There are many reasons why pizza is best shared with pals. For one, pizza is a social food — it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed with others. Additionally, pizza is a bonding food — whether you are sharing a slice or two over a casual conversation or gathering around a table for a more formal meal. And finally, pizza is just plain delicious — especially if it’s made at Fort George Brewery. Their pizza has a three-day dough preparation before adding truffle cheese, chipotle hanger steak, house-smoked pulled pork toppings, and other creative toppings, and then sliding it into a wood-fired oven. To honor friendship and pizza, the Astoria brewery created their Pizza Pals winter seasonal IPA collaboration series with breweries that also make delicious pizza. Ruse Brewing was last year’s pal. This winter season, Fast Fashion Brewing and their wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza are the slice. Fast Fashion is a joint effort between Matt Storm (owner of the Masonry pizzeria) and brewer Brian Strumke, who earned national attention as a nomadic brewer before settling down with his own operation, Stillwater. The Seattle brewery traveled to Astoria and brewed this year’s Pizza Pals IPA. Since Pizza Pals just arrived at Peaks & Pints, our Wednesday in-house beer flight is Fort George and Fast Fashion — a flight we’re calling Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Pizza Pals.
Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Pizza Pals
Friendly is a collaboration with Creature Comforts, an American craft brewery founded in April 2014 by David Stein, Adam Beauchamp, Derek Imes, and Chris Herron in Athens, Georgia. Before they brewed the Friendly pilsner, the two breweries went to the Sounders vs Atlanta United game, they came back to the Seattle brewery to add a touch of rye and hop Friendly in the kettle with Saphire and Hallertau Blanc followed by Nelson Sauvin in the whirlpool. It conditioned about 10 weeks in one of Fast Fashion’s horizontal lagering tanks for a hoppy, slightly spicy pilsner.
The second Fast Fashion collaboration is with Range Brewing from Brisbane, Australia. LegLocked is an intensely juicy double IPA brewed with a whole mess of oats, plus Rakau and Motueka Hop Kief, for intense tropical notes.
Fast Fashion’s third collaboration is the star of this in-house beer flight, Pizza Pals. As previously mentioned, Fort George makes a mean wood fired pizza for more than a decade. Fast Fashion also knows a little more about pizza than your average Chief Pizza Design Officer. They make a classic Neapolitan style pizza at The Masonry, Fast Fashion co-owner Matt Storm’s pizzeria and craft beer spot on Lower Queen Anne in Seattle. Pizza Pals is the perfect beer for pizza: packed with fresh new Anchovy hops and loads of Citra and Waimea alongside the finest, lightest malts they could muster for a balanced, snappy, luxurious IPA with notes berries and candied citrusy with a lasting finish.
When hop scientists in New Zealand began working on a top-secret thiol enriched blend of Phantasm thiol powder and fruit forward Motueka hops, they never expected that the high concentrations of cysteine bound 3SH precursors and terpene alcohols would create a chain reaction of flavor perception that would cause the hops to become dangerously flavorful. That’s why this past summer Fort George formed an emergency task force — under the most dangerous conditions, their R&D Head Brewer Matt Rhodes and his crew invited the brewers from Pizza Port worked around the clock to create Mega Extra, an extra pale ale capable of blasting the flavor right out of Mega Motueka and into a delicious beer appropriate for this flight.
Magnanimous IPA is a yearly offering, a joint effort once again between Fort George Brewery and Earth & Sky Farm in Oregon City. Brewed with real Grand fir Christmas trees, the IPA is a straight-up ode to one of the more pungent essences of the Christmas tradition. Hundreds of pounds of fir tips were picked, packed, and vacuum-sealed into 10-pound bags. We’re not sure if “O Tannenbaum” was blasting from the truck’s speakers, but we do know the fir was trucked back to Astoria and delivered to a dedicated chest freezer located in the basement of Fort George co-owner and brewer Chris Nemlowill’s home. It’s safe to assume the fir tips were nestled all snug in the basement, while visions of Magnanimous IPAs danced in Nemlowill’s head. When in the brewery there arose such a clatter, Earth & Sky Farm owners Tim Ensign and Jana Daisy-Ensign sprang from their bed to see what was the matter. Magnanimous IPA hit the kettles with generous amounts of hand-harvested Grand Fir trimmings and bountiful additions of Simcoe and Chinook for a noble blend of lush piney hops and fresh evergreen aroma.