Melvin Comes to Washington

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I discovered Melvin Brewing Co.‘s beer a little over a year ago and was immediately blown away. Way back then, you could find it at a few places on tap- and that was literally it. Today, you can find their cans all around town and sip on their tasty brews on tap at a lot of those locations too!

Well, as some of you know, co-founder Jeremy Tofte actually grew up in the Pacific Northwest and left the PNW to explore more, snowboard, surfing and an even deeper obsession with craft beer.

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This has been a long time coming (I mean, just look at how happy I am drinking a can of Melvin?)… but Melvin is finally opening their doors in Bellingham on June 3rd! That’s. Right. Just TWO days away!

What can you expect from this Kung Fu lovin’ brewery? There will be 20 taps including some rotating guest taps, glasses & bottles of wine from local and regionally delicious wineries, an American Brew Pub menu including Pacific Northwest inspired items as well as featured items from their Thai Me Up restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and a pretty awesome happy hour every day.

If you haven’t experienced Melvin beer before you 1) can still fix the mistake of missing out all this time & 2) have the perfect excuse to road trip up to Bellingham. Known for their huge hop forward beers and pretty kick ass names, you won’t regret.

Wait– does this mean I’m moving to Bellingham? Because I’m pretty sure they’ve got it all going on right now.

So make sure to stop on in on Saturday, drink a beer or ten for me (responsibly) and help welcome Melvin to the PNW! They’ll be open 5p.m.-11p.m. and the beers will be a’flowing! Driving up from Seattle? No problem, Bellingham has some damn fine AirBnB’s too!

 

Cheers Xx

 

UPDATE: 

Opening Date:

June 3, 2017

Hours of Operation:

4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. seven days a week

Operating Brewery: Holiday Season 2017

Check out the full press release here:

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Hopped Up Lupulin Powder

 

There’s no secret that many breweries use dry hopping in their IPAs; whether they want to bring out more hop aroma or more stone fruit/ floral characteristics, it’s a very common practice among home brewers and craft breweries alike.

So what is dry hopping? After the fermentation or kegging of the beer, hops are added, either in leaf form or pellets, and that allows the beer to really soak in all the flavors of the hop themselves. Dry hopping doesn’t add any bitterness to an IPA (generally), but it can also lose that aromatic oil during the boiling processes.

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Hop fields of Bale Breaker Brewing

Something else has been hitting the market lately and, frankly, it’s changing the dry hop game all together.

Breweries around the country are experimenting with Lupulin Hop Powder for dry hopping and it’s absolutely delicious. Lupulin is the little yellow pods inside of the hop cone that really hold all the flavor and aromas. While hop pellets are just powdered Lupulin, they still have to go through an intense process to actually form them… and that tends to bring out some of those bitter elements in hops. Dry hopping with pellets has a higher likelihood of adding bitterness and metallic-like flavors compared to this lovely little powder!

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Lupulin inside of a fresh hop

This powder can also help to produce more beer. I know, it sounds a bit nutty… just hear me out! Without the powder, more beer is absorbed by the hop and can’t be salvaged during the dry hopping stage; so, in turn, using a powder that just dissolves into the beer helps to eliminate that unwanted waste! Yep! That means we get to drink more…

Of course there are drawbacks to using powder; some brewers have experienced a less-than-desired hop flavor (lacking flavor.. or whatever), while the aroma was through the roof delicious. While we still figure out this hop powder business, it seems like a lot of brewers are experimenting with 30%-50% powder and the rest with the pellets. Compromise, right?!

While beers brewed with this powder are just up-and-coming, definitely keep a look out for them! I remember having one from a Washington brewery a few weeks ago (blanking on the name) and it was definitely something way tasty!

 

Cheers Xx

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewing Celebrates IPApril

Is it just me or is this winter last forever and ever? Seriously. We had, what, 40 straight days of rain? I know- we live in Seattle and should be used to the rain.. but sometimes you just need some damn sun! And I know for a fact I’m not the only one walking around with a depressing little grey cloud above my head.

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So how are we going to jump (hopefully) into Spring? Well, with some celebrating of course!

