Chef John Howie’s Beardslee Public House Introduces Cicerone

July 23rd, 2014 · Beer & Food, Washington Breweries

How often do you hear of someone leaving their position as Sommelier at a respected restaurant to become a Certified Cicerone at a new business venture? Yeah, this might be a first. Paige Zahnle will be moving from Seastar to the new Beardslee Public House; both are owned by Chef John Howie.

Press Release:

BOTHELL, Wash. – Chef John Howie introduces Paige Zahnle as the first Certified Cicerone of Beardslee Public House, Chef Howie’s restaurant and brewery set to open November 2014 in Bothell. Zahnle leaves her Sommelier position at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar to join Beardslee Public House as a Certified Cicerone and the assistant to Head Brewer Drew Cluley.

“I was thrilled to hear that Paige passed her Cicerone accreditation,” commented Proprietor/Chef John Howie.  “Paige’s passion for craft brewing and craft beer is unsurpassed and contagious, and it will have a tremendous impact on our crew at the Beardslee Public House.”

The Cicerone Certification Program certifies and educates beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for guests. Zahnle holds the title of Certified Cicerone, which is the second level of certification. To become a Certified Cicerone, Zahnle had to pass the first level of certification with the Beer Server exam. Then, Zahnle went on to pass a written exam with short answer and essay questions, plus a tasting and demonstration component to be named a Certified Cicerone.

“I’m pleased to be the first Certified Cicerone for the John Howie Restaurant Group,” commented Cicerone Paige Zahnle. “I’m excited to bring the same informative passion for beer to Beardslee as I have for wine to Seastar. I can’t wait to be part of this craft beer, liquor, and food experience!”

Beardslee Public House is set to open in Bothell in November 2014, along with Chef Howie and Distiller Erik Liehdolm’s Wildwood Spirits Co. Beardslee Public House will be a 10-barrel brewery, offering 12 to 13 craft brews for the ale house, produced by Head Brewer Drew Cluley. The ale house will feature the finest of local craft brews in guest taps. Beardslee Public House’s restaurant will present brewhouse cuisine, with everything made in-house. The restaurant will grind its own meat, bake fresh bread, and feature a “locker” for aging housemade charcuterie. Burgers, brats, and flatbreads will be highlighted, and housemade charcuterie, cheese and pickled vegetables will compliment the menu. There will be a full-service bar, with popular local wineries on tap. For more information, visithttp://facebook.com/BeardsleePublicHouse.

About The John Howie Restaurant Group:

The John Howie Restaurant Group includes John Howie SteakSeastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, Bellevue; Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, Seattle; SPORT Restaurant and BarAdriatic Grill Italian Cuisine & Wine BarBeardslee Public House; and Wildwood Spirits Co.. Chef Howie also recently released the cookbook Passion & Palate: Recipes for a Generous Table. Chef Howie has been honored with an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on five separate occasions, representsWashington state annually at the Super Bowl in The Taste of the NFL, is a repeat guest at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and has been a guest chef on Celebrity, Holland America, and Radisson Cruises. Chef Howie’s restaurants have received multiple awards for their philanthropic and community involvement, which has provided over $4,500,000 to the national and local charitable organizations they support.

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Mac & Jack’s News: New IPA Released & Select 22oz Bottles Now Available

July 22nd, 2014 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

Mac-&-Jack's-IBIS_0613_2x3One of the most common things you might hear at bars across Seattle is, “I’ll have a Mac & Jack’s.” That blanket statement refers to the insanely popular African Amber from Mac & Jack’s Brewery in Redmond. That beer is one of the most popular craft beers in Seattle and can be found on tap all over the city. It is often one of the first local beers that visitors sample.

While African Amber makes up the large majority of the brewery’s distribution, they do have a lineup of other styles, including Blackcat Porter, Serengeti Wheat and Two Tun IPA. The thing is, they can be hard to come by. The most reliable spots to find them are at the brewery and at the African Lounge in the A Concourse at Seatac Airport.

