Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

Beat the summer heat July 19, 2014

Ah, summertime. Time for BBQ’s, beach picnics, mowing lawns, and horrendous heat! So how does one find refreshment when sitting in temperatures that feels like the Seventh Circle ofIMG_1269 Hell? Grab an awesome craft beer of course! There are so many “summer style” beers to choose from, I have chosen a few that have tickled my fancy as of late.

Ninkasi Wünderbier – This tasty beverage is a German-Style Kölsch. I love a good Kölsch and was very excited to stumble upon this one. Slightly sweet with a hint of Golden Grahams cereal, Wünderbier  is crisp, light, and finishes clean. It’s a nice session beer at only 4.4% ABV.

New Belgium Summer Helles Lager – Hints of honey hit your nose before first taste. Summer Helles is very light in body, easy to drink, and has a nice, soft spice to the finish. It’s hard to put this one down!

Anchor Summer Beer – The very first craft beer I ever had was an Anchor Steam. That was 20 years ago and since then the Anchor Brewing Company has never disappointed me. This beer is no exception! This filtered wheat beer is crisp and light, with a hint a honey. Very refreshing.

Silver City Ziggy Zoggy Lager – One of my favorite breweries in Washington State, Silver City Brewing Company “kills it” with this awesome, unfiltered summer beer. Banana clove tastiness, honey everywhere, malty, and light. This one is a summer favorite for me!

For me, the key with any good summer beer is the body.  It has to be crisp, easy to drink, and not too heavy with a slight fruit or honey note. These beers “nail it.”

 

Cheers!

Liz

 

 

 

Summertime at Silver City June 14, 2014

 

 

I have been a big fan of Silver City Brewing Co. for quite some time and always look forward to anything new. Recently I had the privilege to hang out with the guys at Silver City’s tap-room and sample some of the new seasonals and specialties on tap. I got to relax with the brewery’s owner, Scott, and with the brewers themselves enjoying some tasty seasonals currently on tap. A game or two of “Ziggy Zoggy Foursquare” took place, and fun was had by all! So let’s get to it!

Huckleberry Wheat (5.4% ABV) – Subtle fruit from throughout. Crisp, clean, with a soft fruit finish. Lightly hopped. Very nice.IMG_1163

Sour POWr Pear Lambic (6.2%ABV) – Gorgeous golden color. Pears are aged in the beer for a year creating a wonderful fruit sourness. Light honey top notes with a nice sour finish.

West Sound IPA (5.2%ABV) – For those who like a lighter hopped IPA, be careful! This beer is deceiving. The aroma is hoppy but soft. The first sip is mild but then suddenly, POW! The hops just punch you right in the face. Big citrus finish. Perfect for the IPA lover.

Rye Bock (6.5%ABV) – Sweet and hazel nutty. Rye character carries all the way through. Malty, sweet finish. Medium to full body.

Deluxe Spring Lager (6.2%ABV) – Once of my favorites of the day! Very nice with honey, floral character. Light, not too sweet. Reminds me of Golden Grahams cereal. Nice sweet finish. Perfect for spring or an early, mild summer day.

Happy Fun Time Ginger Beer (4%ABV) – I’m usually not a fan of ginger beer. Most brewers tend to overdo the ginger producing a much too tangy product. But this ginger beer is a delight! Big ginger aroma and nice ginger flavor throughout. Well-balanced and refreshing. The ginger is just right, not too overpowering.

B-Town Sour Red (6.3%ABV) – Sweet-tart candy sour. Slight hard-alcohol aroma. definitely a sipper.

Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged ImperiaI Red (8.5%ABV) – Thick, syrupy body. High alcohol aroma. Sweet, nutty first note. Finishes strong. Be careful!

Golden Mountain Pilsner (5%ABV) – Sweet, bubbly, effervescent. Honey notes, finishes crisp. Light and well, balanced.

The Silver City Flagship Restaurant is located at 2799 NW Myhre Road  in Silverdale at the Silverdale Mall. The Brewery & Tap Room is located in Bremerton at 206 Katy Penman Drive. The tap-room does not serve food but you are welcome to bring in anything you wish to munch on. Many of their beers are available in bottles at your local market or bottle shop.  If you haven’t stopped by one of these locations in person then all I have to ask is, where the heck have you been?

