Friday, May 27, 2011

Seattle Beer Week Is Wearing Me Out

My wife, Lynn, and I had so much fun at the Firestone Walker & Homebrew Chef dinner at Brouwer's on Monday and in the few days prior, that we were wiped out on Tuesday.  We never really got home on Monday until around 1:30AM and didn't get to bed util at least 2:30/3:00AM.  So, needless to say, we slept in on Tuesday the 24th. 

Even when we did get up, we just felt too wiped out to hit any Seattle Beer Week events that day.  I wanted to hit up the IPA Fest at Big Time Brewery, but I just couldn't find the energy.  I live 22 miles from Seattle, so I have to make a conscious effort to come into the city for even a single event. 

I finally got back into the swing of things on Wesnesday.  There was no early event this day at Brouwer's, but I went there for an early lunch anyway.  I was hoping they'd still have some Firestone Walker beers on tap.  I was not disappointed.  They even had Firestone Walker's 'Sticky Monkey' on tap by itself.  This is extremely rare.  Sticky Monkey is a beer Firestone Walker brews specifically for blending purposes.  It is usually not seen available by itself (i.e. Not blended as part of another FW beer).  We have Sean Paxton (The Homebrew Chef) to thank for that one, as he brough up this beer to use as an ingredient for the beer pairing dinner I attended on Monday the 23rd

Firestone Walker's 'Sticky Monkey'

After kicking things off at Brouwer's, I hit up the Firkin Firkin event at Elysian Brewing on Capitol Hill.  This was a WA vs. CO event, with beers from breweries in both states available on Cask.  There were 15 casks to try and participants were urged to vote for their favorite.  Since I'd arleady been to Brouwer's for a few and was planning on heading back there later for an event at 6:00PM, I only had 3 5oz tasters - and a few other sips from some friends I ran into at the event. 

Unfortunately, I left my notes & photos from this event on my other PC, which I won't have access to until tonight, so I'll update this post then with photos, which Firkins I tried and which I cast my vote for. 

After Firkin Firkin at Elysian, it was back to Brouwer's Cafe for their Beer Cocktail event with Hopworks beers and Brewing Up Cocktails.  After the Union Jack Hurricane and the Parabola/Sticky Monkey/Mint Syrup Ber'lip I'd had at Monday's dinner, I wanted to give a few more beer cocktails a try. 

While the Hurricane & Ber'lip I'd had on Monday were pretty heavy on the beer - with just a bit of flavoring added, the offerings at Brouwer's for Brewing Up Cocktails were quite different, and generally only used beer as one ingredient among many or as a 'top off' after mixing the other ingredients.  I decided to try a 'West Coast Radler' and a 'Single Speed'. 

Since the Radler was topped off with a light lager, I barely noticed it.  It did provide a thinning of the other ingredients to mute their strength of flavor, but in a way that didn't water things down.  Very nice.  The Single Speed was a bit more unusual, but then I don't usually have any cocktails with Aquavit.  The mix of IPA and apricot/lime flavors in this one provided the bulk of the flavor and color.  Not bad. 


After my two cocktails I couldn't resist, so I ordered another Firestone Walker Sticky Monkey.  I had to take advantage of it while it was still around.  Brewing Up Cocktails at Brouwer's was my last event for the evening.

Unfortunately, the next day, Thursday, I had to be back to work.  I also had a few things to take care of at home, so I only had the time to hit one event last night on my way home.  I stopped by Elliott Bay Brewing in Burien for their 'IPA Feast'.  All 5 Elliott Bay IPAs were on tap (or cask) and available in pints or as a taster tray.  I opted for the taster tray, which included: Organic Ebay IPA, Organic Demolition, Black Ops CDA, Hellmouth IPA, and Organic Hop von Boorian.  No surprise to me, my favorite was the Hellmouth.  At 7.1% ABV and 100 IBU's it was the 2nd strongest and the hoppiest/most bitter beer in the bunch.  And I'm a sucker for a good, strong IPA. 

My IPA Feast Taster Tray at Elliott Bay, Burien

I found the Organic Ebay decent, but a bit too light flavored for my palate.  Demolition was probably my 2nd favorite (7.25% ABV and 98 IBU's).  Hop von Boorian was OK, but I've just never gotted used to the mix of Belgian yeast combined with strong hops.  To me, those are conflicting styles/tastes and I can't seem to get into them.  I know the 'Belgian IPA' style is getting more popular lately, but I'm not a big fan.  The CDA was decent, but again, the over-toasted flavor of black patent or other dark malts doesn't agree with my palate when mixed with a strong hop flavor.  I guess I'm discovering that, with a few exceptions, I'm a sucker for sticking to the classic, defined beer styles. 

Today is Friday, and I plan to hit a couple of events after work today.  First, I'd like to hit up the Naked City Drink Naked Night event at Naked City Taphouse.  After that, if I can tear myself away, I may head to Night of the Living Nanos at the Fiddler's Inn.  This will be a showcase of beers from three of Washington's smallest breweries. 

See what too much beer makes a nice, consevative girl do? (Oh, who'm I kidding?  Conservative?  lol)

I haven't decied what events I might attend this Saturday or Sunday yet, but I also have to think about kegging my latest batch of IPA and transferring my Oktoberfest Lager to kegs to start it's 3-month long lagering period.  So you'll have to check back to see where I'm at.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

1 comment:

  1. I know its been a while for you but I'm looking to clone Stick Monkey. If you feel like you can, any help on the recipe would be appreciated! I haven't guessed the hops yet but here's my shot at the bill:

    marris otter - 70%
    munich - 10%
    amber malt - 2.5%
    crystal 120 - 2.5%
    turbinado - 15%