Mac & Jack’s also occasionally brews some special release beers, often for festivals or special events. The latest is their Ibis IPA, which is a 6.9% ABV IPA with 65 IBUs. It is brewed with Amarillo & Mosaic hops, which happen to be two of my favorites. They were only able to get a certain amount of Mosaics for the brew, so distribution will be “somewhat limited.” For almost a year, they’ve been dialing in the recipe for Ibis by trialing different versions at their retail store and festivals. The name, Ibis, which is an African bird, fits with the African theme of the rest of their lineup. They are trying to get the IPA out to as many customers as possible, but your best bet to find the IPA right now would be at Red Door, Sully’s Snowgoose Saloon or Hilltop Ale House.

In other news, Mac & Jack’s recently purchased a small 22oz bottling machine and will be bottling occasional special release beers. First up is their Bourbon Barrel-Aged  Cascadian Dark Ale, which was aged in bourbon barrels for over 10 months. It is currently available at their retail store at the brewery in Redmond for $15/bottle with a limit of four per person per day.

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Flying Lion Brewing Looks to Open in Columbia City in August

July 21st, 2014 · Washington Breweries

Griffin & Adam hope to have Flying Lion open in August.

Griffin & Evan hope to have Flying Lion open in August.

Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood is a perfect spot for a brewery, and Flying Lion Brewing hopes to be open soon on Rainier Ave S in a small space right next to the popular Full Tilt Ice Cream. The closest brewery to Columbia City is currently Spinnaker Bay Brewing, located just a few blocks south in Hillman City. Flying Lion will be located right on the main business drag of the neighborhood, making it a great addition to those in search of a beer in South Seattle.

Four brothers, and some various other family members, are investors in the brewery. Griffin Williams is the only one spending all of his time on the brewery, but his brother Evan is also on the payroll, and another brother, Tyler, is located in Seattle and will help out when available (The 4th brother lives in DC). The Williams brothers are opening Flying Lion after growing up in an area that knows a little something about good beer. They are originally from Kalamazoo, MI, home of Midwest staple Bell’s Brewery. Griffin says, “I think our original introduction to craft beer was living in the same town as Bell’s. Our dad would always have a bottle or two of Bell’s in the fridge.” As for why they decided to open their brewery in Seattle, Evan & Tyler moved here several years ago, and Griffin thought it would be the perfect place after coming out to visit. ” We just really like the beer culture. We know that beer is appreciated out here. Plus, it’s close to the hops.” Griffin & Evan are 24 and 28 years old, respectively, and they have been homebrewing long enough that they’d prefer not to say exactly how long so that we can’t do the math. Griffin moved to Seattle earlier this year after working at a homebrew supply shop in Minnesota while preparing to get the brewery going, while Evan is currently studying for a graduate degree in biomechanical engineering at the University of Washington.

They will be brewing on a new 3-barrel brewhouse purchased from Stout Tanks & Kettles in Portland, and they will also start off with 3-barrel fermenters. Griffin says, “We were originally looking at just doing a 1-barrel system, but after running the numbers it just made sense to go with the larger system. 3-barrels is pretty much the biggest system we think we can fit in here. We can fit some 7-barrel fermenters in here, but we’ll see how things go the first few months. We’d have to take the door out to get the bigger fermenters in.”

As for what you’ll find on tap at Flying Lion, Griffin says, “Our preference is heavily towards porters and stouts. So, we’ll definitely have more of those on tap than normal for most places, but we’ll have a variety of other styles.” Griffin says his favorite porter in town is the Robust Porter from Reuben’s Brews, which won a gold medal at the recent Washington Beer Awards. Evan’s favorite style is a Baltic Porter, and if time permits they’d love to have one on tap when they open their doors. They plan to have a bar and somewhere around 25 seats in their taproom, and beer will be available for purchase in pints and to-go in growlers. To start off, they will have the taproom open every day of the week, except Tuesday. They will be kid and dog friendly.

