Thursday, February 27th, 2020

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.27.20: Flight of Alan Sprints

Ron Swarner

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Beer flights in TacomaPeople have been making pilgrimages to Portland, Oregon for Alan Sprints’ beer since the dark ages — back when hazy and sour beers weren’t made that way intentionally. His Hair of The Dog Brewing is proud to be one of the first breweries in America specializing in the production of high alcohol, bottle conditioned beers as well as experimenting with the barrel aging process since 1994. Tonight, Sprints will be in the house with Fred strong ale on tap, as well as four of its variants on tap too. We’ll also be tapping his Adam old ale, Doggie Claws barleywine and Polka Dot IPA. In celebration, we offer an all-day flight of Hair of the Dog that we call Craft Beer Crosscut 2.27.20: Flight of Alan Sprints.

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.27.20: Flight of Alan Sprints

hair-of-the-dog-fred-TacomaHair of the Dog Fred

10% ABV

Fred Eckhardt’s book, A Treatise on Lager Beers, published in 1969, was the first modern book about beer. During his stint as the Oregonian’s first beer columnist he penned The Essentials of Beer Style, helping many homebrewers understand their craft and in turn helped launch many craft brewing careers, including Hair of the Dog’s Alan Sprints, who created an American Strong Ale simply named Fred. Fred, the beer, is a deep golden color. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties — Northern Brewer, Progress, First Gold, Crystal, Fuggle, Willamette, Tettnang, Chinook, Spalt, Saaz and Strisselspalt for caramel, bitter hops and some alcohol.

Hair-of-the-Dog-Matt-TacomaHair of the Dog Matt

11.5% ABV

Matt is a strong ale inspired by Matt VandenBerghe and the late Matt Bonney, champions of the Washington state craft beer industry. Matt was originally brewed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bottleworks, which was founded by the two other Matts. It’s brewed with two Munich malts, two smoked malts and two types of Belgian candi sugar. It spent some time in Kentucky bourbon and Apple Eau de Vie barrels from Clear Creek distilling for deep and lush with notes of apple, chocolate and smoke.

Hair-of-the-Dog-Polka-Dot-TacomaHair of the Dog Polka Dot

5.5% ABV

Brewed with Pilsner and oat malts, plus whole Northwest hops, this IPA leads with spicy grapefruit followed by a tidal wave of caramel malt and dried fruit, then finishing with a relatively-dry, resinous, peppery taste.

Hair-of-the-Dog-Green-Dot-TacomaHair of the Dog Green Dot

9.5% ABV

A frigging dense and chewy triple IPA with citrus sweetness followed by insane piney bitterness. Yes, 9.5 percent might be considered low for a triple, but this still hides it well with only a touch of warmth. It’s ridiculously smooth and easy to drink, and although its sweetness and bitterness are extreme, it somehow feels quite well balanced. Except for that lingering sap.

Hair-of-the-Dog-Doggie-Claws-2017-TacomaHair of the Dog Doggie Claws

11.5% ABV, 70 IBU

People have been making pilgrimages to Portland for Alan Sprints’ beer since the dark ages — back when hazy and sour beers weren’t made that way intentionally. Hair of the Dog’s Doggie Claws, a holiday-themed barleywine, is brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops along with Organic Pilsner malt, British crystal and dark wild flower honey collected on Mt. Hood. It smells of thick, decadent caramel coupled with notes of raisins, molasses and dark fruits. First sip brings a sweet caramel-raisin infused maltiness that carries hints of dark fruits, cherry and sourdough. This is followed by a nice wave of piney, citric, herbal hop bitterness causing a nice interplay between the sweet and bitter aspects of the craft beer.