Thursday, September 7th, 2023

Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: National Beer Lovers Day


Every year on Sept. 7 — aka National Beer Lovers Day — a certain segment of society raises a glass to commemorate 10,000 years ago when man learned to ferment grain into beer, which tasted much better than unfermented grain. Nomadic hunter-gatherers collected wild grains for food. Because they didn’t have gazebos, a pool of warm water formed where the grain was stored. In a short time, the grain fermented, turning the water into a thick dark liquid. Some adventurous soul, probably Homo Erectus Johnny Knoxville, sampled the liquid, and found that it tasted good. Man fell in love with beer and, no doubt, a hangover followed. Lager lovers, ale aficionados, and pilsener proponents have been in love ever since. Since today is National Beer Lovers Day, Peaks & Pints presents an in-house flight of beers with feelings — a flight we’re call Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: National Beer Lovers Day.

Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: National Beer Lovers Day

Heater Allen Pilsner

5% ABV, can

Beer is a family business for Heater Allen, a lager brewery that opened McMinnville, Oregon, in 2007. “Heater” is Rick’s wife Jan’s maiden name, and “Allen” is his last name. He figures that you should always give your wife first billing. While Rick has little German heritage on his side of the family, most of Jan’s family is of German descent. Their daughter, Lisa, who works for the brewery, is a true Heater Allen. In 2009, Lisa left a career in the wine industry to join her dad’s two-man crew. Since Lisa came on the scene, Heater Allen has grown from a six-barrel to a 15-barrel brewhouse. In November 2022, Lisa and her partner, Kevin Davey, the founding brewmaster at Wayfinder Beer, purchased a majority share of Heater Allen from Rick and in March 2023 announced the launch of their own brand, Gold Dot Beer. Lisa and Kevin continue to make Heater Allen beers and are in the process of adding a new cellar to increase production. They also have revamped the outside beer garden and have plans to remodel the inside of the tap room once the cellar renovation is complete. Their Pilsner is their take of the renowned Bohemian-style pale lager that you might find in Bavaria or the Czech Republic. Heater Allen’s version is a little more golden, rounder, and a little more malt driven than many other versions. The beer possesses strong hop character that is balanced by its rich, round, malty palate.

Fort George Diamond Rain with Blackcap Raspberries

6.2% ABV, draft – bottle in our cooler

In 2019, Brothers Cascadia parked their coolship in Fort George Brewery’s courtyard in downtown Astoria, Oregon, and they brewed a collaborative wort, inoculating it with local wild yeasts and bacteria. The beer sat in oak in Fort George’s cellar for over three years before they blended it with a one-year-old mixed culture saison, adding crates of ripe, fresh blackcap raspberries. For an opulent cousin of your friendly neighborhood saison. Love it!

Alpine Nelson

7% ABV, can

In 2002, Navy veteran Mike Hinkley opened Green Flash Brewing in Vista, San Diego County, California, with investors Cindy and Matin Blair and Pam and Philip Palisoul. They struggled. The brand’s rise followed the 2004 hiring of a veteran brewer, Chuck Silva, with a portfolio of distinctive recipes, including the West Coast IPA. In 2011, the company left its small Vista brewery for a massive Mira Mesa plant, giving it a seven-fold increase in production capacity. In 2014, Hinkley purchase of Alpine Beer adding several legendary beers, including Nelson and Duet, to his portfolio. Named after the Nelson Sauvin hop, which imparts a beautiful nose of tropical fruit — mango and pineapple — and a dry, earthy body that’s usually compared to the Sauvignon Blanc grape, Alpine’s Nelson hits the nose with lemon and lemongrass, with amplified grapefruit, moderate malt sweetness, a touch of resinous pine, moderately dank, strong bitterness, and light grassy notes. Love it!

Russian River Pliny the Elder

8% ABV, draft – bottle in our cooler

Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Elder first appeared in 1999, and year by year it gained a following. The beer’s mighty name has almost certainly helped create the sensation. Pliny the Elder was named after the great Roman naturalist who first described, among many elements of the natural world, the wild European ancestor of hops, the plant so essential to beer making. Brewed with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ, Cascade, Warrior, and Simcoe hops, the double IPA boasts balance and body where some other double IPAs just burn. In the glass, it glows a godly gold, smells notably of pine sap and needles, and carries a reassuring and delicious backbone of caramel. Love it!

North Coast Old Rasputin

9% ABV, 75 IBU, nitro draft, non-nitro bottle in our cooler

According to legend, it took copious amounts of poison, three gunshots, a beating, and a drowning to take down Grigori Rasputin. Fortunately, Old Rasputin is more refined than its namesake and easier to drink than most of the imperials we’ve come across. North Coast Brewing‘s Old Rasputin is a giant beer, true to style, with an alcohol content of nine percent by volume and a huge hop bitterness of about 85 to 95 IBUs, thanks to Northern Brewer, Cluster hops and Centennial hops. Black as night and tasting of dark roasted malts and bitter chocolate, this is a complex, strong beer, both in flavor and alcohol content. It’s on nitro, too, so all this and creaminess. Love it!

LINK: Peaks & Pints beer and cider cooler inventory