They are hoping to open in August or early September, but they have plenty of work to do in order to meet that goal. They have been working on getting the space ready to install the brewing system, which they should have in their possession shortly. Evan will be taking on the task of installing and setting up their electric brewing system. He says, “It’s been a little bit of a stretch for me as a mechanical engineer, but I did study physics in my undergrad. I can go back to the basic fundamentals of the science and figure out where electrons are supposed to be going, it just takes me longer than a true electrician. We have some engineering friends who are helping out as well.”

One unique feature at their brewery is that they plan to mill all of their grain with the power of a bicycle. Griffin says, “We bought the biggest grain mill we could afford, and then Evan (the engineering student) figured out that we can power it with our legs.” Evan adds, “We did some power tests on bikes over at UW’s IM building for various amounts of time to see how many watts we could output & see if we could roll the grain we need in a reasonable amount of time. We figured out that we can keep up with what was the recommended 3/4 horsepower electric motor; we can be at least that fast.” They are going to have the bike and mill set up where customers can take a spin and mill some grain, if they’d like to be part of the process. “We are going to try and have some sort of leader board, probably by number of pounds milled, and then maybe every once in a while throw out a prize.”

The small space where their brewery sits has previously been a thrift shop, print shop and was originally part of a Safeway store that spread throughout much of the complex. They aren’t sure which previous tenant would have been a part of the following story. Griffin says, “We found a little bit of history in the walls of this space. I was taking out some drywall to put our plumbing in and I found a padded envelope buried in the wall. I thought maybe it was a bunch of money someone hid back there. But, no, it was actually a Colt 45 pistol with a police tag with an evidence number from 20 years ago on it. There was a pack of 6 bullets, too. It was definitely a pretty weird thing to find. We ended up calling the police and they took it.”

Sounds like the type of story that could inspire the name of some beers, although I’d stay away from using “Colt 45″. Padded Envelope Porter, maybe?

They will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdBrewed, but they aren’t looking for a handout.  Griffin says, ” Our crowdfunding campaign is primarily to ease some of the high capital expenses during these last few weeks before we open. We’ll be launching the campaign in about a week on a site called CrowdBrewed… It’s still a fundraising campaign but we’re not looking to take the money without giving back as much as we can. Many of the rewards are essentially pre-paid really good deals on our beer, in other words, our crowdfunding campaign will serve as a loan to make sure we don’t have to cut corners just to open.”

As a nearby Beacon Hill resident myself, I certainly look forward to another brewery opening up in the area. Cheers, and best of luck to Flying Lion.

You can follow Flying Lion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

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Upcoming Events at The Masonry, Including 1st Anniversary Party on August 9

July 17th, 2014 · Events

Thanks to The Masonry on Facebook for the image.

The Masonry has been kicking some serious ass with their beer selection & wood-fired pizza over in Lower Queen Anne since opening last summer. In addition to the must-have IPAs and such, they do a great job of working styles like saisons and sours into their 14 taps of beer. They also have a well-chosen bottle list that offers even more possibilities.

It isn’t a huge place or a never-ending tap list, but they do a commendable job with what they have. They also host quite a few special events, including what I’ve heard are some amazing beer dinners with some of the best breweries around. Below is a list of upcoming events, starting with a party tonight featuring some of the collaborations that Widmer has done to celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. The highlight is their 1st anniversary party, which will take place on August 9 and feature some very special beers.

