Friday, April 19th, 2024

Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers April 19

Peaks & Pints barkeeps Phaedra of Rohan and Bilbo Brandon discuss Thursday’s games, including the close “Haus” game.
Phaedra of Rohan and Bilbo Brandon note Kulshan Brewing always has an impressive amount of wins in our Tournaments due to their large fanbase.

Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers April 19

BILBO BRANDON: Peaks & Pints honestly had no idea how well the Tournament of Beers: Northwest Ambers would be received. First, ambers and reds might seem a little passé in a world dominated by hazies, adjunct-laden stouts, and barrel-aged beasts. Second, much like the actual NCAA Basketball brackets, the 64 breweries voted in are strikingly different. Some Middle-Northwest breweries have been around for a while and have huge fan bases. Others are mid-majors, known mostly to those living in the brewery’s same city. And some people have stood inside Peaks & Pints and passionately expressed dismay at the Tournament seeding, even though the public seeded it. What we do know is thousands of people are voting, which can be seen live on our Instagram Stories. Long, lively conversations occur daily beneath our giant Tournament bracket above the cooler. And head brewers are stopping by to sign autographs. People are talking about Oregon and Washington amber and red ales and having a good time. Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, Wizards, Elves, and Dwarves, to the 2024 Peaks and Pints Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers from the historic Proctor District in beautiful Tacoma, Washington. I’m Peaks & Pints barkeep Bilbo Brandon and with me is fellow Peaks barkeep, Phaedra of Rohan.

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Seven years ago, we challenged the public to vote for their favorite Washington brewed IPAs. We tallied the nominations and seeded 64 top vote getters in a tournament-style beer combat, IBUs versus IBUs — because IBUs were still a thing — with Rainy Daze Goat Boater IPA paddling away with the trophy. The next year, 2018, Middle-Northwest brewed porters took center stage in our quest for malty mightiness, with Wingman Brewer’s P-51 Porter reigning supreme. In 2019, the year our Pappi Swarner and the Peaks & Pints Weather Guy called the games, Kulshan Pilsner made Bellingham proud in our Pilsner Tournament. And on and on until this year, when we asked the public to nominate 64 of their favorite and red ales brewed in Oregon and Washington.

BILBO BRANDON: The Tournament of Beer: Northwest Ambers hosts competitions Monday through Friday up to the championship game Saturday, April 27 live at Peaks & Pints bottle shop, taproom, and restaurant in Tacoma’s Proctor District. Without further ado, let’s take a gander at yesterday’s results, followed by ambers and reds hitting the Middle-Northwest courts in Second Round play today.

Kulshan managed to win their game even while setting up their Trackside Beer Garden, which opens May 3.

Thursday, April 18, Second Round Northwest Ambers Games Results


Bainbridge Brewing Arrow Point Amber (#5 seed) vs Kulshan Brewing Local Amber (#13 seed)

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Kulshan Brewing is a winner. They win medals. They win hearts. They win Tournament of Beer: Northwest Pilsners. They know how to rally votes. They know how to rally around the family with a pocket full of shells. Sea shells, of course, because they’re the sweetest folks. Alright, alright, it’s like they brewed our house beer Tree-dimensional IPA in 2019, or something. OK, Local Amber held a substantial lead over Bainbridge Brewing Arrow Point all day, ending up with 66 percent of the votes and a date in the Saccharification 16.

“Hey, hey, you, you get off of my Ash Cloud, Wet Coast!” yelled Barrel Mountain’s Geremy Frasier.


Barrel Mountain Brewing Ash Cloud Amber (#11 seed) vs Wet Coast Hi Jack! Red Ale (#3 seed)

BILBO BRANDON: As you know, Wet Coast Brewing is a Prohibition-themed brewery. Take their Hi Jack! Red Ale — During Prohibition, “Hi Jack!” was used in speakeasies as a code word for law enforcement. Hi Jack!, the red ale, is brewed with Crystal and Black malts for a deep red hue and smooth body, plus Centennial hops provide floral and citrus notes with a small amount of bitterness to balance the beer. Yesterday, Barrel Mountain Brewing thought about covering their Gig Harbor based competition with an ash cloud, but the Battle Ground brewery was too busy making 10,000 pizzas at their Vancouver taproom.

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: I’m sure Wet Coast dons their glad rags today ready to sip some giggle water in celebration of the 72 percent win over Ash Cloud, Daddy-O

M-m-m-my Ramona” whispered Living Haus.


Living Haus Kenny Hoppy Red Ale (#16 seed) vs Zoiglhaus Ramona Red (#8 seed)

BILBO BRANDON: The Haus, the Haus, the Haus was on fire yesterday! Living Haus’ Kenny Hoppy Red Ale and Zoiglhaus’ Ramona Red had a Haus party of hoppy punches. Ramona came out strong playing Haus music and did a great job burning down the Living Haus. But the afternoon and evening belong to Living Haus. Kenny passed Zoiglhaus in votes without dying over and over and found a home in the Saccharification 16 with 54 percent of the vote.


Barley Brown’s Point Blank Red (#6 seed) vs Ninkasi Brewing Dawn of the Red (#3 seed)

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Barley Brown’s Beer shot point blank the zombies’ brains of Ninkasi’s Dawn of the Red, grabbed 66 percent of the vote and moseyed into the Saccharification 16 with clinking noises from their spurs.