 I love any excuse to celebrate beer. Stout month? Okay. A special release? Don’t mind if I do! But we’re talking about some next level celebrating here.

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For the month of April, Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery will be throwing down some seriously delicious IPAS to chase those blues away. Every Tuesday in IPApril, Flying Bike will be releasing a new IPA to send your taste buds on a delicious adventure.

As I’ve told you guys before about Flying Bike, they are member operated and ran, so these tasty beers are hand-crafted, selected and brewed by your neighbors!

These four beers include a limited Endo Triple IPA aged on rye oak chips, a Lavender IPA Redux which has been aged on dry lavender (personally one of my favorites from them), Tropical Heat IPA infusing their flagship IPA with pineapple, mango and chilies and The Rill Dill IPA which utilizes Sorachi Ace and Mosaic hops combing it with fresh dill, garlic cloves and some chilies.

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I’m not sure about you, but these beers sound damn tasty! Read the full press release below and see yah there!

 Cheers Xx

 

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What’s With All This Haze?

To say things have been crazy lately might be a complete understatement! Between working full-time at The Beer Junction in West Seattle, I’ve also picked up a second job at a startup in Pioneer Square.

I’m curious to see when my body is just going to straight throw in the towel and give up on me. I also just dyed my hair dark, so is this what a quarter-life crisis feels like??

That’s not to say I haven’t been drinking all the beers- oh man have I. I was chatting with one of my beer  friends the other day about how it’s kind of ironic that those who work the most, and in the industry, probably drink the most too.

You try and work in the service industry for 10 hours in one day and NOT want to drink everything… I dare you! (okay.. I love you beer people. Don’t take that personally!)

Part of this over-consumption of deliciousness is this whole New England/Vermont/East Coast/Smoothie/Milkshake IPA (whatever the hell you want to call it). Yeah, yeah. I’m sure you’ve all had one but they are seriously amazing. Breweries like Three Magnets, Matchless & Cloudburst as well as Modern Times Beer, out of California, (which just started distributing outside of California) have jumped on this tasty train and I’m not even mad.

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Photo By: Mark B. Bauschke

So what exactly is this style of IPA? Living in the Pacific Northwest means we are in the center of hop country; while hops are used regardless, this “new” (to us West Coasters) style focuses on the flavor of the hop, and not the bitterness we’re all used to.

We’ve been trained to adore and trust those crystal clear beers, but this style will throw you for a loop if you have no idea about them. These IPAs pour purposefully hazy and cloudy, which ends up giving them a smoother (eh hem, smoothie anyone?) mouthfeel. While most IPAs are clear as day, the NE IPA can include flaked oats to really give off that milky aspect, and also add to the mouthfeel. Most have little to moderate bitterness and really utilize and highlight tropical flavor in the hops.

This style of IPA is a bit more popular just for the fact that the hops aren’t trying to murder you with that dank bitterness. Instead of boiling with the hops, they are more often used during the dry-hopping stage just to extract the juicy, smoothie, floral tastes. We know that a lot of breweries around town use Citra and Mosaic, but these hops are also really f*cking tasty too! The most common strains found in this style of IPA are Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy (GD yum), Amarillo and El Dorado.

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Photo By: Mark B. Baushke

 

Okay but what makes them hazy?

Alright- there’s also this big debate that this style of beer isn’t even really a thing. And I’m here to tell you to earmuff and drink all of them anyways! I’ve gone back and forth with bitter IPAs and whether or not I want them to punch my delicate little taste buds, but this “style” or whatever you want to call it is giving me some serious hope. Maybe it goes along with my love for sweet things, but the bolder, more fruit forward beers have stolen my heart.

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Photo By: Mark B. Bauschke

Recently we went and checked out Seapine Brewing Co. in Sodo and got our hands some pretty stellar beers- one of those is their Positron IPA. Now, this isn’t straight-up a New England/whatever IPA, at least not from Seapine’s claim, but is pretty much what all the breweries around town are trying to accomplish. This IPA utilizes Galaxy hops which has a mild to moderate bitterness but adds that juicy passionfruit and citrus in to the mix. If you’re looking for that “smoothie” style of IPA, this guy is definitely going to be the one for you. With a bit more of a creamy mouth feel, it’s too damn smooth and fruit filled to not love. I mean, just look at that gorgeous dark yellow/orange?! I’m telling you.. you need to get your paws on this.