Here is their full list of upcoming events:

July 17th, 6pm
Widmer Collaboration party with 10 Barrel, Boneyard and Breakside.
We’ll be tapping kegs of the Widmer collaborations, as well as some fun kegs from Breakside, and we’ll be joined by folks from Widmer and Breakside.
July 24th, 6pm
Hosting Casey Ruud from Old Schoolhouse Brewing
Owner and head brewer Casey Ruud from Old Schoolhouse will be joining us and we’ll be tapping 3 (maybe more depending on if he brings some himself) kegs from them.
July 29th, 7pm
Brewer’s Dinner with Silver City
Silver City will be joining us for a 5 course x 5 Beer meal that includes a berlinerweisse brewed specifically for the event.  Tickets are $60 and reservations are available at the bar or by phone.
August 9th, 11:30am-Close
1 year anniversary party
We’ll be celebrating our year anniversary by tapping special kegs from breweries that have done events with us and supported us throughout the year. Beers include the Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Firestone Walker Aggrestic, Ballast Point Sour Wench, 10 Barrel Apricot, Almanac Pluot, Anchorage/Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Boreal, Fremont Midnight Rider and more.
August 19th, 7pm
Brewer’s Dinner with Engine House #9
Shane is pulling no punches on this one. 5 course x 5 beer dinner including a vintage keg of the Barrel aged Dark passenger, Vieux Monde barrel aged saison and more.  Beer lineup will be finalized when we can make up our indecisive asses, but everything will be great.

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Phinney Neighborhood Association Summer Beer Taste This Saturday

July 16th, 2014 · Events, Washington Breweries

The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) has to be one of the coolest neighborhood associations in the country. This Saturday they will host their 9th annual Summer Beer Taste, and that is in addition to their popular Winter Beer Taste that has been around for more than 25 years. These aren’t exactly your typical neighborhood fundraisers.

The PNA will be hosting 25 NW breweries & one cidery for the event this Saturday, and you can see the full beer list below. There are plenty of gems (like Fremont B-Bomb!) and plenty of sessionable beers perfect for summer.

Tickets are $30 for the general public and include ten tastes, brats and snacks. The event will take place outside at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave N, July 19, from 4-7 pm. Proceeds benefit the programs at the PNA.

Participating Breweries & Their Brews

Big Al Brewing Big Hoppa IPA, Big Al’s Amber
Black Raven Brewing Session Whiskey Ginger, BeakTweaker Citrus IPA
Bluebird Microcreamery/Brewery Pecan Pie Porter
Diamond Knot Brewery
Der Blokken Brewery Praetorian Pale Ale, Mutha Hefe, Russian Overcoat Imperial Stout
Elysian Brewing Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale, Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
Fremont Brewing Co Summer Ale, The Brother, Bourbon Abominable
Georgetown Brewing Co Eddie IPL, L.A.Woman
Hilliard’s Beer Suffering Bastard Saison; Roxanne
Lantern Brewing Tripel, Cassie, Blondine
Lazy Boy Brewing Billberry Belgian Golden Ale, Triple IPA
Maritime Pacific Brewing Co Oatmeal Pale Ale, Dry-hopped old Seattle Lager
Naked City Brewing Beer Garden Summer Pale, Yankee Drifter Summer Ale
NW Peaks Brewery Ingalls Ginger Pale, Dickerman Session Pale
Odin Brewing Sigrun, Odin’s Gift
Pike Brewing Number 4 Ale
Populuxe Brewing ISA, Double IPA
The Ram Paradisi Grapefruit Pale
Reuben’s Brews London Calling, Roggenbier, Imperial Rye IPA
Rooftop Brewing Hoppy Half Wheat, Mosaic Single Hop IPA
Salish Sea Brewing Dayton Street ISA
Seapine Brewing La Fantasma Blonde Ale,  IPA
Seattle Cider PNW Berry Cider
Spinnaker Bay Brewery IPA, Porter or Scotch
Stoup Citra IPA
Two Beers Brewing Co Day Hike Session Ale

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Engine House #9 Plans Berliner Fest for This Saturday in Advance of Sour Fest

July 14th, 2014 · Events

Shane Johns and crew down at Engine House #9 in Tacoma are making some great sour beers these days. Their Wild and Sour Fest will return this year on August 23, but this Saturday (July 19) they’ll be featuring an exciting lineup of Berliner Weisse & Gose. They will be releasing their Tacoma Weisse for the event, including peach and golden raspberry variants. They will also be pouring 10+ guest beers. Check out the partial list below, but you can expect a few more beers to be added by Saturday.

