Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

What’s behind The Copper Door? May 6, 2014

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A new bottle shop has opened in “T-Town” and boy is it a beauty! The Copper Door is more than your average bottle shop. Cozy in appearance and feel, there are approximately 550 American craft beers and a sprinkling of a few European beers fill the large coolers that stretch along the wall.  Not only can you pick up a 220z, but there is no currently no corkage fee if you want to drink your purchase there. Pub tables and chairs, couches, and a side room are open for anyone to come in and enjoy a pint and there are 16 rotating taps behind the bar. YES! I said a bar! The decor is simple, warm and elegant. The beer selection is great and the prices are very reasonable. The Copper Door is open 7 days a week but check their website for hours. One can easily spends a few hours here.

 

Cheers,

Liz

http://www.thecopperdoor.net

 

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Coming Soon: Seasonals from Pyramid Brewing Co, Slippery Pig Brewing, and Narrows Brewing. Oh, and the upcoming Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Wow! I better get going! April 15, 2014

 

A Pirate’s Life For Puget Sound! January 2, 2014

I have always had a deep love for all things pirate. I know this is not really that unusual for a chick but I can’t help it. My love of pirates started in my early childhood. As a “So Cal” girl my family went on trips to Disneyland on a regular basis and Pirates of the Caribbean was (and still is) my favorite ride. In my later years as a Disneyland Cast member I spent 1104648935720many a day and night working on that ride sorting people into their lines to board one of the greatest rides in the park! “What the hell does this have to do with beer?” you may be asking yourself. Well, a great brewery on the Puget Sound has combined two of my loves: beer & pirates!

Slaughter County Brewing Company opened its doors in 2012 in Port Orchard, WA. Owner and head brewer, Scott Kirvan (pictured), let his love of all things pirate take over. Themed entirely with swashbuckler in mind, Slaughter County serves up some brews that Blackbeard himself would slit a throat to drink! My personal favorite is the Regimental Scotch (7.4% ABV). This medium bodied beauty is malty and sweet with a lovely, toasty finish. Hints of brown sugar linger throughout. But, this is a butt kicker so tread lightly. Another favorite is Ol’ One Eye PA (5.2% ABV). This IPA is nicely balanced and not too heavy on the hops. It is also a little on the maltier side with a slight hop flower finish. Very drinkable and goes well with food. For you sour beer fans out there, the brewery serves up the Drama Queen Sour Kölsch  (5.15% ABV). Light yellow color, crisp, clean, with a lemon kick. Pretty nice. Scott also brews interesting and delicious seasonal IMG_3046beers so be sure to check his Facebook page to see what he has up his sleeve. He also has a nice selection of guests taps along with some great bottled beers; both import and local.

Do you like romance with your pirates? How about the romantic tradition of toasting the sunset? Yes, every night Scott jumps up on the bar, says a few lovely words about life, and everyone raises their glasses to the setting sun.  There is a full kitchen and everything on the menu is absolutely delicious! Try the Chicken Curry Soup, the Reuben, or one of their fresh-baked pizzas! An amazing view of the Puget Sound is visible from anywhere in the brewery and there is live music at night so check Slaughter’s schedule for dates and times. You may even run into a pirate, or ten! I love this place!!!

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.slaughtercountybrewing.com

 

 

 

Beer 101 – IPApril, the conclusion May 8, 2013

As IPApril came to a close I have to admit, I was a bit sad. IPA has long been my nemesis beer but after spending a month focusing on that particular style I have grown a bit fond of IPA. Over the last month my I have grown to enjoy the flavor of IPA’s a bit more, especially British IPA’s. I’m still not a huge fan of high IBU, “blow your head off” IPA’s but I do have a better appreciation for them.

For those new to craft beer, here’s a bit of info…

HISTORY: There is some debate regarding the history of how IPA came about and who was the first brewer to create it. Legend has it that George Hodgson of the Bow Brewery in London was the first person to create IPA. But it’s just that…a legend. Though Bow Brewery’s “pale ale for India” was the top seller there is no evidence proving that he was the first to brew IPA.

