Written by SBN contributor Deverie Hart.
On Tuesday night, April 26th, at Jillian’s in South Lake Union, a mass of people gathered to see Captain Keith Colburn of TV’s Deadliest Catch and celebrate the launch of Henry Weinhard’s newest offering, their India Pale Ale. Promoted in part by Country Music radio station, 100.7 FM “The Wolf”, the event included Q&A with DJ Fitz and Captain Keith, an announcement and description of the new brew by Henry Weinhard’s staff, tastings of the new beer, and finally, a viewing of a new episode of Deadliest Catch.
This event also highlighted the partnership between Henry Weinhard’s Brewing and Keith and Monte Colburn, the Captains of the crabbing boat F/V Wizard featured on Discovery Channel’s popular show. Fans of the show now have an opportunity to win a “Greenhorn Adventure” where the winner gets to fly to Dutch Harbor, Alaska and serve as an honorary F/V Wizard crew member for a day. Henry’s is featured prominently in all of the contest advertisements, and the popular television stars are proud proponents of the new India Pale Ale.
The Henry Weinhard’s brand is a member of the MillerCoors family, and generally brewed in Portland and parts of Northern California. This IPA in particular, I learned last night, is contract brewed out of the Full Sail Brewing facility in Portland. Prior to joining in the tasting session, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical that I’d be impressed – mainly, I suppose, because I worry that anything that reaches a certain high level of production is often in danger of losing quality and unique flavor appeal. But my concerns were unfounded with this beer and I was pleasantly surprised it to be very well-balanced and sessionable. Well done, Henry’s.
At 6.0% ABV and 43 IBUs, this IPA isn’t your aggressive, over-the-top hop bomb, but the taste and aroma were definitely pleasing. Its medium body and slightly dry finish were refreshing and the maltiness was just barely sweet while simultaneously balancing the Galena, Cascade, and Citra hops.
After the Q&A session, Captain Keith made the rounds and visited with his fans. I got to ask him where he likes to grab a beer when he gets off the boat, and he responded that there aren’t a lot of options in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. He did share, however, that back in the day he used to frequent a place called the Elbow Room, in Unalaska, AK (near Dutch Harbor) and once upon a time, a strip club in town. Those venues are long since closed, unfortunately. These days he likes to visit The Grand Aleutian, a historic former military outpost that today serves as a hotel, when he is in Dutch Harbor, and loves all of the microbreweries available in nearby Anchorage, especially Midnight Sun Brewing.
When Henry Weinhard’s IPA comes out on draft in May, you can bet that the Captain will be drinking it. He let me know that he likes all kinds of Northwest beers, especially Mac & Jack’s and Red Hook. As he puts it, he especially likes the Henry’s IPA because it has the right amount of flavor, is a little bit robust, and he doesn’t feel like he needs to take a nap afterward. And after tasting a couple of bottles myself, I would have to agree. Somewhere in between the “lawnmower beer” category and a huge, whop-you-upside-the-head brew, the Henry Weinhard’s IPA was just right for the evening. I wonder if it pairs well with freshly-caught King crab?