Beers will be tapped at 11am at E9. Make a day out of it…after stopping by E9 you can check out the new layout of The Red Hot and then hop over to The Parkway. Sounds like a great little Saturday, huh?

Preliminary Tap List:

ALMANAC GOLDEN GATE GOSE
ANDERSON BALLY HORSE TONGUE WHEAT
ANDERSON VALLEY MINK AND THE HOLY GOSE
BEAR REPUBLIC TARTARE
BLACK MARKET 1945 BERLINER WEISSE
BRUERY HOTTENROTH BERLINER WEISSE
E9 TACOMA WEISS
EVIL TWIN JUSTIN BLABAER WEISSE
FREIGEIST ABRAXXXAS
OFF COLOR TROUBLESOME GOSE
TACOMA BREWING BEER X BERLIN BELMA
10 BARREL CUCUMBER CRUSH
10 BARREL RASPBERRY

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Hop a Ferry to the Bremerton Summer BrewFest Saturday

July 10th, 2014 · Events, Washington Breweries

The current forecast for Saturday is 91 and sunny with a 0% chance of rain. Sounds like a great day to explore more than 100 beers pouring from 30 Washington breweries at the Bremerton Summer BrewFest.

To some of you that never leave the city (you know who you are), Bremerton might sound like it is a world away. But, the fact is that to get there all you have to do is walk or bus downtown and head to Pier 52 on the waterfront. You can walk on to the ferry and be in Bremerton in about an hour. The festival takes place just a few blocks from the Bremerton Ferry Terminal, and a beautiful summer ferry ride across Puget Sound is something that you should look forward to, not avoid.

You can find the full beer list here.

More info from Washington Beer Commission:

The Washington Beer Commission is proud to announce the tantalizing beer list for the 3rd Annual, Bremerton Summer BrewFest, this Saturday, July 12, from noon – 6:30pm in downtown Bremerton. The event will feature 30 Washington Breweries pouring more than 100 creative, summer style brews, unique local favorites and featuring some flavorful infused beers poured through a Randall.

What is a Randall you ask? It’s a filter connected between a keg and the tap. Breweries can fill the filter’s chambers with things like hops, chocolate, coffee, spices, and more, so that any given beer takes on the qualities of the infused ingredient.

Bremerton Summer BrewFest tickets are available now at washingtonbeer.com and are just $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The event will take place on Pacific Avenue between 4th St. and 7th St., an easy walking distance from the Bremerton/Seattle Ferry Terminal.

This unique craft beer festival is presented by the Washington Beer Commission and a terrific opportunity for beer lovers to sample some very flavorful creations from the state’s finest craft brewers. There will be live music and some great food options as well!

 

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Get Creative With the Fremont Brewing CANpaign

July 8th, 2014 · Random Beer Pics, Russell Lo, Washington Breweries

Want to win some cool stuff from Fremont Brewing while having fun and drinking beer? Fremont kicked off their CANpaign last week, where they are asking fans to submit photos of cans of their beers in the wild. Going for a hike or a weekend camping getaway? Bring some Fremont cans and get creative. See the details on how to enter below.

More info from Fremont Brewing:

“It’s time, folks…time for the Fremont Brewing CANpaign! Yep, that’s right. We’re challenging you, you craft-beer-in-a-can-drinker you, to capture our beer cans in scenic, outdoor settings. Next time you go hiking, biking, mountaintop zumba-ing, kayaking, etc., snag some of our cans, snap an awe-inspiring photo, and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #FremontCANpaign.

