Friday, April 26th, 2024

Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Tournament of Ambers


For the past three weeks, Peaks & Pints pitted Middle-Northwest’s best ambers and red ales in a head-to-head battle of malts. We speak, of course, of the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers. Sixty-four amber and red ales brewed in the lands of Oregon and Washington were selected and seeded by the public throughout February, separated into four geographical regions: Northern Washington, Southern Washington, Northern Oregon, and Southern Oregon with only one amber or red per brewery. Through voting on Peaks’ Instagram Stories, amber and red ale drinkers have been picking winners until the best amber and red ale in Middle-Northwest is crowned, which will be tomorrow at the Tournament of Beer Party at Peaks and Pints in Tacoma’s Proctor District. The final two ambers and reds – Oregon versus Washington – will battle on our Instagram stories until 5 p.m. then the voting will halt and move to the Championship Party for live voting from 6-8:30 p.m. with the final two beers pouring from our Western red cedar tap log with the champion brewery receiving a permanent handle at Peaks & Pints through the spring and summer 2024. Today, it’s the Tournament’s Final Four! Swing by Peaks & Pints and taste the four ambers and reds before making your vote as we present Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Tournament of Ambers.

Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Tournament of Ambers

Triplehorn Folkvang Irish Red (#15 seed)

Northern Washington Region, 6% ABV

Two brothers and one vision propelled Nordic themed Triplehorn Brewing toward its summer of 2012 opening in Woodinville’s “Warehouse District”. Rich and Ray Nesheim donned Viking helmets and made a pack to produce small batch specialty beers in a lively environment. The quest continues. Triplehorn’s Folkvang Irish Red is brewed with rich dark malts and light United Kingdom hops, plus mild peat. It pours a cloudy copper red with all the malt aromas. Flavor is a dusty malt and light smoke, but smooths out nicely with a grainy, caramel finish.

Triceratops Collin James Irish Red Ale (#10 seed)

Southern Washington region, 5.3% ABV

Homebrewer Rob Horn left New Jersey to become a firefighter at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He and his wife, Kelly, opened Triceratops Brewing in August of 2014. With the last name Horn and three awesome kids, is there really any other name? At first, they brewed out of their home garage. After thriving there for three years they opened a tasting room next to Matchless Brewing in Tumwater. Low in alcohol and bitterness, Collin James Irish Red Ale is a well-balanced people pleaser. Lightly hopped with the mild, middle-earthy, and somewhat woody Fuggle variety, this beer entices the nose with a rich, toffee-like aroma. Meanwhile, notes of plum and raisin play with a slightly bready and nutty flavor provided by Irish ale malt and a touch of roasted barley.

Pelican Sea’N Red (#4 seed)

Northern Oregon Region, 5.4% ABV

Jeff Schons and Mary Jones founded English-focused Pelican Brewing Company in Pacific City — Oregon’s only oceanfront brewpub. Celebrating its 26th year, founding brewmaster Darron Welch and Pelican have won more than 300 awards including the 2014 World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year, and last week Welch was inducted into the Oregon Beer Awards Hall of Fame. Their smooth, richly flavored Sea’N Red Irish Red Ale hits the nose with toffee, caramel, and cocoa with a subtle floral bouquet. The lush aroma gives way to a full, rounded malty flavor with toasty biscuit-like character and notes of caramel. Sip and sea for yourself — Sea’N Red is a round malty brew whimsically served up in a bold, colorful name.

Boneyard Diablo Rojo (#1 seed)

Southern Oregon Region, 5.5% ABV

Fourteen years ago, Boneyard Beer was started in an old auto shop tucked away in the backstreets of Bend, Oregon’s historical district. Without any outside investors or major bank loans, Boneyard’s inception was unconventional to say the least. After decades in the brewing industry, owner Tony Lawrence built up a “boneyard” of old equipment he collected from 13 different breweries around the country. Alongside co-founders, Clay and Melodee Storey, this second-hand brewing equipment was pieced together to brew the first batch of Boneyard Beer. Eight years later, Boneyard opened a new taproom at 1955 NE Division Street in Bend; the location was formerly a Chinese restaurant as well as a Texas Hold’em poker room and a short-lived taqueria. Boneyard’s Diablo Rojo is not a malt bomb. First, the Cascade hops in this red ale are Oregon-grown on Crosby Hop Farm, and have a lighter, more delicate flavor than their acidic cousins from the high desert of Yakima. Second, this deep amber ale is extremely well balanced and very drinkable. Yes, the taste is caramel malts, subtle grassy hops, and piney resin — but, again, all well balanced and easy drinking. It appeals both to the hop lover and non-hop lover.

LINK: Peaks & Pints beer and cider cooler inventory