What’s up, South Sound! I need a soldier that ain’t scared to stand up for me. Known to carry big things, if you know what I mean. LET’S GET TO DRINKING!
BOMB! Prairie Artisan Ales: This imperial stout is aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans and ancho chili peppers. It pours completely jet black with a foamy java head, leaving some lacing on the glass. The smell of chocolate malt, strong espresso, vanilla and a hint of pepper waft off this rich brew. Thick and creamy, it assaults the taste buds with roasty, bitter coffee followed by vanilla which coats the mouth and ends with some heat, mimicking the taste of Mexican chocolate. As it comes closer to room temperature, this brew gets more and more complex, releasing even more sweet and peppery flavors. 14%, 355ml
BOURBON BARREL AGED DARK STAR, Fremont Brewing: This year’s release is a blend of 24, 18, 12, and 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star in 7-12-year old Kentucky bourbon barrels. The roasted and chocolate malts complement the smooth oats to bring you an imperial stout wrapped in the gentle embrace of bourbon barrel-aged warmth. A touch of sweetness dances in balance with the hops to finish with a wave. 13.6%, 22oz
CONSIDER YOURSELF HUGGED ALE, Prairie Artisan Ales: This new imperial stout from Prairie Artisan Ales — brewed and bottled at Krebs Brewing Co. in Krebs, Oklahoma — incorporates a very different kind of coffee: peanut butter roasted coffee. The nose is Reeses Peanut Butter Cup with roasted malt, coffee and light caramel, which is also the palate. It’s simple and straightforward delicious, with a smooth mouthfeel and alcohol aware. 11.9%, 12oz
FIELD TO FERMENT: CITRA, Fremont Brewing: Cans of Fremont’s Field to Ferment — Citra finally landed for a citrusy, hoppy pale ale with a tropical fruit finish. 6%, 12oz
HEAD FULL OF FRESH HOPS: FRESH HOP HAZY IPA, Fremont Brewing: Head Full of Fresh Hops starts with Mosaic and Ekuanot hops harvested in Yakima and loaded into the brew kettle within 24 hours of harvest. Lactose joins a malt bill of 2-Row Pale, rolled oats, flaked wheat and white wheat for a juicy grapefruit and pine hazy IPA. 6.8%, 16oz
WAY TWO FRESH, Crux Fermentation Project/Bale Breaker Brewing: Crux and Bale Breaker simultaneously harvested Mosaic and Simcoe hops from the Willamette and Yakima valleys, then combined them into each other’s brew facilities. Each outfit is making their own version of Way Two Fresh. Crux’s double IPA version offers a tasty interplay of dank pine and fruitiness. Definite malt sweetness there, but nicely balanced for a double. 8.5%, 12oz