Each week, from now through September 21st, we’ll select a winning photograph and award the owner of that photo with a $10 gift card. The twelve winning photographs (one selected each week) will then go head-to-head in an online vote. The grand prize will be a four-person VIP Tour of the brewery and a $50 gift card. Did we mention that we’ll be chauffeuring you and your friends in our Beer Patrol car?!?

Three Key Requirements: 1) Follow us on Instagram at @FremontBrewing, 2) Include one of our beer cans in your photo, 3) Use the hashtag #FremontCANpaign “

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5 Washington Beers Available in Cans Perfect for the 4th of July

July 2nd, 2014 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

silverWe all know that the true Seattle summer doesn’t start until the 4th of July comes around, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate this upcoming weekend. On the 4th of July, people will be getting together to grill, visit with family & friends and celebrate our independence from those evil Brits (they really aren’t so bad). For most people reading this website, that likely means enjoying a few beers at whatever party or event you end up attending.

Here are a few simple rules that you should probably stick to when choosing your beers for the 4th:

  1. Serve beer made by a brewery that is actually American-owned. That immediately excludes anything from MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, both of which are owned by huge international conglomerates based outside of the U.S. That also excludes any of those “cool” retro brands owned by Pabst Brewing Company, which in addition to PBR include the once-local Rainier and Olympia; all of their brands are contract brewed at MillerCoors facilities. Also, local NW brewery Pyramid is 100% owned by a food & beverage company located in Costa Rica.
  2. To take it a step further, choose something local. There is great beer being made in every corner of the country these days, but supporting local businesses is a very American thing to. There are plenty of local options when looking for beers for this weekend.
  3. Choose beers that are not too high in alcohol. Assuming that you’ll be hanging out for a while, you will likely want to have a few beers without getting trashed. If you do just want to get trashed and celebrate America, bourbon is a solid choice.

Again, there are many great local options available for the 4th of July. Stop by your favorite beer retailer this week and I’m sure they can help you find something worthy. Following are 5 beers available in cans that you could stock up on. Why cans? Because they are convenient for picnics/BBQs and with the increasing availability of more brands in cans you have a lot to choose from.

  1. Fremont Summer Ale – This 5.2% ABV pale ale is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s a simple combo of fruity Amarillo hops and base 2-Row malt. The result is full of hop flavor without being very bitter. Refreshing and full of flavor. I want one right now. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans, 22oz bottles and on draft.
  2. Silver City Ziggy Zoggy Lager - This balanced, easy drinking, unfiltered 5% ABV German-style lager (officially called a Zwickelbier) is perfect for summer. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans, 22oz bottles and on draft.
  3. Orlison Lizzy’s Red – Orlison Brewing, located in Airway Heights, WA outside of Spokane, is a small brewery that concentrates on brewing a wide variety of lagers. Lizzy’s Red offers a mix of bready and caramel malts with light hops to balance. Very crisp and clean. 5.5% ABV. Available in 4-packs of 16oz cans in the Seattle area.
  4. Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale - This pale ale is brewed in the middle of a hop field. Seriously. At 4.5% ABV it might be the lightest beer on this list, but it probably packs in the most hop flavor. Lots of citrus and fruit. Available in six-packs of 12oz cans and on draft.
  5. 7 Seas Rude Parrot IPA – I’ve already included two hop-forward pale ales on the list, but I know how many of you are biased towards IPAs. Rude Parrot is just 5.85% ABV and packs in a lot of tropical fruit and citrus hop flavors backed with a solid malty base. Available in 4-packs of 16oz cans and on draft.

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Fresh Hop Season Just Over the Horizon – Q&A with Colin Lenfesty

July 1st, 2014 · Washington Breweries

Thanks to +Russ on Flickr for the image.

