Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

Summer 2018 July 9, 2018

Summer is finally here! Well, sort of. Summer in the PNW is a bit different than summer back home in Southern California. Up here, 85 degrees is a heatwave. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot! Just not 7th circle of hell hot.

I don’t know about you folks, but, when it’s a bit tepid out, I certainly don’t want a heavy beer weighing me down. I want something crisp, refreshing, sometimes a little on thedeschutes fruity side, a lot of flavor, but always easy to drink. I don’t want high ABV because I want to enjoy more than one without falling over my own feet. I want something you can drink while mowing the lawn, yet enjoy while sitting around a bonfire at a backyard BBQ.

This year some pretty yummy beers have been released to help with the cool down on even the most sweat-dripping of days. Some are newer releases, some have been around for awhile. All are delicious.

Brewed in Olympia, WA, FishTail Brewing’s Beyond the Pail is a lovely Pale Ale that’s perfect for those hot summer days. Crisp and clean, this beauty finishes with a nice citrus bite that would satisfy even the biggest of “hop heads.”

Twilight Summer Ale by Deschutes Brewing is another PNW gem that is sure to please. Not too heavy, and tons of flavor. It’s a perfect beer to drink as you sit around a bonfire and watch the setting of the summer sun.

peachesOne of my favorite new releases so far is by Red Hook Brewing. Peaches For Me IPA may sound sugary sweet, but on the contrary, the fruitiness is very subtle. Hops starts this one off beautifully and the delicious peach and mango hits in the finish. This is a truly delicious beer.

One of the more low-key beers, and one of my all-time favorites, Germany’s Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. It’s 50/50 grapefruit juice and hefeweizen, very low ABV (2.5%), has a ton of grapefruit flavor without being overly sweet, and extremely refreshing. I have to really watch myself when drinking this one, because it’s so yummy, I tend to drink a bit too fast…and a bit too many!

Fremont Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Western Washington. So believe me when I tell you that their Lush IPA so one of the best IPA’s I’ve ever had. It’s also perfect for summer! Tons of floral notes and hops grace the taste buds from start to finish. Yet, it’s not so hoppy to scare away the novice. I love this beer.

One of my favorite summer staples is from Silver City Brewing in Silverdale, WA. ZiggySchoffer Zoggy Lager has been around for a few years and is perfect for a hotter-than-normal day. This unfiltered lager delivers a light honey sweetness and a lovely crisp finish. Ziggy Zoggy is definitely one for the cooler!

Half Lion Brewing’s Log Show Blonde is one definitely you need to seek out. This isn’t your typical Blonde Ale. It’s darker and hoppier than a blonde. It finishes clean and crisp. I really like this beer.

So many great beers out there this year. Too many to mention in my opinion. Though most of the beers I’ve listed here are brewed in the PNW, many are distributed to other states. Check your local bottle shop or tap room.

Cheers!

Liz

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Brewing up the past September 26, 2014

Incorporated in 1875, Tacoma, WA is bursting with rich cultural and architectural history. Surprising to many is that craft beer shares in much of that long history. In 1897, the Pacific Brewing and Malting company opened its doors in Downtown Tacoma. It quickly grew into the one of the largest breweries in the Northwest. Sadly, like many craft breweries of the time,IMG_2688 Pacific Brewing was shut down due to statewide prohibition in 1916 (four years before the nationwide ban). Lucky for us, two lovers of craft beer, Steve Navarro and Brent Hall, decided to resurrect the old Pacific Brewing and Malting brand, right down to the original logo, and give it new life!

The brewery is located at the foot of the Old Town Hall on Pacific Ave in the shadow of the iconic clock tower. The building has been lovingly restored and looks amazing, both inside and out! Vintage style carriage doors grace the front and gorgeous reclaimed wood table line up on the inside. Exposed brick walls give a wonderfully warm and inviting feeling.

Opening day was a busy one but I was able to squeeze my way in and try a couple of pints. First up was Dirty Skoog IPA. This a very well-balanced IPA and a tad sweeter than you would expect which is a nice change from the “blow your head off” hoppy IPA’s. Quite lovely with a malty finish. Next up was the Citra Pale Ale. Very crisp and full of fruit notes and citrus. Just hoppy enough to make IPA enthusiast order another one. But my favorite of the day was the 1897 Pale Lager. Malty, sweet, light and refreshing. This lager is a nod to the original lager once made by Pacific Brewing but with modern brewing in mind. It’s quite a delightful beer. Other beers they brew are Grit City Porter, Moon Yard Strong Ale, Galaxy Smash (single malt/single hop IPA), and they are currently brewing a Smashing Pumpkin Ale. Yum!

This particular area of Pacific Ave is about sure to be a the craft beer epicenter of Tacoma. Odd Otter Brewing is opening soon and just a few doors down from Pacific Brewing, and the McMenamins purchased the gorgeous Elks Lodge building just behind and is in the process of restoring to its former glory. So, stay tuned!

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.pacificbrewingandmalting.com

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 
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