but beautiful fruit with a pretty effervescent finish. I consider this a very “romantic” beer that would rival any red wine or sparkling wine/champagne.

Ommegang Brewery outdid itself with Rosetta. A name fit for a Queen, the beer is a decadent mix of sour and sweet. Perfect for the evening cigar and fireside chats. Cherry in the nose, the start and the finish. I can’t say enough about this amazing brew.

Belching Beaver Brewery’s Me So Honey Blond Ale is the only non-fruit beverage on the list. I love honey ale but, like fruit beers, it’s difficult to find one that’s not over-the-top with sugary sweetness. This one is an exception. Honey aroma and flavor, yet, a nice hop crispness finish. Very nice.


Tropical Rumble

Tropical Rumble

One of the more unusual beers on my list is from Utah. Epic Brewing creates some pretty epic beers. The one that caught my attention is Common Interests Honeydew Sour Ale. This beer is truly amazing. There is an essence of honeydew but not overpowering at all. Perfect for a hot day of yard work, an evening of spicy food, or just a casual lay by the pool kind of day day. Slightly sweet, week-balanced, this is an incredible beer that even hop-heads would like.

This next beer is not only pretty on the palate but the packaging is pretty on the eyes as well. Tropical Rumble IPA is brewed in Denmark by To Øl and is absolutely lovey! There is a ton of tropical flavors without an overwhelming sweetness. It would pair greatly with Asian or Hawaiian food.

North Coast Brewing Co. Berliner Weisse Cranberry-Quince is absolutely gorgeous! Cranberry tartness with a lovely touch of sweet. This is another sipper just due to the prettiness. I wouldn’t mess with the flavor by mixing with food.

Straight from Yorkshire, England’s oldest brewery comes Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale. So English. So strawberry/fruity. So good. Jammy, sweet, full-bodies, but not overwhelming. I love Samuel Smith’s fruit beers. All of them! If you’ve never lookedIMG_0889 into the history of the brewery, please do. It’s fascinating.

Kulshan Brewing Company produced an amazing Blood Orange Gose. Sour blood orange fruit with just a touch of salty-goodness. I would recommend this one with salad or a lovely bowl, fresh fruit, or even a piece of chocolate.

The last bit of fruity-goodness on my list is from Brasserie Dieu de Ciel! Solstice d’Ete is possibly one of the best fruit beers I’ve ever had. Jammy, effervescent, real Fruit from start to finish. I couldn’t get enough of this gem. No food with this one. You need to experience it on its own.

Thankfully, fruit beers are no longer considered “chick beers.” Over the last decade respect for the beer style has grown.

If you want to spice up, or sweeten up, your summer, grab something a bit different.





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 British are Coming! April 30, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,British Beers & Ciders,Hard Cider,Micro brew — pnwbeerchick @ 5:03 pm

Okay, I admit it! I was one of the sappy folks who could not wait to watch the Royal Wedding! I love a good wedding and nothing tops seeing a gorgeous “commoner” marry her prince. (Sigh) How romantic! So I looked for a beverage that would get me in the spirit of this “fairytale” event, but what to choose?

Tea? Trendy. Bass Ale? Nah, too common. Boddingtons? Newcastle? Too predictable. Then it hit me… what better way to celebrate this happy event than to drink Prince William’s beverage of choice; Cider!

I’m sure many of you are saying “but PNW Beer Chick…cider isn’t beer!” I know, but some of the oldest and most respected beer breweries also dabble in ciders. And why not? Dating as far back as Ancient Egypt, it is one of the oldest fermented beverages in the world and still one of the most popular today. Now, I didn’t grab just any cider. It had to be British. Otherwise what was the point? I wanted something that screamed Great Britain so to me the choice was clear… I grabbed a bottle of Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider.

Samuel Smith’s has been producing some of the Britain’s finest beers since 1758 and it is the oldest brewery in Yorkshire. Best known in the U.S. for their Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale, and Old Brewery Pale Ale, I was quite excited to find they also made cider. Organically grown apples are used to create a crisp, sweet (but not too sweet), yet slightly dry cider that would make the Prince himself smile. It is light bodied and is perfect for spring, but could easily be a year round cider.  Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider is only 5% ABV, but so delicious it would be quite easy to get carried away.

So, to celebrate “the greatest event of the 21st century”, put on a ridiculously large hat or your favorite morning tux, pour a Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider, and raise a toast to the happy couple!




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