In 2013, the first fresh hop beer of the season showed up in Seattle when Two Beers Brewing released their 2013 Fresh Hop on August 30. Today is July 1st, which gives us less than two full months till we might expect to see fresh hop beers start to hit the market again this year. Most breweries don’t get their fresh hop beers out until September or October, but early access to fresh hops will help many breweries beat the rush. Either way, many breweries are likely putting in their orders for fresh hops right about now.

I drink a lot of fresh hop beers every year, and I also help put on the annual Fresh Hop Throwdown at the Noble Fir. Two of my favorite fresh hop beers over the past couple of years were the Big Al Amarillo Pale Ale and the Bainbridge Island Locabore. Both of these beers have two things in common. First, they both placed in the top 3 of the blind judging at the Fresh Hop Throwdown; Big Al Amarillo took 3rd in 2013 and Bainbridge Locabore took 3rd in 2012. Second, Colin Lenfesty worked on the recipes and brewed both of these beers. Colin is now working diligently to open Holy Mountain Brewing this summer, but he took the time to answer a few questions about fresh hop beers. See below for that Q&A.

I also reached out to Matt Lincecum of Fremont Brewing, who makes the always awesome Cowiche Canyon fresh hop pale. Matt agrees with Colin’s points below about using 100% fresh wet hops. He says they don’t use any dried/extract hops for bittering and that the fresh hops should be used within 24 hours of harvesting them for best results.

I thought that this would be interesting to general readers but also hopefully to the multitudes of new brewers at small operations with zero to little experience brewing with fresh hops. I’m sure we’ll see more fresh hop beers than ever this season, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to it.

Q&A with Colin Lenfesty:
1) Can you explain your brewing process for the Big Al Amarillo Pale Ale, and how you incorporated the fresh hops? Do you run into any unique problems in the brew due to using lots of whole cone fresh hops?

I used whole cone Amarillo hops in every part of the brewing process. Mash hopping (seems appropriate for fresh hop beers?), kettle additions, and then using the mash tun as a hop back and steeping vessel. Final run off before the heat exchanger went through another, smaller vessel loaded up with hops.

2) What type(s) of hops did you use, and have you found that certain varieties work better than others for fresh hop brews?

The fresh hop beer last year was entirely Amarillo from Virgil Gamache Farms in Toppenish, Washington. I’ve been really happy using Amarillo for the last few fresh hop brews, but am excited to be moving on to try some different varieties at Holy Mountain. I think for Fresh Hop beers, Amarillo is great by itself and yields some awesome results. That holds true for most of these beers though. The unique flavors and aromas that come out of using just a single hop is pretty incredible, and it’s up to the brewer and their technique to coax it out to it’s maximum potential. I still love drinking an entirely Cascade wet hop beer. When done right, they are pretty incredible. I’m all for blending different types and can’t wait to move forward with some ideas we have for future beers.

3) What volume of fresh hops did you use, and did you use any dried/extract hops for bittering?

It was quite the pile, that’s for sure. I don’t believe in using kilned or hop extract for bittering. Only entirely fresh, wet, green hops. You can get pretty close to the desired bitterness with a little bit of math. The brewer just has to be willing to use the extra hops.

4) Any thoughts on what styles work best for fresh hop beers, and which might not be a good choice?

I think any style that can really showcase the unique character of the hop that the brewer has chosen is appropriate. Personally, I don’t like things to get muddled with any dark specialty grains, crystal malts or a really estery yeast strain. I’m kind of a straight up Pale guy when it comes to these beers. I would rather keep it around 5 % ABV and use more hops, instead of going for something more alcoholic or sweet. That being said, the Piled High from Bale Breaker last year was insane. We had it fresh in Yakima, and didn’t realize it was 8 percent until ordering our third one. That beer was incredible. If you have access to that many hops, why not?

5) Any other suggestions or thoughts for brewers who are new to brewing fresh hop beers?

Keep it simple and show off the hops. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and come up with a crazy new style. Don’t be afraid to go for it with using a ton of hops in every part of the brewing process, and keep those suckers out of your heat exchanger.

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