Taking a break from our usual IPAs, Stouts, and Porters, we tried the Midas Touch Ancient Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery. A friend had recommended this awhile ago (thanks, Steve!), but we had not been able to find it until this weekend, when we found a 4-pack at our local Total Wine & More.
According to the Dogfish Head Brewery website, Midas Touch is a brew made from ingredients found in 2,700 year old drinking vessels believed to be from the tomb of King Midas. It’s somewhere between a wine, a mead, and a beer. Saffron acts as a bittering agent instead of hops.
Dogfish Head Brewery is known for its unusual beers using non-traditional ingredients and for generally being passionate and creative. Their Ancient Ale series is based on chemical analysis of ingredients from ancient pottery fragments, thousands-year old recipes (one from hieroglyphics), and an array of bittering agents such as saffron, gentian root, and Ethiopian myrrh resin.
The full name of this self-deprecating brew is “Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale”, and that just begs the question “What the hell is a ‘Substitute Ale’?” The short answer is “It is an IPA”. The longer answer is much more interesting. In a nutshell, back in 2011 they miscalculated their production capabilities and were unable to brew a seasonal favorite called “Brown Shugga”. In what must have been a preemptive strike, Lagunitas lashed out at themselves for this shortcoming before their loyal fans could do so. Naming this ale “Sucks” was really only the tip of the iceberg. Beer Street Journal has an archived image of the original label, and it is really worth taking the time to read. Seriously. Go read it. Then come back and make the jump to the rest of this review.
The Saint Florian IPA is brewed by Silver City Brewing in Bremerton, Washington. Saint Florian is the Patron Saint of Firefighters, and a portion of the Saint Florian IPA’s proceeds will go to a Washington State Council of Firefighters benevolent fund.
Saint Florian is an IPA using Washington-grown Cascade and Columbus hops. Despite being 6.8% ABV, it seems light and crisp to me. It’s not a big hoppy IPA, but instead is lightly citrusy with an amber coppery color. Very pleasant and drinkable.
I like that It’s not a hop-head IPA, but it still has well-balanced flavor with an IPA profile. It definitely has a place in the IPA world.
I’d recommend picking up a bottle of this. An added bonus is supporting Washington firefighters and their families.
It has been a few hours between when I tasted this and now, and I don’t have any strong memories about it that are clamoring to work their way onto this web page. It was not overly fragrant, nor was it excessively hoppy. For that matter, it clearly wasn’t very memorable either. Overall, this felt like a very bland IPA. Not bad beer, once again, just not to my taste.
Silver City Brewing is definitely on my “short list” of breweries that I want to visit to taste their offerings in person, and I know I will find something there that will impress me more than their Saint Florian IPA.
Three caps on Untappd is all I can muster here.
The sixth Seattle Beer Week will be upon us soon, and the commemorative brew put together for it this year is a joint effort of six different Seattle area breweries called Six Degrees of Collaboration.
We headed out to Buckley to the Elk Head Brewing Company last weekend, as one our friends recommended the Elk Head Brewery as a must-visit. As I understand it, they’ve been brewing since the early ’90’s, and have been in their location for 10 years.
The brewery is located in an industrial park off of Highway 410. The Yelp directions told us to turn off the highway, but you should stay on the highway until you come to the address. It’s a little hard to find, but worth the search.
As you walk inside, you’re greeted by an amazing collection of growlers suspended from the ceiling, and of course, the beer taps (cue a light shining down and an angel chorus singing “Ahhhhhhh!”).
Part of the growler collection
This isn’t the first beer we picked up from Strong Arm Brewing to review, but it cut in line in front of the Denunciation Triple IPA that we bought earlier. We were looking for sweet more than bitter tonight, and we definitely found it in this bottle of Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Chocolate Porter (which is probably the longest beer name I have ever typed, BTW).
We picked up a bottle of Leipziger Gose by Bayerischer Bahnhof because it caught Ray’s eye. We were intrigued by a salt beer and hadn’t tried anything in this style before.
According to the German Beer Institute, Gose (pronounced “Gose-uh”). is a style of beer that originated in Leipzig, Germany. It’s made from more than half malted wheat and the rest malted barley, and is brewed with salted water.
Fire and Blood is the third in a limited edition series of Game of Thrones-inspired beers by Ommegang Brewery. Following the Iron Throne, a blonde ale, and Take the Black, a black stout, Fire and Blood is a red ale spiced with Ancho chilies.
Per the Ommegang website: “Named after the motto of House Targaryen, Fire & Blood was inspired by Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons; Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. To celebrate the rebirth of dragons, three different labels have been created, each depicting one of Daenery’s feared dragons.”
Not sure which dragon we got on our label
Tucked into a neighborhood in Ballard is Stoup Brewing, a small brewery and tasting room. We visited it on a recent sunny weekend.
In the 6 months or so it’s been open, it looks to have turned into a neighborhood hangout. The tasting room was packed with young people, old people, dogs, kids; there was even a child’s birthday party going on. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves (with the exception of a small disagreement between two dogs with very apologetic owners).
The sun was out, and the doors were opened up to take advantage of the warm weather. They have a rotating food truck out on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
We had a decision to make at Safeway when grabbing this beer: Do we buy the 22 ounce bomber, or should we get a 6-pack of 12 ounce bottles? We don’t always make the correct decision in those situations, but we sure as hell did this time. (Spoiler Alert: We got the 6-pack)