Friday, September 15th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 9.15.17: A Flight of Manliness

Ron Swarner


Peaks-and-Pints-Tacoma-Beer-FlightI like to consider myself a moderately intelligent being. I have no problem admitting I’m not the biggest brain to ever walk around the Peaks and Pints lodge in hiking boots, but I do all right. My wife, however, is seriously smart. She’s also better at fixing stuff than I am, which can make for frustration around the household. Not only is she smarter than me, but also even when it comes to putting together furniture and doing oil changes — manly tasks that should be, according to society’s rules, my domain — she puts her husband to shame. I know what you’re thinking. How have I lived with it all these years? Doesn’t it get hard after a while to be the worthless one in a lopsided pact? The answer is simple. Not at all. Maybe in the very beginning I felt inferior to the soon-to-be Mrs. Swarner’s intellect and handiness, but I quickly came to love it. Think about it. Whenever something requires being put together, I don’t need to worry. She has it covered. Whenever something is really confusing and makes my brain hurt, I can give up. She’s got it covered. Today’s craft beer flight features the beers I drink while my wife fixes the shower. I call it Craft Beer Crosscut 9.15.17: A Flight of Manliness. I drink these beers while dusting. They make me feel worthy.

Top-Rung-Brewing-Wet-Coast-Brewing-Runnin-All-Night-TacomaTop Rung/Wet Coast Runnin’ All Night

5.6% ABV, 25 IBU

What happens when Thurston County firefighters hang out with West Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters? Runnin’ All Night Coffee Blonde Stout. Thurston County firefighters and Top Rung Brewing Co. founders Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol invited West Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters and Wet Coast Brewing Co. founders Bryan Copeland and Aaron Johnson to their Lacey, Washington brewery to trade stories and brew a beer. Stoltz and Copeland designed the recipe that includes Golden Promise malt, Golden Naked oats and a touch of lactose. Wet Coast’s friends at Tacoma’s Bluebeard Coffee Roasters provided the Celinga Village coffee for beautiful notes of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and subtle fruitiness. Everyone tossed in the Golding hops. These firefighters know a little about “runnin’ all night,” and this coffee blonde stout with its lively carbonation, subtle coffee and light hops hits the spot.

Georgetown-Tomtoberfest-TacomaGeorgetown Tomtoberfest

6.5% ABV, 26 IBU

Designed and brewed by Tomtober Wearly, Georgetown Brewing’s Tomtoberfest in an Oktoberfest-style amber lager brewed with 2-row Pilsner, Munich, Caramel and Black malt with imported Hallertau Hersbrucker hops and Bavarian lager yeast. This crisp, clean lagered beer gets extra malty flavor from the Munich malt, as well as imported flavor from water treatment to mimic the water profile of the Munich region in Germany. Flavor is a rich caramel as well, with a soft buried spice, cool malt and brown sugar. Tomtoberfest is highly carbonated and effervescent with sweet aroma but a dry, cookie spice finish. Light hop aroma and flavor add to the crispness of the beer without inhibiting the malt profile.

Firestone-Walker-Leo-v-Ursus–Fortem-TacomaFirestone Walker Leo v Ursus – Fortem

8.2% ABV, 55 IBU

The Leo v. Ursus Chronology is born of a longing for high experimentation that was finally fulfilled by the recent launch of the Propagator, Firestone Walker’s pilot brewhouse in Venice, California. The first in the series, Fortem (Latin for “The Strong”), is a new-age imperial IPA brewed to achieve power through balance, delivering amped-up aromas and mouthfeel while keeping bitterness on a leash. As such, it blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and rounded mouthfeel. A melange of mown grass, bright lemon zest, chives and a hint of tangerine dance across a soft pastry dough floor in the aroma, while the flavor takes a more citrusy approach, layering lemon and orange zest atop grass, white onion and clean, crackery malt. Fortem has been left unfiltered for a full hop impact.

Founders-Brewing-Dirty-Bastard-TacomaFounders Dirty Bastard

8.5% ABV, 50 IBU

Close your eyes, take a sip from our taster and off you go to your grandfather’s gentlemen’s club as smoke, leather and the very apparent scent of alcohol fill your nose. Open your eyes to discover a mounted buffalo head on our wall and a murky, mahogany Scotch ale with a much stronger hop flavor and bitter profile than most other strong Scotch ales. Other flavors to note are vinous wine taste and ripe raspberry and cherry flavors. Founders Brewing Co.‘s Dirty Bastard offers a flavor and body pleasantly lighter than expected resulting in a very well-balanced accompaniment to our little lodge.

Drakes-The-Denogginizer-TacomaDrake’s The Denogginizer

9.75% ABV, 90 IBU

In January of 2004, Drake’s brewers sought to create a beer to turn some heads. They crafted a massive Imperial IPA with a full body, smooth malt backbone and an utterly irresponsible amount of pungent, dank, American hops. After three weeks in the tanks and one minor incident involving a pressure relief valve jettisoning across the cellar and nearly decapitating a brewer, a beer, and its name, were born. The Denogginizer Double IPA is a monster of a beer made with a colossal mash of malted barley and finished with an irresponsible amount of West Coast hops. An epic tsunami of dank, chewy hops cuts like a guillotine through the warm embrace of velvety smooth sweetness.