Two years ago, I used to make sure that every weekend I tried at least two beers I had never previously tasted. On most weekends, I would snag a couple bombers of something new-to-me, and the rest of the weekend would be dedicated to bottles of 90 Minute IPAs from Dogfish, or pints of Boundary Bay’s IPA if pub crawlin’ was on the itinerary. Nowadays, I can’t remember the last time I stuck to the same beer for more than 2 consecutive pints, let alone a weekend. If memory serves me correctly, this weekend 9 new beers crossed my palette (That’s a big IF – hat tip to my Untapp’d account on the assist in recalling most of this weekends brews). Some were amazing, all were drinkable, and holy hell were they all over the flavor spectrum. Starting with the ones I enjoyed the most, here are the brews I discovered this week that you should give a shot:
Jacobite Ale by Traquair House Brewery: Having never previously heard of this Scotch ale, I will damn sure be on the lookout for it whenever I’m stocking up at bottle shops from now on. This was the last beer I needed to try to complete my Pike Brewing Passport (more on that later), so maybe I was too busy tasting sweet victory to be objective about the flavor of this beer – but damnnnn it was delicious. If you’ve never had a Scotch Ale, you’re missing out – and while I’d prefer to steer you towards something local like Pike’s Kilt Lifter or Boundary Bay’s Scotch Ale, you can’t go wrong starting here with your exploration of this style.
Belgian Pale Ale by Reuben’s Brews: I’m a sucker for Belgian ales of all kinds, but particularly Belgian Golden or Pale Ales. This beer from Ballard’s newest brewery was perfect – tasted so true to style, and has me eager to try and brew up my own Belgian Pale.
Hip Hoppy Party Time!!! Ale by Epic Ales: Sour ales are my new addiction – and while I’ve found most of my friends who try their first sour ale are quickly turned off, I still say everyone needs to give Sour Ales a try for themselves. This was one of the more intriguing Sour Ales I’ve had to date – I don’t know there’s another one out there packed full of IBUs. Cody at Epic Ales nailed it with this, the hop overload actually paired well with the sour punch in the mouth. Find a bottle of this while you can in Seattle area bottle shops or Whole Foods stores in the area.
Pumpkin Rye by Reuben’s Brews: Mmmmm, rye and Pumpkin spice? Yes please. Not much on the actual pumpkin flavor, but there rarely is with pumpkin beers. This beer was frickin delicious. Reuben’s Brews was the big winner in my book this weekend – I tried 3 of their beers at The Beer Junction in West Seattle, and they were all so damn good that I’ll be doing my tastebuds a disservice if I don’t get out to the brewery in Ballard for a taster flight and to fill a growler in the next week or so.
Wild Wild Wet Fresh Hop by Terminal Gravity Brewing (TG): I’ve been a fan of their IPA for a while now, and their tap handles are sweet as hell too. I was a bit buzzed by the time I got to this pint, but from what I recall the hop flavor was all over the map and If i were to guess, they mixed in more than a couple varieties of fresh hops into this batch of deliciousness.
Raspberry Wheat by Cascade Brewing Company: Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of fruit beers, and probably would not have ordered this if I had known that it wasn’t a sour ale (most of Cascade Brewing’s beers I come across seem to be sour ales). But to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this fruit-heavy-flavored wheat beer. It smelled like fresh raspberry jam, and was quite refreshing. The color was beautiful – in fact it was surprisingly clear for a wheat beer.
’til next week…
Mr. Open Container