While the debate goes back and forth, and I’m sure many people will hate me for even addressing this style, a beer is a beer and and I know when I’ve found one I can’t live without. So if you like bitterness, maybe stay away, but they are definitely worth a try.

 

Cheers Xx

Flying Bike Co-Op Celebrates Stout Month

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It’s officially February- and thank god for that! Although the temperature in Seattle has been plummeting the last few days (I’m sorry, 34 degrees is WAY too cold), we’re slowly moving on to early spring beers! I’m pumped for beers such as ISAs, lighter IPAs and other special releases, but Flying Bike is really hitting home for me this month. That’s right. Stouts. All. Month. Long.

For the month of February, Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery will be hosting their 2nd Annual Stout Month. Every Tuesday this month, along with one Saturday, the brewery will be introducing a new stout to their taproom.

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They started this event yesterday by rereleasing their Razryadka Barrel Aged Stout that’s the very first of their bottle releases (circa early 2016)! This stout is rye whiskey aged and is sure to be damn tasty. While this was tapped yesterday, everything is released in 1/6bbl and is sure to go really fast! Definitely get down their as soon as you can before it’s too late!

*This beer is draft only

Next up they will be releasing a chocolate & coconut infused oatmeal stout AND it’s on nitro! If you have a slight addiction to chocolate like myself, this stout will literally taste like a mounds bar. Does it get any better than that? No. The answer is no.

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Okay, maybe I’m wrong. It gets much, much better! Have any plans for the dreadful V-Day? On February 14th these guys will be releasing a PB&J infused nitro oatmeal stout. I’m just saying- you could skip out on your dinner plans and just drink your dinner! The goal of this stout was to bring out that inner child in you and take you all the way back to those grade school days.

Following up the PB&J, on the 18th of February FBCB will be introducing a brand new stout; the Snarky Stout. This straight-ahead American Stout will be nothing short of delicious. We’re talking a 7% classic roasty & toasty, chocolatey masterpiece .

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Have you ever had a stout infused with mushrooms? Well, here’s your chance! for the 5th release, the adventurous brewers at Flying Bike have literally taken the brand-spankin’-new Snarky Stout and thrown in some mushrooms. Not too convinced? The mushrooms actually meld tastily with the stout and give a balance of minerality and smokiness; throw in a solid stout and this beer will be nothing but a winner.

Ending the month with the Razryadka back on draft, you’re not going to want to miss out on this stout month. If you aren’t familiar with Flying Bike and what they’re all about, this brewery is 100% co-op; every beer comes from a simple suggestion from one of their members from the community. That’s right. If you’re a member you too could create one of these masterpieces!

Below I’ll post their schedule of the release and what this whole membership thing is all about! Hope to see you guys there.

 

Cheers Xx

 

 

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*photos courtesy of the beer geniuses at Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery

2017 Beer Resolutions- or something…

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I’ve thrown out New Year’s resolutions years ago- I figured I could keep telling myself that I’ll cut back on eating out, maybe drink a bit less beer and blah, blah, blah.

The list goes on and on.

Looking back at my year and all that I have accomplished in the beer industry has got me throwing together ideas on how to really grow in the new year. I mean, isn’t that what getting older means? Figuring out your sh*t & pull your life together? Well, good luck to that.. Hitting the new year with goals of writing more and experiencing all the new breweries seemed great… until everyone and their mom decided to get sick. And yep, guess who’s sitting here sipping on kombucha and trying to have an apatite?

So what do you do when the New Year starts? Clearly think of some things that will make your like 190% better with little effort. Mine is a bit like that… but better. I have some beer resolutions!

Take Less For Granted

You know, with a brewery like Big Al Brewing closing in White Center, we have to stop taking these great breweries for granted. Forget about sparing on the mileage and get out there! I’m seriously kicking myself for never checking out their space, but 2017 is the year of no ragrats.

