The Lunar New Year 2024 occurs today, Feb. 10, bringing the lucky Year of the Wood Dragon. In the Chinese zodiac, dragons are notorious for its strong leadership qualities and determination to succeed, which will inspire us to chase our dreams. While Dragons can be quick-tempered, they prefer to be straightforward and surround themselves with individuals who challenge their beliefs, leading to personal growth and fresh starts in relationships. The Wood element will play a significant role in this year, as it encourages us to put forth effort to make positive changes and to grow as tall as the trees in the forest. Additionally, 2024 is also known as the year of the Green Dragon, symbolizing expansion and strength that will motivate us to reach new heights and attain personal power. In China, celebrations run from Jan. 21 through Feb. 20. In Tacoma’s Lincoln District, the celebration will be held Sunday, Feb. 11, with lion dancers, firecrackers, pop-up marketplace, food, and family fun from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In celebration, Peaks & Pints presents a Lunar New Year themed, in-house beer flight that we call, Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Lunar New Year 2024.
Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Lunar New Year 2024
Engineer Barry Chan adored homebrewing. He dove, kettle first, into the Seattle homebrewing scene asking questions and sharing his beer knowledge. His passion and dedication soon translated into a Beer Judge Certification Program judge where he earned a National score on his first tasting exam. One day, while homebrewing in his kitchen, his buddy Raymond Kwan sunk into the couch playing Mario Bros. and dreaming of his next big thing. His first idea was an East Coast-style sports bar since Kwan has roots in New Jersey and loves sports. Chan, from Pennsylvania, suggested opening a brewery in Ballard, which is what they did. In its first year, Lucky Envelope Brewing won a medal at the 2015 GABF, which is no longer alone on their medal wall. The brewery name comes from a Chinese tradition of handing out red envelopes filled with paper money. The color red is meant to ward off evil spirits and bring good health, while the money inside is supposed to bring prosperity. Their Power & Elegance Taiwanese Oolong + Dragon Ball Tea Rice Lager is brewed with Austin Beerworks and Kaiju Cut and Sew commemorating the Year of the Dragon. Infusing the brew with a blend of beautiful oolong teas sourced from Vietnam and Taiwan, this rice lager showcases the power and elegance inherent in the simplicity of its ingredients.
Lucky Envelope Brewing owners Barry Chan and Raymond Kwan are Chinese Americans who embraced a culturally inspired philosophy to creating beer — from their Pandan Almond Milk Stout brewed with real pandan leaves to a Gotlandsdricka beer based on Swedish homebrew made with juniper boughs and smoked malts to a 5,000-year-old Mijiaya Historic Chinese Beer recipe complete with Job’s tears, barley, millet, lily flowers, and yam. Their Year of the Dragon Dragonfruit Wheat, brewed with Chinese American owned Highland Brewing in Ashville, North Carolina, is a wheat beer boasting a vibrant fusion of dragonfruit purees and powders, coupled with a blend of Luminosa, HBC-1019, and Strata for notes of peach, mango, lemonade, and bubblegum. Lucky Envelope hosts a Lunar New Year today and tomorrow.
Also celebrating the Lunar New Year with a party today is Ladd & Lass Brewing in Seattle’s University District, owned by husband-and-wife team, Nick Ladd and Jessie Quan. They’re ringing in the Year of the Dragon with a roaring party featuring their Double Dragon fruited sour rocks, a smooth lactic zing amped up with dragon fruit and a hint of blood orange. The beer was then jazzed up with whole leaf hibiscus tea and a touch of creamy lactose. The beer pops with dragonfruit notes — think a mix of kiwi and overripe pear. The hibiscus comes in on the back end imbuing a light floral note and balancing tannin. The beer finishes with a soft acidity and smidge of creamy lactose.
During the Lunar New Year, families will come together for celebrations that will extend over several days in multiple countries, including China, North and South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam as well as among diaspora communities in other nations. Filipinos will celebrate with ube, meaning tuber in Tagalog, a purple yam originally from the Philippines. Different than the purple sweet potato, ube has an even sweeter, more mellow taste than its orange relative. Ube has a slightly nutty, vanilla taste and is popularly used in desserts in Filipino cuisine, often boiled and then mashed with condensed milk. Urban Family Brewing in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood brewed the purple yam, coconut cream ale with the Taproom Beer Co. in San Diego.
Lucky Envelope’s 2024 Lunar New Year Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is infused with Szechuan peppercorns and vanilla. The finished blend achieves a delicious harmony of sweet and spicy flavors, showcasing the intricate dance between dark chocolate, smooth whiskey, and a citrusy floral warmth from the peppercorn.