Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Craft Beer Crosscut 5.31.18: A Flight For Teachers

Ron Swarner


Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightTeachers and school staff do some of life’s most important work. Yet they are underpaid and don’t get the community support they deserve. Peaks and Pints has many educators as patrons at our bottle shop, taproom and restaurant. We hear firsthand how hard they work and how tough their jobs can be. Smarter Balanced tests, Common Core standards, Smarter Balanced tests, anti-testing sentiment, using these scores to determine who can or can’t graduate, social media bullying — craziness. We also know that while teachers appreciate apples and pencils, what many of them really like is a good craft beer. We’re doing our part to improve education by offering Craft Beer Crosscut 5.31.18: A Flight For Teachers.

Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel

9.7% ABV, 19 IBU

PHILOSOPHY: Embedding main characters Quid the Cynic, Suction the Epicurean and Sipsop the Pythagorean from William Blake’s 1784 satire An Island in the Moon into the early 16th century Italian painting The Three Philosophers, comes Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers Quadrupel. Please, teachers, don’t test us further on this beer’s name origin. What we do know is the Belgian motto is “strength in union.” No phrase better describes Three Philosophers, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Brewery Ommegang describes the color of the beer as, “dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut … full carbonation with smooth, tan head.” The recipe combines four malts (pils, amber, caramel, and Munich) with the cherry Kriek to create a beer reminiscent of sherry or port, with a mix of dark fruit, coffee, and raisin flavors that will only intensify as the brew ages. The yeast really kicks in upon first sip, which gives the right balance of sweet and sour. A+

Left Hand Hard Wired Nitro

6% ABV, 33 IBU

FAKE COFFEE: Would you trade an elementary school teaching gig for brewing? That’s exactly what Left Hand Brewing’s Matt Thrall did when his home brewing hobby became a career path that landed him at Avery Brewing in 2003 and currently director of brewing at Left Hand. Without going into the chemical physics of solubility and gas diffusion, let’s just say that nitrogen has a silkifying effect on beer. Nitrogenated brews, as opposed to carbonated ones, have a softer mouthfeel, taste less acidic and boast a creamier, more stable head. Left Hand Brewing’s porter was no bore before, and on nitro, it’s even better. Innately predisposed to be smooth when poured hard, this nitro coffee porter builds a pillowy, toffee-sweet head. Coffee and flavors of caramelized sugar, cacao and hints of blueberry lead to a light, smoky finish. The students won’t know Hard Wired Nitro is actually in your coffee cup. A+

Against The Grain Citra Ass Down

8.2% ABV, 68 IBU

DISCIPLINE: Sometimes teachers wish they could scream, “Sit your ass down!” In today’s world, that action makes for viral video. In the beer world, Citra Ass Down is Against The Grain’s hop forward American style Double IPA. It’s a thick one with complex layers of malt that washes across the palate with tones of toast, biscuit crust and light caramel nuances — all backed by a touch of alcohol warmth. The focus here is obviously Citra hops for pineapple, kiwi, light tangerine and mango flavors. The crisp, sticky Citra hop personality shines through the rich malt in impressive aroma and flavor appeal with a lemony-herbal-tea finish. Hey teachers! Citra Ass Down and take a load off. A+

Rogue 10 Hop IPA

10.1% ABV, 75 IBU

MATH: Teaching how to count by rote memorization can be taxing since it requires a lot of repetition, and you may run out of engaging activity ideas. To effectively teach this skill and ensure that students absorb counting by rote memorization, use a variety of hands-on approaches that encourage verbal counting … like county hops. Rogue Ales just released 10 Hop IPA, an imperial IPA made with 10 varieties of hops grown at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon, including two new hops: Keven and Adair. According to Hop 10 hype, “Brewmaster John Maier wanted to brew an IPA that would round out the Hop Family series of beers and highlight the crops at Rogue Farms. ‘We started growing Keven and Adair hops to round out the profile of 10 Hop IPA, adding citrus and melon aromatics (from the Keven hops) and notes of lemon, lime, and dill (from the Adair hops). I love being this involved in the hop growing process, and working with our farmers; it lets me truly grow the ingredients I need to innovate,’” stated Maier. Brewed with 1) Rogue Farms Liberty, 2) Newport, 3) Revolution, 4) Independent, 5) Freedom, 6) Rebel, 7) Yaquina, 8) Alluvial, 9) Keven and 10) Adair hops, 10 Hop IPA is full of tropical aromatics and notes of pine. A+

Block 15 Sticky Hands

8.1% ABV, 100 IBU

HYGIENE: Glue, tape, gum, adhesive labels, lunches — teaching is a sticky world. Get your sticky hands on Block 15 Brewing’s Sticky Hands. The brewery sits heart of downtown Corvallis, only a few blocks from Oregon State University. The brewery’s name hails from Corvallis’ previous incarnation as Marysville and the old plat map location from the old town. In late 2011, homebrewers Nick and Kristen Arzner opened the brewery and restaurant serving beers true-to-style with ingredients imported from different parts of the world, along with all the Willamette Valley produced grains, hops, fruits, herbs and yeast. Its Sticky Hands double IPA is a “Hop Experience Ale” featuring ample additions of sticky, resinous, lupulin packed hop buds grown in the Pacific Northwest. Sticky Hands begins with an aromatic blast of tropical fruits, citrus and dank herb; transitions into luscious hop flavor; and ends with a balanced bitter finish, gently propped up by pale malted barley and fermented with Block 15’s privately banked Brewers yeast. A+