Monday, January 23, 2012

Belgianfest, Judging & Barleywine Festivals

Snowpocalypse 2012 has passed.  I for one, hope that was the majority of lowland snow we'll be seeing this winter.  Living at the bottom of a steep hill, it cuases lots of problems for me.  I hope any of you who were snowed in had an adequate supply of liquid courage on hand.  Now it's time to look ahead to what's next. 


The next event I'll be attending is Seattle's 2012 Belgianfest, which will be held this year on Saturday, February 4th at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on pier 66.  There will be more than 60 different Belgian styled beers from several different Seattle area breweries.  Tickets are on sale now from Brown Paper Tickets, and there are two sessions to chose from:

Session 1: 12:00-4:00 pm
Session 2: 5:30-9:30 pm
I already have my ticket for Session 1, and I'm looking forward to wrapping my lips around some Saisons, dubbels, wits, farmhouse ales, lambics and more.  Belgian yeasts have very distinctive character, and I'm looking forward to a full afternoon of inundating my palate with various, wonderful Belgian styles. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't Think I Can Last The Month

Back in mid-December, I posted that I was going to attempt to make it the entire month of January without any alcohol whatsoever.  I was going 'on the wagon'.  This was a personal choice, and to be honest it hasn't really been all that bad.  I went the entire first week without any serious cravings or any slip-ups.  I switched to drinking more water, cranberry juice, limeade, etc. 

During that first week, however, I missed a few things I would have preferred to be able to take part in.  The first 'challenge' to my month of sobriety was a really enticing sounding keg from Black Raven Brewing, put on tap January 4th at Brouwer's Cafe.  From Brouwer's description: " It's a Stout with Oak, Theo's Chocolate Nibs, Coffee, and Pecans Soaked in Kahlua and Rum."  OK.  You've gotta admit, that sounds incredible!  It was the first time I really asked myself why I was doing this(?)  Why deny myself just for the heck of it?  But I stayed away. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Firestone Walker Proprietor's Reserve Holiday

Firestone Walker is one of my favorite brewing companies.  Two big reasons for that are their Double Jack Double IPA, which is my favorite Imperial IPA, and the plethora of oak-barrel-aged beers they offer.  I'm a sucker for a well-done barrel-aged beer and Firestone Walker definitely does them right. 

So, during the holidays this year, starting just before Christmas and finishing a few days before New Year's Eve, I decied to drink each one of the beers from Firestone Walker's Proprietor's Reserve Series of beers, which consist of the following beers:

Firestone Walker's Full Proprietor's Reserve Lineup.
(Not pictured/availble: Xth Anniversary, XIth Anniversry & XIIth Anniversary.)

From Left To Right In The Above Photo:
-Double Jack Double IPA, signed by David Walker
-Walker's Reserve Porter
-Abacus Barleywine (Now §ucaba)
-Parabola Imperial Stout, signed by David Walker & Sean Paxton - The Homebrew Chef
-XIIIth Anniversary Ale
-XIVth Anniversary Ale, signed by David Walker
-XVth Anniversary Ale
-Double Jack Double IPA, unsigned - to 'end-cap' the lineup

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Barleywine Bacchanal & Hard Liver On The Way

I'm currently into the first week of my dry January, but I'm already thinking ahead to two of my favorite annual events coming up in February and March, respectively: The Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub and the Hard Liver Fest at Brouwer's Cafe.  These are two of the most popular annual barleywine events in Seattle and I usually try to attend both events each year. 

You can read about the details of last year's Barleywine Bacchanal HERE, and about last year's Hard Liver Fest HERE.  This year will be the 10th year for both events, and I'm eager to see this year's lineups.  This year's Barleywine Bacchanal will start on Saturday, February 25th, and the Hard Liver Fest will kick off on Saturday, March 3rd. 

Thankfully and for obvious reasons, these events offer smaller pour sizes.  This allows you to try a greater number of selections from the menu than would otherwise be possible (without needing a wheelchair to get home, 'cuase you can't walk straight). 

In fact, I believe the best way to experience each of these events is to attend with a few friends.  For example, if you attend either event with two other friends, plan carefully so that you don't double-order and share your selections, you can sample up to three times as many barleywines as you would be able to on your own, without drinking a greater volume. 

No matter how many selections you have or friends you attend with, however, drink responsibly and stay safe out there.