Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Scary Beers On the Fly

Ron Swarner

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Beer flights in TacomaHalloween will be scarier than usual this year. We’re dealing with a pandemic and have to watch out for deranged anti-maskers and deadly overcrowded spaces. It’s enough to make you want to stay in and curl up with Food Network’s Halloween Wars instead. Because of COVID, many plan to spend Halloween trapped in their houses. If Halloween is your time to thrive, you can still have a good ol’ scary time at home. There’s still pumpkins to carve, costumes to buy or make on your own, and scavenger hunts to be held inside the home and with members of the same household. Whatever you decide, you’ll no doubt need scary beer to make it better. Peaks & Pints has rustled up a scary flight of to-go beer that we call Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Scary Beers On the Fly.

Peaks and Pints Pilot Program: Scary Beers On the Fly

Firestone-Walker-Krieky-Bones-TacomaFirestone Walker Krieky Bones

5.7% ABV

Skeletons represent the finality of death. Skeletons have nothing left — their hair, skin, organs, every physical characteristic has long since rotted away; if they still have a personality that is vaguely human, it’s trying desperately to cling on to something that it can never have again, an ultimately hopeless and futile endeavor. Almost everything else associated with Halloween — a vampire, a ghost, even a zombie in some aspects — has various human qualities left about it. Skeletons are the final stage in which all humanity has finally slipped away and nothing is left but bones, which is cool if the bones in question is actually Firestone Walker’s Krieky Bones. This American wild ale is aged with Brettanomyces and sour bacteria in a 2,200-gallon French oak foeder (a kind of giant barrel). Then sour cherries (kriek) are added and the beer fermented again. Sharp, acidic and pretty to look at, Krieky Bones provides hope.

The-Lost-Abbey-Ghosts-in-the-Forest-TacomaThe Lost Abbey Ghosts in the Forest

6.1% ABV

The forest is a majestic and magical place full of wonder and incredible creatures, of course, but the amazement also comes with a great degree of mystery. Ghost definitely live in the forest, and they definitely come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, species … and tastes. Slumbering for 18th months in a forest of massive oak foeders, The Lost Abbey’s Ghosts in the Forest, a blonde sour, focuses on the complexity of Brettanomyces and oak. Ghosts in the Forest begins with a lemon tartness leading to hints of tropical fruit from the Brettanomyces with a refreshingly dry and lightly oaked finish.

Narrows-Monster-Mash-Hazy-IPANarrows Monster Mash Hazy IPA

5.5% ABV

Matt Rhodes working at Narrows Brewing, late one night
When the head brewer’s eyes beheld an eerie sight
For his IPA from his mash tun, began to rise
And suddenly to his surprise

It did the Mash, it did the Monster Mash
The Monster Mash, it was a Strata and Chinook smash
It did the Mash, with notes of white wine and berries flash
It did the Mash, it did the Monster Mash

Rogue-Dead-Guy-Ale-TacomaRogue Dead Guy Ale

6.8% ABV, 40 IBU

Rogue Ales’ proprietary Pacman Yeast Strain is alcohol tolerant, flocculent, attenuates well and will produce beers with little to no diacetyl. It’s very mild fruit complements a dry, mineral finish making this a fairly neutral strain. Pacman’s flavor profile and performance makes it a great choice for use in many different beer styles, including Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale maibock. The addition of Pearl and Sterling hops makes for a robust take on the classic German beer. Although the beer’s missing the style’s bread crust, the present flavors are harmonious: Bread with toasted edges runs over the tongue before orange notes pop up. Hefty bitterness chases the swallow while peppery alcohol prickles the sip front to back. Plus, you know, Pac-Man was a dead guy.

Triceratops-Mrs-Voorhees-Peanut-Butter-Milk-StoutTriceratops Mrs. Voorhees Peanut Butter Milk Stout

8.1% ABV, 65 IBU

On a fateful day in 1957, Jason Voorhees, infuriated by the constant teasing and harassment from other children, snuck out of his summer camp cabin late at night to prove that he could swim. The counselors were not watching him, as they were at a party and fooling around in one of the adult cabins. Jason was never recovered from the lake and was presumably drowned. Mrs. Voorhees blamed the counselors for his death because she was working as the camp cook the day that it happened. In Friday the 13th (1980), Mrs. Voorhees blamed camp personnel for perceived wrongs, sometimes having a conversation with herself using two different voices, becoming rageful, and of course, killing. She went nuts and began killing camp counselors. Triceratops Brewing pays homage, or something, to Mrs. V with a chocolate milk stout brewed with Skagit Valley Malt, 25 pounds of peanut butter richness, combined with honey malt and milk sugar that provides a mild sweetness and a roasty backbone.