Monday, August 14th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 8.14.17: A Flight of Brew Zoo


Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightSome people are just not “people” people. Some people are dog people, some are cat people and some are just plain animal people. If you are an animal person, may we suggest today’s beer flight — Craft Beer Crosscut 8.14.17: A Flight of Brew Zoo. You need to know a few things first. You don’t have to say “fuzzy duck” to the person on your left, drink like a T-Rex or chase Ping-Pong balls. And you won’t be sweating your ass off at the zoo; although it’s no coincidence that one of the only words you can form from the letters in booze is zoo. No, really, it’s totally deliberate; people love to drink craft beer around caged animals (see: Zoobilee). No, Brew Zoo is a flight of craft beer associated with animals. For whatever reason brewers have a tradition of branding their beers using everything from pets to predators. The Brew Zoo will celebrate these lagers and ales. If this sounds like altogether too much mumbo-jumbo for you, we apologize, it’s our writing style.

Pacific-Brewing-and-Malting-Co-White-Rabbit-Wit-TacomaPacific Brewing & Malting Co. White Rabbit Wit

4.9% ABV

The first animal in our Brew Zoo is the White Rabbit. Pacific Brewing & Malting brewed the Belgian wheat ale for Peaks and Pint’s Tacoma Summer of Love Craft Beer Fest Aug. 12, naming after the Summer of Love band Jefferson Airplane’s song, “White Rabbit.” Tune into Pacific Brewing & Malting Co.‘s refreshing, bubbly straw-colored Belgian wheat ale. Orange peel, coriander, and chamomile were added to the brew giving it a zesty, citrusy, and herbal flavor. A creamy mouthfeel from oats and unmalted wheat pairs perfectly with the fruit and spice.

Big-Sky-Moose-Drool-Brown-Ale-TacomaBig Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale

5.1% ABV, 26 IBU

Sure, the name is slightly revolting, but once you get past that, you are in for a treat. Big Sky Brewing’s Moose Drool Brown Ale is brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate, and whole black malts balanced with Kent Goldings, Liberty and Willamette hops. Hints of robust toffee and honey swirls around the nose mostly from the malt with a hint of spice added by the hops. On the tongue, brown sugar and chocolate blend perfectly finishing with a clean bitterness and slightly dry, but not harsh. All of Big Sky Brewing Co.’s beers are named after animals, including Slow Elk and Heavy Horse. But Moose Drool is definitely the weirdest name of them all. Hope you’re brave enough to give it a try.

Rainy-Daze-Goat-Boater-IPA-TacomaRainy Daze Goat Boater IPA

7% ABV, 57 IBU

Our next animal craft beer in our Brew Zoo is the Goat Boater. Throughout the spring and summer we have consumed numerous pints of Rainy Daze’s Goat Boater that we’re inclined to believe the goat symbolizes the kick in the head that the seven percent of alcohol per serving will give you after a couple of rounds. Nevertheless, Goat Boater has nothing to do with the animal. Besides people riding bicycles munching on pickled fish and chanting “Børk! Børk! Børk” the other curious happening Rainy Daze Brewing noticed as it was moving into Sound Brewery’s former facility in Poulsbo was the frequent kayakers paddling on nearby Liberty Bay. Founder and head brewer Mike Montoney wanted to pay tribute to his new home so he named his latest IPA Goat Boater, which is slang for kayaker. And he’s paddling all the way to the bank. Amarillo, Mosaic, Centennial and Cascade are the hops. Triple dry hop is the action. Tropical fruit and dank flavor are the selling points.

Pelican-Dirty-Bird-IPA-TacomaPelican Dirty Bird IPA

7% ABV, 65 IBU

But sometimes wonderful, delicious things come as a result of mistakes. The Pelican Brewing brewers accidentally dumped a darker colored bag of malt into their Pelican IPA and out flew Dirty Bird IPA, which just grabbed a bronze medal at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards. Dirty Bird nests a rich copper color with hoppy, piney and lightly citrusy, with caramel and roasted malts in the back nose. It’s full bodied, nicely carbonated and semi sweet, with a delicious, assertive bitterness from the extensive use of Pacific Northwest hops for notes of pinecones and citrus zest to balance the caramel malts. Dirty Bird reminds of an old school Northwest IPA. We welcome it in our Brew Zoo.

Iron-Goat-Impaler-Imperial-IPA-TacomaIron Goat Impaler Imperial IPA

8.5% ABV, 72 IBU

OK, this one is a real goat … kind of. The Iron Goat name hearkens back to Expo ’74, the world’s fair that took place in Spokane in 1974. The brewery is named after a garbage-eating goat sculpture at the fair. A year after moving into their new digs in downtown Spokane Iron Goat Brewing Co. now distributes in Tacoma, including Peaks and Pints in Tacoma’s Proctor District. Owned by couples Greg and Heather Brandt and Paul Edminster and Sheila Evans, the increased production capacity allows for more consistent distribution of both bottled and draft beers in the local market and the recent expansion into Western Washington. The Impaler, an imperial India pale ale and its kid brother Head Butt IPA (in our cooler), both receive a biscuity character from Munich malt, and fruity flavors and aromas from Southern Hemisphere hops: Australia’s passionfruit-scented Galaxy in the Impaler, and New Zealand’s lemon/lime Motueka in the Head Butt.