Inspire More Beer Beauties

I started writing and throwing myself in to the beer industry to inspire, support and uplift everyone- especially women. If working in the industry has taught me anything it’s that beerism/sexism truly is alive in the industry, and this year we break down that facade and show this boys club what’s up!

Make More Beer Friends

Honestly, what’s better than a bottle share with people who love beer as much as you?! I’ve slowly gotten out of my shell and started to make those friends, but now I want to surround myself with all of them! Surround yourself with people that get just as jazzed about that new IPA as you, or is dying to try that sour that might be too much or might just be damn delicious. Share your knowledge with someone who doesn’t know that much, or open yourself up to new suggestions. Trust me- I never thought I would like saisons but after a little peer pressure I’m a fiend!

Put Your Phone Down

I’m literally the worst at this. I dive in to the social media of things and, admittedly, absolutely love it. But you know who doesn’t love it? Your friends that are trying to have an actual conversation with you might punch you in the face. I’m probably the most guilty. But put the phone down, or snap a quick pic and let it go. Your social media fans can completely wait, and I’m sure they won’t unfollow you. 😉

Live In The Moment

Yeah, yeah. Everyone says carpe diem or whatever. But seriously! Live in the moment of beerfests. Go to every single one and drink everything (responsibly). I debate going to these fests because I don’t want to spend money or go by myself, but who cares? Chances are I’m going to miss going to that Belgian Fest or shelling out for GABF- so no regrets right? Adventure more!

Basically what I’m saying is that there are so many great breweries, beer events and beer friends out there you have no other option but to make this year yours. What are some of my beer goals? Besides making out new puppy a brew pup God?! Here you go:

  1. Do a Bend, OR beer trip
  2. Explore Hood River and pFriem Brewing
  3. Go to GABF in October
  4. Have an article published
  5. Explore more breweries in California
  6. Visit the WA/OR coast and drink all the things!
  7. Focus more on photography + beer photography
  8. Feel more confident with my own writing
  9. Interview some amazing breweries
  10. And dabble with some home brewing!

What’s on your list?

Cheers Xx

Goodbye 2016 & Hello Beerventures!

Have you guys seen that trailer for 2016? The one that was made in to a horror film? Don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it you can find it here; anyways, I think it’s safe to say that this year is welcome to GTFO.

As I see everyone reflecting on their years on Facebook, I can’t help but do the same. We’ve had a lot of up and downs, but can we also just take a moment to appreciate all the amazing beer we got out of it? From my discovery of Belgian/sour beers, to my distaste of them and BACK to liking them, it’s clearly been one hell of a rollercoaster this year!

dsc07510After having a cucumber sour from 10 Barrel Brewing, I knew that snagging this raspberry sour would be anything but a mistake.

Now can I get a high five for branching out and jump-starting my own love affair with sour beer? Becoming an adult might have been the best thing (only when it comes to my taste.. everything else like bills and responsibilities can suck it). 

Just like it’s brother, this beer had a great balance of raspberry and sour (unlike this unbalanced year, amiright??) and was damn delicious. The pour was a light red that was pretty dang pretty and had a light pink head that dissipated quickly. The smell literally hits you with raspberries and I want all of it 100% of the time. The taste hits you a bit with tartness and melts into that sweet raspberry without being too sweet, a bit of some hops and a nice level of malt. Honestly, 10 Barrel does some crazy good things with their sours and I want pretty much any flavor. Give me them! The drinkability of this one could be really dangerous, and at a sneaky 6.2% I’m not even upset! The mouthfeel was light and the carbonation wasn’t too much. Seriously, if you see this beer around, grab every last one of them. I made the mistake of only grabbing two and they sold out like nobodies business.

On a more serious note, this year has brought so many beer adventures, great beer friends and really ignited my own passion for beer, writing and photography. I couldn’t have made it this far without my beautiful friends and family- and obviously my impeccable taste. Beer inspiration is real, people, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has to offer!

May your New Year’s celebration be safe, fun, hoppy & delicious.

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Have a very, very hoppy year!

Cheers Xx