I have to start my thoughts on this brew with a disclaimer: Belgians and Blondes are two styles of beer that I do not appreciate fully. I have had good Belgians and drinkable Blondes, but I have never encountered an example of either that thrilled me. That said, let’s do this.
Ray and I spent the last few hours helping to pick hops at one of our local breweries (Two Beers Brewing) to use in one of their new brews, so it was kind of cool to me to try the Beer Camp Alt Route Altbier, a collab that Sierra Nevada did with Victory Brewing Company. You see, in researching Victory Brewing, they like to use whole flower hops in their beers, just like we picked tonight.
Picking the first beer from the Beer Camp box was pretty difficult. Our post showing all of the beers proves what a great lineup it is. I ended up just picking a couple blindly out of the box and putting them into the fridge. The first one we’re reviewing is Sierra Nevada’s collaboration with Firestone Walker, called Torpedo Pilsner, a hoppy pilsner.
Beer Camp Across America is practically craft beer nirvana in a box. Sierra Nevada teamed up with 12 different craft breweries across the US to make 12 different brews. Then they went on tour and partied, inviting local craft breweries to serve their brews at the festivals.
What a great idea! It’s really fun to see the collaborations, and to anticipate trying out all of these brews. Be sure to watch the video trailer on their site: Beer Camp.
Unfortunately for us, the Beer Camp party sadly neglected the Northwest as far as the festivals went. Ninkasi Brewing out of Portland was one of the collaborators, but the closest festival was in California. As much as we wanted to drop everything and head off there, it wasn’t possible. If a collaboration/party like this ever happens again, I hope they will stop in Washington, as we have some of the best craft breweries in the country (I’m not at all biased, though).
Wanting a flavorful, yet light summer beer to enjoy in the warmer weather? We’ve found a new seasonal that fits the bill nicely.
We stopped by Airways Brewing in Kent this weekend and came home with a 4-pack of the PSA Summer Ale, which we enjoyed during our first cookout of the year (we just got a new grill!)
Janette and I recently celebrated our 5th Anniversary with a party at our place. My boss offered up his top-secret Kalua Pork recipe for us*, so I knew our main dish was going to end up giving our gathering a bit of a Hawaiian flavor. I wasn’t interested in obtaining tiki torches or grass skirts to make it an official theme, but that Big Kahuna Variety Case from Kona Brewing sure called out to me from among all the pallets of beer vying for my attention at Costco. Janette agreed that it would be a nice complement for the pork, so we grabbed one. Another plus side here is that I knew we would be able to review these beers.
I often wonder if brewers agonize over beer names, thinking about what effects they may see from naming a brew one name over another. Well, I hope the fine folks at Charging Hippo Brewing are quite proud of the name of their Imperial Porter. From the moment I saw the name “Zombie Jesus” I was hooked and had to get some. It was on tap at Naked City as part of Nanobrewery Night during Seattle Beer Week #6, but we arrived after that keg had blown. We started following @charginghippo in hopes of getting a line on where to find this beer, and yesterday our quest ended at 99 Bottles in Federal Way.
Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen is a seasonal brew by Gigantic Brewing Company from Portland, Oregon. It’s #18 of their “endless series of Limited edition artist and artisan beers” with a label designed by Heiko Müller.
The description on the bottle reads “A refreshingly complex wheat beer. Aromas of clove and banana intermingle with light smoke imparted from German malt kilned over beechwood fires.” The bottle also has a quote from Douglas Adams “Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” As I love both the art and Douglas Adams, I was already appreciating this beer.
After being tipped off about the existence of a new addition to the Ballard neighborhood’s burgeoning list of breweries in a comment on the Stoup Brewery review we posted about a month ago, Janette and I finally had opportunity to check out Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. last night. We don’t get over to this part of Seattle nearly often enough, so it was quite fortunate that we had a housewarming party to attend earlier in the evening that brought us within a couple miles of their location. There weren’t any official Seattle Beer Week events in the area, either, so it was definitely the right time to visit.