Monday, April 10th, 2017

Tournament of Washington IPAs: Round One April 10

Ron Swarner

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Let’s look at hoppy moments in history. …

4,300 BC – Oldest-known written recipe — a formula for beer — inscribed on a clay cuneiform tablet. The Babylonians are producing beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties, including Suck It Sumerian Stout.

500-1000 AD – The first half of the Middle Ages, brewing begins in European monasteries and convents; hops added to process. Hello Bring Out Your Dead Doppelbock!

1490 – Columbus finds natives making beer from corn and tree sap in the Bahamas. First Caribbean bar fight breaks out when the natives called Columbus a phony.

1612 – First commercial New World brewery opens in New Amsterdam (now Manhattan, in New York City).

1620 – Mayflower docks at Plymouth Rock; ship’s log notes landing hastened by fears over dwindling supplies, “especially our beere.” The Puritans pointed fingers at the Pilgrims.

1772 – Ralph Harwood, a London brewer, invents Porter (a dark-and-light-malts mixture). Porter made its way to Ireland in 1776 and Guinness was brewing it a few years later.

1810 – An estimated 132 operating breweries exist in the United States.

1820s – English brewers create strong, heavily hopped brews — now known as India Pale Ales — to withstand arduous travels from England to India. Lord Liverpool makes the first bitter-beer face.

2017Peaks and Pints launches the Tournament of Beer: Washington State IPAs!

OK, let’s do a quick foam height check, and dive into today’s First Round IPA battles. Vote for one IPA per game. Voting for today’s IPA battles ends at 11:45 p.m. today.

Monday, April 10, First Round Washington IPA Games

GAME 1, SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

Pacific-Brewing-and-Malting-Prairie-Line-IPAPlayer: Prairie Line IPA (#6 seed)

Team: Pacific Brewing & Malting Co., Tacoma

Player Stats: You can’t ignore Pacific Brewing & Malting Co.’s history. Erected in downtown Tacoma in 1897, it grew to be one of the largest breweries in the Northwest. The Pacific Beer brand was hugely popular along the entire West Coast. Success was cut short by statewide Prohibition in 1916 and Pacific Brewing closed its doors shortly thereafter. Nearly 100 years later, Pacific Brewing re-opened in downtown Tacoma in the fall of 2014. Backing up to 1864, President Lincoln signed legislation that chartered the Northern Pacific Railroad to connect the Great Lakes to the Puget Sound. Lines of the Northern Pacific included the Prairie Line, a stretch of track that served Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. It makes sense modern day Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. brew a Prairie Line IPA. With Citra and Mosaic hops pushing the aroma and taste of tropical and citrus fruits including tangerine, mango and melon, Prairie Line is a light-bodied and very drinkable India Pale Ale.

ABV: 6% IBU: 82 Hops: Citra, Mosaic

Northwest-Brewing-Crazy-BitchPlayer: Crazy Bitch Double IPA (#11 seed)

Team: Northwest Brewing Company, Pacific

Player Stats: Northwest Brewing Co. doesn’t have the history of Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. but it has a Crazy Bitch. We can’t confirm if Greg Steed and Dan Anthony had the 2016 Washington Beer Awards gold medalist Crazy Bitch in their plans when they opened Trade Route Brewing, later changing to Northwest Brewing Company, in 2012. But Crazy Bitch is here, and ready to battle in the Tournament of Beer. A 101 IBU hop explosion of grapefruit, lemon zest, bright pine and various herbs aromas and tastes balanced with German-style malts. It has more fire and spit than Janis Joplin, more swagger and strut than the Stones, more dramatic, slow-motion stares straight into the camera than eight billion girlselfies on Instagram, combined. This Crazy Bitch is for real. Yo.

ABV: 7.5% IBU: 101 Hops: Columbus and other Yakima Valley hops

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………

GAME 2, SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON REGION

Three-Magnets-Brewing-Co-Little-Juice-Smoothie-EditionPlayer: Little Juice – Smoothie Edition (#3 seed)

Team: Three Magnets Brewing Co., Olympia

Player Stats: There’s a lot of hype around New England style IPAs right now, as the so-called milkshake IPA gains greater and greater notoriety in the craft world. These extremely cloudy India pale ales are the regional style du jour, each new release less translucent than the last, made with hops featuring strong citrus qualities and enough oats to create a cloudy appearance. Three Magnets Brewing Co.’s Little Juice – Smoothie Edition was one of the first in Washington state to brew a fuzzy IPA. And it’s a great one. A burst of citrus hoppiness — especially orange, tangerine and grapefruit — hits the nose. Medium-bodied with a soft, round backbone, Little Juice – Smoothie Edition has sharp, crisp citrus flavors of grapefruit, orange and hints of apricot, papaya, followed by piney and resinous hops, and a dry, biscuity malt base. For its battle with Narrows Brewing’s Giant Pacific Octopus, Three Magnets will most likely push its cuisine such as fat bastard roasted oysters, sausage and mushroom flatbread and moonrocks fried cheese curds, just to make a point.

ABV: 6.6% IBU: 65 Hops: Northwest

Narrows-Brewing-Giant-Pacific-Octopus-IPAPlayer: Giant Pacific Octopus IPA (#14 seed)

Team: Narrows Brewing Company, Tacoma

Player Stats: Narrows Brewing opens its doors in the summer of 2013, perched on pilings above Narrows waterway. Joe Walts, a quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewing in Madison, Wisconsin, landed the head brewer job. One of the first beers he brewed as the Giant Pacific Octopus IPA, a potpourri of sweet, yeasty, floral, citrus, pine and malt on the nose and tongue. Walts is back at Ale Asylum, but there isn’t a better head brewer to continue wrangling the Giant Octopus than longtime head brewer — with an Aquatic Biology degree — Mike Davis. If it came down to food, Three Magnets has the edge. If it came down to view, Narrows Brewing has the edge. If it came down to IPAs, which is what the Tournament of Beer is about, this should be a doozy of a battle.