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.silvercitybrewery.com

 

 

 

Southern-Style Spring May 14, 2014

I love Louisiana. I have only been there once, but my Cajun roots keep calling me to come back. I visited in 2005 and fell so much in love with the state that I10339691_10202847640451023_2383398713637856762_n booked a trip to go back the following October. I did not get a chance to visit Abita Brewing  during my one and only visit so 2005 was going to be my year. Unfortunately, fate saw differently and Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf ruining my plans to visit, and shattering thousands of lives.  Abita Brewery suffered about $30,000 in property damage from the hurricane along with the loss of 31 gallons of fermenting beer. Luckily, they were able to reopen two weeks later and have been going strong ever since.

Well, it’s 2014, spring has sprung in the south and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager. The essence of fresh picked strawberries hits the nose immediately. This beer is lightly sweet with a touch of sour. Louisiana strawberry juice is added after filtering giving a fresh fruit flavor without tasting sugary or fake. Subtly strawberry flavor carries right through to the crisp finish. Though this is a “fruit beer” it is by no means  “chick beer.” And at only 4.2% ABV this lovely lager is perfect for those hot, humid, southern afternoons and cool breezy evenings. It pairs well with any food because the sweetness of the fruit is well-balanced and not too overpowering. So instead of grabbing a sweet tea at your next BBQ, grab one of these.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Liz

http://www.abita.com

 

 

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

 

 

 

Coming soon: Slaughter County Brewing, Alaska trip, The Hub Grand Opening in Gig Harbor, and seasonal beers now available! Stay tuned!!! September 22, 2013

 

Beer 101- Fruits of May, the conclusion June 10, 2013

It’s no secret that fruit beers are among my favorite beers. Now I’m not talking about that slice of lime wedged on the side of your mexican lager. I’m talking real fruit, fruit juices, and fresh puree added to everything from ales to lagers to wheat beers,to stouts and porters during the brewing process. To some, adding fruit to beer is sacrilege but fruit has been fermented and added to alcoholic beverages for millennium. Others simply won’t try it because they consider anything with fruit “chick beer.” They are really missing out! Here are my favorites from the month of May…

Samuel Smith Organic Strawberry Fruit Ale (5.2% ABV) – Amazing strawberry aroma. Thick body, jammy, natural fruit flavor (doesn’t taste fake). Crisp and “sparkly” with a wonderful fruit finish.

Unibroue Ephemere (5/5% ABV) One of my favorite beers for “Fruits of May!” Lovely green apple aroma. Crisp apple flavor and spices. Very similar to a hard, green apple cider…but better. I wouldn’t pair this with any food. It’s best sipped on its own.

Kona Brewing Wailua Wheat (5.4% ABV) – Lovely summer beer! Passion fruit aroma and body. Slightly pungent with a sweet/tart finish. If you have ever been to Hawaii, you will have wonderful flashbacks while sipping on this!

Samuel Smiths Organic Raspberry Fruit Ale (5.1% ABV) Another one of my favorites! Actually, in my opinion any of Samuel Smiths Fruit ales are amazing. This one is thick, rich, and full of raspberry goodness. Not one to be paired with food, except maybe for some vanilla bean ice cream. Wonderful!

Brouwerif Lindemans Framboise Lambic (2.5% ABV) Pretty much ANY of the lambics from this amazing Belgian brewery is a treat! Syrupy and elegant. Fresh raspberry aroma and flavor. Very effervescent with a gorgeous fruit finish. The best way I can describe this beauty is it’s like drinking raspberry champagne. My absolute favorite beer…period!

I feel any beer drinker should try a fruit beer at least once. Fruit beers are sweet, refreshing, and can really compliment a meal or serve as a lovely desert.

What’s in store for june? How about “a blonde named June?” I like it!

