Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Peaks and Pints: Silver City Ripe ’N Juicy and Rock Candy Mountain

Ron Swarner

Share

Peaks and Pints: Silver City Ripe ’N Juicy and Rock Candy Mountain

Silver City Brewery Ripe N Juicy was nominated as a seventh seed in the Southern Washington Region of the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs, which will begin April 2, 2021. The tournament bracket will be released soon. Since we’re not touring breweries to preview the tournament this year, we enjoyed the Peaks and Pints: Silver City Ripe ’N Juicy and Rock Candy Mountain Trail pairing.

Hops: Silver City Ripe ’N Juicy

The Double IPA is an American invention that takes hoppiness to a much more intense level than traditional English IPAs. In the case of Silver City’s Ripe ’N Juicy, the intensity lies with fruity hops. This beer has huge hop character. It’s made with Citra, Azacca and Amarillo, which contribute assertive tropical aroma and flavor. The Azacca taunts the nose with grapefruit, pineapple, and orange. The Amarillo are especially noticeable for their strong sweet orange flavor. Ripe ’N Juicy gains its signature dense, hazy body from the reaction of a specialized yeast strain with a hearty dose of flaked wheat. A massive canvas for a brilliantly fruity hop experience.

Let’s Break It Down: 8% ABV • 75 IBU • Ripe ’N Juicy is brewed with Pilsner malt, flaked wheat, Citra, Amarillo, and Azacca hops • Brothers Steve and Scott Houmes were restaurateurs until September 1996 when they added brewmaster “Big Daddy” Don Spencer to their lives. The they opened Silver City Brewery in Silverdale, Washington. In May of 2010, the brothers moved their brewery operations to a new, 7,600 square foot production facility and taproom in Bremerton.

Hike: Rock Candy Mountain Trail

We didn’t see many rocks, and almost no candy as Clif Bars don’t count, but we did see tons of off-road vehicle and mountain bike riders during our ascent of Rock Candy Mountain in the Capitol State Forest. We followed the well-maintained North Rim Trail into the woods before joining the Rock Candy Mountain Trail. After stepping over streams, wandering under a thick forest, and crossing a few logging roads trail steepens and swtichbacks as it nears the top of Rock Candy Mountain. Because of recent logging near the summit, views to the north are wide open.

Let’s Break It Down: 5.5-mile roundtrip, high point 1,500 feet, elevation gain 1,000 feet, rated easy/moderate, Olympic Peninsula – Capitol State Forest

Haps: Post-hike Celebration

Back at the trailhead, we cracked opened the 22-ounce Ripe ’N Juicy and, via the Internet, discovered Rock Candy Mountain is the third-highest peak in Capitol State Forest. We laughed as it wasn’t a rocky hike. We knew to bring sunglasses — not because of the weather but because most Silver City beers are packaged in bright neon colors, including Ripe ’N Juicy.

Highway: Getting There

From I-5 in Olympia, exit onto US 101 north. After 6 miles, merge onto US 8 for another 4.7 miles to Rock Candy Mountain Road. Turn left and proceed to the trailhead.

Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs

OK, Covid, we’ll just take the Peaks & Pints Tournament of Beer into the woods. …

The public nominated 64 Northwest double IPAs for the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs in February. Beginning April 2, through online voting on this website, Washington and Oregon double IPA drinkers will pick daily winners until the best double IPA in the Northwest is crowned April 24.

Our pre-Tournament hype will be different this year. No brewery research tour. No candid photos of bartenders pouring double IPAs for review. No hotel parties.

Instead, Peaks & Pints will preview the Tournament of Beer: NW Double IPAs by taking the 64 nominated double IPAs on hikes relatively close to where they were brewed. After all, a post-hike double IPA can quench your thirst and begin to rehydrate you, lubricate your senses and, like the act of hiking, help maintain sanity, balance and perspective. Oh, believe us when we say the hike is still paramount to the experience. If it wasn’t, we’d skip the hike and just head to the taproom. Rather, Peaks & Pints is a big believer in hanging at the trailhead with our fellow hikers, divvying up a beer and discussing the hike, or whatever subjects, as we store away our gear.