ABV: 7.2% IBU: 72 Hops: Magnum, Columbus, Willamette

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE……………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………

GAME 3, KING COUNTY REGION

Elysian-Brewing-Co-Space-Dust-IPAPlayer: Space Dust IPA (#5 seed)

Team: Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle

Player Stats: It was different times. It was a glorious January 2013 day when co-owner Dick Cantwell told the rest of the planet he and his Elysian Brewing Co. had a new craft beer to add to their Manic IPA Series: Space Dust IPA. The Elysian pubs had long dusted off the Dust, pouring the rainbow of orange, lemon, melon, and resin that leads to a treasure of bitterness at the end to those who checked into Elysian. Cantwell announced Space Dust will “come drifting across the cosmos to select restaurants, bars and retail establishments. More than the ocean needs the cosmic light of starglow energy, you will love this beer.” People did. By the billions Carl Sagan would have said. Cantwell is long gone, as well as a few of the brewers who brewed the first batches, but Space Dust still lights up the Universe, including grabbing a fifth seed in this tournament.

ABV: 8.2% IBU: 62 Hops: Chinook, Citra, Amarillo

Stoup-Brewing-Citra-IPAPlayer: Citra IPA (#12 seed)

Team: Stoup Brewing, Seattle

Player Stats: Scientist Brad Benson and foodie Lara Zahaba opened Stoup Brewing in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood in 2013. Washington state’s first female Cicerone, Robyn Schumacher, became Stoup’s third partner, assisting Benson in the brewing room. Team Stoup believes in building beers that unroll with a distinct start, middle, and finish. This magic works especially well on their IPAs, especially the Citra IPA. Your first sniff will elicit images of tropical fruit and citrus thanks to a healthy dose of Citra hops. Next, pale malt sweetness keeps things in check with slight bitter, citrusy fruits and grapefruit. Citra IPA finishes dry with very bright, tangerine and Meyer lemon character lingering. Science!

ABV: 5.9% IBU: 50 Hops: Citra

SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…

GAME 4, KING COUNTY REGION

Cloudburst-Brewing-Alternative-Facts-IPAPlayer: Alternative Facts IPA (#4 seed)

Team: Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle

Player Stats: Did Steve Luke invent it all from scratch? Of course not. India Pale Ales were around before he stirred his first wort. But, there is a singular, Zen-like clarity, ease, a mystical, genuine, delicious je ne sais quoi to his IPAs. People lost their minds when Elysian Brewing veteran Steve Luke announced he would be opening his own brewery, Cloudburst Brewing. Luke crafted hundreds of recipes with Dick Cantwell, including the famous Space Dust IPA, Split Shot Espresso Stout and Peach Pumpkin Ale. People kept losing their minds after each sip of a fast-revolving line of stellar IPAs, including the one voted into this tournament, Alternative Facts. Cloudburst had the largest list of IPAs nominated, but Alternative Facts had the magic number, and a fourth seed at that. Lightly toasted caramel under a steady wash of oranges, other citric notes, with papaya on the mid palate and a sturdy hop bitterness were reasons enough to vote it in. It’s name didn’t hurt. The assaults are coming fast and vicious. We all must take sufficient time to filter, to pore through, to see where we can engage most successfully. Meditation helps tremendously. And yoga. And reconnecting with our immediate community, our loved ones, our local kula. Walk some dogs. Foster a rabbit. Drink plenty of Alternative Facts IPA, if you can find it.

ABV: 7% IBU: N/A Hops: Citra, Centennial, Exp 522, Mandarina, Simcoe

Airways-Brewing-Jumbo-Juice-IPAPlayer: Jumbo Juice IPA (#13 seed)

Team: Airways Brewing, Kent

Player Stats: Founded in spring 2010, Airways Brewing Co. eventually outgrew their tiny space in Kent, last year moving down the road to a space holding more than five times their previous drinker capacity. They needed the extra space to house their awards too. Certainly the brewery’s Sky Hag IPA, Seat Kicker IPA and Loud Lady IPA have been around longer than the 13th seeded Jumbo Juice IPA. But, these are smooth, bold tropical hop times and Jumbo Juice IPA touches down perfectly every time.

ABV: 6% IBU: N/A Hops: Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe

VOTE BELOW……………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…

Be sure to click the blue DONE button after selecting your favorite IPAs!

Tuesday, April 11’s Tournament of Washington IPAs action …

Game 1: Pogo Stick, E9 Brewery (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma) vs. Shift Trade IPA, Top Rung Brewing Company (8343 Hogum Bay Lane N.E, Lacey)

Game 2: Broken Window, Tacoma Brewing Company (625 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Electron IPA, Puyallup River Brewing Company (Puyallup, Washington)

Game 3: Bodhizafa, Georgetown Brewing Co. (5200 Denver Ave. S., Seattle) vs. Standard Imperial IPA, Standard Brewing (2504 S. Jackson St., Seattle)

Game 4: The Sister, Fremont Brewing Company (1050 N. 34th St., Seattle) vs. Astral Projection Imperial IPA, Holy Mountain (1421 Elliott Ave. W., Seattle)

LINK: Tournament of Beers: Washington State IPAs explanation

LINK: Hot Damn! Yes, I want to follow Peaks and Pints on Twitter

Tournament-of-Beer-IPAs-bracket-April-10

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