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

 

Sailing the 7 Seas January 5, 2013

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The pride of Gig Harbor has moved to a new pad. 7 Seas Brewing, home of the “Ultimate Proper Pint,” re-opened their doors last month. Newly located in what was the QFC grocery store and just steps from historic Gig Harbor waterfront, the new spot is bigger, shinier, and full of 7 Seas’s best brews!
Co-owners Mike Runion and Travis Guterson started the brewery three years ago in a tiny tasting room just off of Hwy 16. Having a deep concern for the environment, Mike and Travis pride themselves on operating a “green brewery.” They can their beers instead of bottling and recycle spent grain to local farmers for livestock feed. When it comes to setting up the tasting room,439 Mike used reclaimed wood when he built the long, gorgeous tables for patrons to sit at. The benches came from the recently demolished Tacoma Elks Lodge. Want to know more about the artifacts and stuff around the tap room? Just ask! The entire staff is very friendly and fun.
But enough of my jibber jabber. Let’s get to the beer!
British Pale Ale (5.4% ABV) – One of my favorites of the bunch, this pale ale is crisp and clean. Biscuity with floral notes. Very easy to drink and great year round.
Rude Parrot IPA (5.8% ABV) – This one is for the hop heads! Simcoe and Citra hops give this beauty the kick IPA fans lust after. Lovely grapefruit aroma and taste. And at 75 IBU’s, this is one rude beer!
Ballz Deep Double IPA (8.4% ABV) – 7 Seas most popular beer, Ballz Deep is another delightful IPA that would please any hop head. Surprisingly malty for an IPA but that is a plus! This is a very lovely, very drinkable IPA. Don’t get me wrong, this is a hoppy beer. 82 IBU’s to be exact. But if you don’t like to get punched in the face by hops then I highly recommend this baby.
Wheelchair Barley Wine (10.6% ABV) – You may want to sit down for this one! Thick and syrupy with a raisin and plum fruit aroma. Very warming. Very strong. Definitely a sipper. There’s a reason they names this vixen “Wheelchair.”

441Cutt’s NW Amber Ale (6.15% ABV) – Very nice. Pretty hop aroma. Citrusy and floral characters with a nice malt/hop balance. Great choice for a growler.
Port Royal Stout (6.8% ABV) –Another one of my favorites! Ink black color. Brown head. Malty and full-bodied, this stout has a lovely warming, toasty flavor notes of dark chocolate and espresso. The finish is smoky. Great as a desert beer or sitting by the fire.
Depth Finder India Red Ale (5.9% ABV) – One of 7 Seas newest seasonal releases this beer has a pretty dark red color. Hoppy aroma with clear body. Crisp and clean with a hoppy, floral finish. Very nice.
Reign Man ESB (5.5% ABV) – Another new seasonal creation, this lovely beer is malty and sweet with a nice hop finish. Crisp and clean this ESB would go great with any meal.
Belgian Imperial Stout (9.0% ABV) – Do you like chocolate covered bananas? If so you will LOVE this beer. I do! Dark brown teetering on black color and full-bodied. Malty, dark, bitter chocolate aroma and taste with hints of banana and coffee. Very smooth, rich gem.
There is no food in the tap room but patrons are more than welcome to bring in food of their own. The tap room is now open 7 days a week : Sun through Tues from 11:00-8:00, Wed through Sat 11:00-9:00.
I can’t say enough about 7 Seas except that I love this brewery! I have been coming here since their opening in 2009 and will continue to come back for years to come.

Cheers,

Liz

www.7seasbrewing.com

 

Spoetzl Brewing spreads a little Holiday Cheer! November 19, 2012

Pecan pie is a staple in most homes during the holidays. While July is normally the best month for peaches, Spoetzl Brewing in Shiner, TX (home of Shiner Bock) has decided to bring peaches to us during the Autumn and Winter seasons and has truly outdone themselves. Shiner Holiday Cheer is a deliciously great way to celebrate family, home, caring, sharing, warmth, and love. OK, that might be a bit too sappy. It’s a great beer to enjoy during your holiday meal.

Holiday Cheer is an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The aroma is heavenly with swirls of fresh peaches and cinnamon. The taste…like drinking a peach and pecan pie! In fact, (as the Cajun side of my family would say) it’s so good it will make you wanna go home a slap your mama! The finish is a lovely symphony fresh peaches! Peach sweetness from start to finish without being overpowering. Matly, fresh, awesome! Holiday Cheer would go great with your thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas ham, or as an after dinner dessert. It’s available now in your local bottle shop so grab some before the season ends!

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.shiner.com/

 

 
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