The short story that most beer geeks agree with is that IPA was first created in England in the 1700’s. Beer shipped to British troops in India would often not survive the voyage to India and would spoil. Brewers discovered that adding more hops helped preserve the beer during the voyage. And viola….India Pale Ale was born.

CHARACTERISTICS: IPA’s of today are a bit different from the IPA’s of days gone by. Americans were drawn to the crisp, citrus notes the hops added and decided to blow the flavor out of the water. A typical American IPA is going to be extremely high in grapefruit aroma and flavor whereas English IPA tends to more on the sweeter, malty side.

IBU:  “International Bittering Units” is a very important tool of measurement for IPA’s. Basically, it is a scale used to measure the bitterness of the beer once the hops are added. The higher the IBU’s the more bitter taste is created. IPA’s with high IBU’s are going to have a very strong grapefruit flavor and aroma. Many IPA drinkers in the PNW prefer their IPA’s to have at least 80 IBU’s. I lovingly refer to these folks as “hop heads.”

I tasted many IPA’s during the month of April and enjoyed a majority of them. Others, not so much.  So below is a list of my favorites. You can find the complete list of IPA’s I sampled on my Facebook page.

Boneyard Brewing RPM IPA (7% ABV, 50 IBU’s) – sunny orange color, floral aroma. Subtle hop character w/orange sweetness. Crisp, sparkly. Well-balanced, medium body.

The Pike Brewing Space Needle Golden Anniversary 2012 Vintage IPA (6.5% ABV, 58 IBU’s) – Sticky/resin body. Cloudy. Candy-like aroma. Full-bodied, sweet, malty, with loads of honey character. Smooth, English-style IPA.

Alameda Brewing El Torero IPA (7.2% ABV, 88 IBU’s) – THICK! Unfiltered. Clover honey aroma, full-bodied, lots of sediment. Complex hops but they don’t dominate. One of my favorites!

Mad River Brewing Jamaica Sunset IPA (7% ABV, IBU unavailable) – Spicy, nutty, dry hops. Crisp, clean finish. Quite tasty!

Lagunitas IPA (6.2% ABV, 45.6 IBU’s) – Very hoppy! Malty with floral notes. Very crisp. Nice hop finish.

Deschutes Hop Henge IPA (10.6% ABV, 95 IBU’s) – Hoppy aroma. Honey/vanilla sweetness. Nice hop finish without the bitterness. Malty and well-balanced.

For those of you just starting out in the craft beer scene, I would NOT start with an IPA. This is the stronger of the beer styles and may be too hoppy and bitter for beginners. Start slow and work your way to it.

What’s on tap for May? How about fruit and flavored beers? I shall call it “The Flavors of May.”

Cheers!

Liz

 

Beer Styles 101 – The intro April 13, 2013

A few weeks ago I announced on my Facebook page that I was going to do a little something different for the next year. As many of you know, I consider myself a “forever student” of beer. I never want to stop learning about beer and the beer culture I have been a part of for the last 20 years. So, I have decided that each month I will focus on drinking one style of beer and at the end of the month will compose one blog to talk about my experience and the top five beers in that style. Why am I doing this?

Well, over the last 30 years the beer style doors have not just opened, they’ve been blown off the hinges! No longer is an IPA or Hefeweizen beholden to one particular taste, aroma, and experience all together. Brewers are experimenting and tweaking beer styles and taking them to new levels. You can take two Pale Ales and get two different experiences from each. It’s exciting and fascinating!

I will continue to write about breweries, beer festivals and special beers. But for my Beer Styles 101 I will write short entries about each beer I have on my Facebook page and will write my final analysis here on my blog. Check out my Facebook page to see what’s up. This month…IPApril. Yes, IPA’s are on my beer menu for the month and so far it’s been quite a ride.

Cheers!

Liz

 

Catching Island Fever April 10, 2013

Here in the PNW sunny days are few and far between. When the sun does come out the best thing to do is get into your car are drive somewhere with a gorgeous view. Bainbridge Island is one of those places. Just a ferry ride from Seattle, the island is quaint, picturesque, and laid back.