BILBO BRANDON: Let’s weed through the malts. The following are advancing to the Saccharification 16:

Kulshan Brewing Local Amber (#13 seed)

Wet Coast Brewing Hi Jack! Red (#3 seed)

Living Haus Kenny Hoppy Red (#16 seed)

Barley Brown’s Point Blank Red (#6 seed)

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: All right! Let’s dive into more Second Round games. Please vote for one beer per game on Peaks & Pints’ Instagram Stories. Voting for today’s battles ends at midnight. We’ll announce the winners tomorrow morning around 10 a.m. before taking the weekend off. See everyone back here Monday for the final games of the Second Round.

Friday, April 19, Second Round Northwest Ambers Games

What would Ragnar Lothbrok do?


Rainy Daze Brewing Test Drive Amber (#10 seed) vs Triplehorn Folkvang Red (#15 seed)

BILBO BRANDON: It was only a very small percentage of the Vikings that were warriors; the majority was farmers, craftsmen, traders, and craft brewers. For the Vikings who took to the sea, pillaging was one among many other goals of their expeditions. The Vikings settled peacefully in many places such as Iceland, Greenland and Poulsbo, Washington. If you walk around Poulsbo, you’ll see references to the Vikings such as “Velkommen!” on many businesses, pickled herring and krumkake stuck in beards and “For a gud tyme call Jofridr Gunnarsdatter” on that one telephone pole. Rainy Daze Brewing calls Poulsbo home, and the brewers call their Test Drive Amber, “jævla deilig!”

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Ah, I see where you’re going with this line of reasoning. Triplehorn Brewing in Woodinville carries a Viking motif, complete with calling their red ale Folkvang Red. In Norse mythology, Fólkvangr is a meadow or field ruled over by the goddess Freyja where half of those that die in combat go upon death, whilst the other half go to the god Odin in Valhalla.

BILBO BRANDON: This match-up should be brutal with standard Viking hit-and-run strikes. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the loser of this game checking into a Norseing home.

VOTE ON PEAKS & PINTS’ INSTAGRAM STORIES >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


E9 Brewing Rowdy & Dick Amber (#1 seed) vs Top Rung Brewing Box Alarm Amber (#8 seed)

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: We’re seen some spectacular local matchups in this year’s Tournament. Triceratops Collin James Irish Red punched Narrows Eldies Amber. Wet Coast Hi Jack! Red jacked Sig Amber Rambler. E9 smoked Black Fleet Fire Ship. Top Rung led Gig Harbor’s Racing Rooster Red to roost. Then there’s E9 Brewing Rowdy & Dick Amber facing off with Top Rung Brewing Box Alarm Amber. E9 named their flagship amber ale “Rowdy & Dick” in memory of the last two fire horses in pump-truck service at Engine House No. 9, E9 Brewing’s sister restaurant. Top Rung’s Box Alarm replaced with flagship Three Sixty Degrees Red Ale, which so happens to be the first beer our Pappi the Grey brewed on a big system, which I believe was in the fall of 2015. This South Sound brewery battle should make the front page of The Plaid Horse.

VOTE ON PEAKS & PINTS’ INSTAGRAM STORIES >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Double Mountain needs to keep an eye on these robots on call in Gigantic’s taproom.

Gigantic Brewing Mecha Red (#11 seed) vs Double Mountain Brewery I.R.A. (#13 seed)

BILBO BRANDON: “When great brewers come together in the Hall of Fermentation, bound together in their pursuit of flavor, their individual superpowers will surely combine to create a beer that will do justice to their skills — that will stand up for brewing integrity — a beer that’s not just for Saturday mornings,” said Gigantic Brewing Masterbrewer Van Havig. He speaks of Super Friends IPA, a collaboration the Portland brewery did with Double Mountain Brewery from Hood River in early 2022.

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: There are a few things Gigantic and Double Mountain share besides love of classic hops and classic Saturday morning cartoons. Possibly the most important is packaging their beers in refillable bottles. The two breweries commitment to reusable package and sustainability is paramount. They came together to showcase their love of beer and passion for keeping the air clean, the beaches, parks, and roadsides litter-free, to promote a circular economy and set a model for future generations. Now they face-off against each other with their barley pops in recycling bottles, of course.

BILBO BRANDON: I have a joke about recycling. Unfortunately, it’s already been used. Vote now!

VOTE ON PEAKS & PINTS’ INSTAGRAM STORIES >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Three Creeks Brewing Firestorm Red (#12 seed) vs Kobold Brewing Brimstone Red (#13 seed)

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Oh, geez, we have fire and brimstone in this battle.

BILBO BRANDON: This could be the most hotly contested game in the Tournament so far.

PHAEDRA OF ROHAN: Twelfth seed Three Creeks Brewing Firestorm Red beat number five seed Oakshire Brewing’s Amber Ale brewed in the shire. Thirteenth seeded Kobold Brewing Brimstone Red beat number four seeded Rogue American Amber Ale. Obviously, Three Creeks and Kobold know how to win. They just need to wear fire retardant suits.

BILBO BRANDON: How are they going to drink? Ah, just vote.

VOTE ON PEAKS & PINTS’ INSTAGRAM STORIES >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday April 22 Tournament of Northwest Ambers Second Round action …

Game 1: Old Stove Brewing Amber Waves (#11 seed) vs Boundary Bay Railroad Ave. Amber Ale (#14 seed)

Game 2: Backwoods Brewing Copperline Amber (#5 seed) vs 7 Seas Cutt’s Amber Ale(#4 seed)

Game 3: Ruse Brewing Dad Moon Rising (#10 seed) vs Buoy Beer NW Red (#2 seed)

Game 4: Boneyard Beer Diablo Rojo (#1 seed) vs Bend Brewing Outback Amber (#9 seed)

LINK: Tournament of Beers: Northwest Ambers explained

LINK: Tournament of Beer Headquarters

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