There are a couple of places I like to hit when I visit. For lunch, I usually stroll into The Harbour Public House. Just steps 009from the village this hip public house serves delicious, organic cuisine and some of the freshest craft beers on the island. 12 on tap and 1 on cask to be exact! You won’t find Coors or Bud Light in here. You also won’t find children. The Harbour is 21 and over.

Located in a fully restored 132 year old house, The Harbour prides itself on using only fresh, locally grown ingredients in their dishes, pouring local craft beer, and showcasing local artists in the decor. On a clear day the famed Seattle skyline is visible from the back patio along with a lovely view of the harbor below. The Harbour is a “must see.”

Another “must” is the Bainbridge Brewing Co. Just off the beaten path, the brewing company captures the laid back spirit of 025the island. The tap-room is pretty, open, and welcoming. The beer? Well, it’s pretty darn tasty!
Kommenter Kolsch (4.8% ABV) – Golden Grahams aroma. Sweet, crisp, effervescent. Lightly malted. Sweet finish.
Northwest Pale Ale (5.4% ABV) – Malty. Very nicely hopped. Smooth, caramel notes throughout. Very easy to drink.
Eagle Harbor IPA (6.0% ABV) – Hoppy aroma, soft citrus. Tart grapefruit finish. Only 60 IBU’s so very easy IPA to drink.
Puget Sound Giant Hoptopus IPA (8.8% ABV) – Hop/floral aroma. Sweet and malty for an IPA. Lovely grapefruit finish. Another IPA for the IPA fearful!
Battle Point Stout (6.6% ABV) – Smokey aroma. Rich, malty, dark chocolate bitterness. Smokey finish. Definitely a sipper.

Bainbridge Island is a great place for a day trip. To get there from the peninsula you can cross the Agate Pass Bridge just outside of Poulsbo. From Seattle you can hop on the ferry. And you don’t need to wait for a sunny day to enjoy it, because let’s face it…it’s the PNW!

Cheers!
Liz

www.bainbridgebeer.com
www.harbourpub.com

 

The beer drinker’s mead March 10, 2013

I have been a big fan of mead (honey wine) for years. Thick and syrupy, drinking mead is like taking in a mouth full of honey. I just love to sip this beverage on a cool spring day! Now, many of you are probably scratching your head wondering why a002 beer blogger is writing about mead. Well for one thing, I don’t discriminate. And for another, it’s considered by many archeologists and food historians to be the ancestor of all fermented beverages.
Dating as far back as 2000 B.C. (and possibly further), mead has been enjoyed in Africa, Asia, Europe, and now the United States. I’m sure you are still wondering why this article even exists. Well, PNW brewing icon Rogue Brewing has taken on the task of creating lovely mead that is not only light and crisp, but easy for even the mead hater to enjoy.
Rogue Farms First Growth 19 Original Colonies Mead is Rogue’s interpretation of a beer drinker’s mead. All I can say is WOW! THIS IS GREAT MEAD! Ok, I’m obviously going to say more. The beautiful color is rivaled by the luscious aroma. Jasmine flowers and honey dominate the nose. Traditional mead is very thick and syrupy with no carbonation what so ever. Rogue, however, uses champagne yeast and free range coastal water creating a lovely, champagne-like carbonation so the body is clean and sparkly but still maintains the jammy qualities of traditional mead. Rogue uses their own Rogue Farms Hopyard honey along with wild flower honey and Jasmine Silver Tip Green Tea Leaves.
This mead is delightfully aromatic, crisp & clean. For a wine made with two types of honey, this mead is sweet but not sickening sweet. Jasmine flowers are prominent through the body and mellow out the honey. The green tea adds a nice, soft acidic tone and the finish is just, again, more heavenly jasmine. The ABV is only 5.2% but because this is a bit thicker than beer, I don’t suggest you drink it with food.
My husband can’t stand mead, but guess what? He couldn’t get enough of this one! Neither could I!! We actually went back to the bottle shop and bought a couple more bottles. Rogue Brewing got it right.

Cheers!
Liz

www.rogue.com

 

 
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