Snuffleupagus Imperial Stout and Peated Pumpkin Baltic Porter

I know, I know. You thought the day would never come where Standard Brewing makes a monstrous stout and a porter (with pumpkin!). Well, the day has arrived, and you’ll be getting both at the same time.

First comes Snuffleupagus Imperial Stout on the resurrected 13th tap. A wooly mammoth of a nitro stout at 12% ABV, using flaked oat and rye, this winter warmer is incredibly smooth and complex for being so boozy. It starts with a creamy dark chocolate note and finishes long with a touch of smoke and tobacco. It is only served on premise (no growler fills, sorry) in 10 oz portions. Come and sit by the fireplace and enjoy a pour fit for cold, wet, dark days.

As soon as someone drinks that last 1 or 2 glasses of Bière de Garde (I know, I’m sad to see it go, too), we’ll be tapping the beer we brought to Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, the Peated Baltic Pumpkin Porter (7.5%). I’ve always loved Baltic Porters, which tend to be more complex than other porter styles. They’ve been described as a halfway point between British style porters and Russian Imperial Stouts, due to their higher alcohol content, but restrained roast characteristics. They are unique among porters due to the use of lager, or at least cool fermented ale yeast. We used a Kölsch strain, fermented in a way that brought clean, slightly vinous qualities to the beer. Obviously, we’re not entirely playing by the rules here, what with the peat malt and pumpkin, but we made it for a pumpkin festival, so whatevs. Speaking of pumpkin beers, there are two kinds: those that use pumpkin pie spices (and sometimes no pumpkin!), and those that just use pumpkin. The flavor of pumpkin is subtle and vegetal, and often covered up in a pie, where most people get to taste it once a year. We paired the pumpkin flavor with a light dash of peated malt for a subtle smokiness, and with clean fermenting Kölsch yeast, we’ve made a complex and interesting Baltic Porter with a clean finish. Unlike Snuffleupagus, you can take this guy home in growlers if you want.

Be sure to join us early on Sunday if you like watching the Seahawks. We’ll be open early at 1:00pm with the game on the big screen so we can cheer on our toughest challenge yet!

On tap:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Imperial Rye IPA (next up: 0 IBU IPA)
  8. Belgian Strong Ale (next up: Belgian Dark Strong Ale)
  9. Single Hop w/Citra Hops (next up: Single Hop w/Simcoe)
  10. Peated Pumpkin Baltic Porter
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

An Honest Pint

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: in which I get on my high horse about weights and measures.

There are two ways to make money. The first is to generate sales, and the second is to cut costs. One can do either of these honestly, or dishonestly. The last time I set up a bar, I was approached by a glassware salesman about my choice of pint glass. The sales pitch was simple. He had a nifty glass that looked like a pint, but had slightly thicker walls and a thicker base, while maintaining the same outer shape. The end result was a glass that was 2 oz smaller in a deceptively normal shape. In other words, I’d be able to cut my cost of goods sold (and the beer in your glass) by 12.5%. For a second, I was enticed. My boss would probably be thrilled to see the cunning decision, but it didn’t sit well, and I chose a proper pint in the end.

Since then, sitting at a bar over a 14 oz “pint” gets my knickers in a knot. At Standard Brewing, a pint is 16 oz. If you are ever in doubt about the volume of your pint shaped glass, pay attention to the weight of it in your hand once you finish the beer. “Cheater pints” will be slightly heavier, and feel a bit sturdier. Another tell-tale sign is the thickness on the bottom. Here’s a visual aide:

It is important to note that those mason jars with handles kind of pull the opposite trick. They look like less than a pint, but they actually are. These are not under scrutiny here, unless someone has some intel that I do not. Anyway, back to whatever it was you were doing, and I’ll see you at the brewery for an honest pint when you’re done. Or a 12 oz pour of a strong ale. Or a 5 oz taster. Here’s the current tap list:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Imperial Rye IPA
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Citra Hops
  10. Bière de Garde
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

New Single Hop with Citra Hops!

Perusing the hop cooler for the next single hopped beer, I always pause as I pass a bag of Citra. I love Citra hops. Everyone loves Citra hops. As a bartender, my colleagues and I used to joke about St. Germaine elderflower liqueur as “bartender’s bacon“. You can blindly throw it in anything and almost everyone will love the result. Citra is the St. Germaine of hops. It’s one reason why you can find so many Citra single hopped beers. I kept putting it off because it felt like too easy a choice. Well, today’s the day you get to taste the flavor of giving in. Huge tropical fruits and citrus here. Half Pilsner malt and half Pale malt, it has a very light body, and at 5.7%, just enough alcohol for you to know you’re drinking beer. If you loved the Galaxy Single Hop, this one’s for you. It has been in kegs for a week, and volatile hop oils fade fast, so come get this little beauty right now.

Here’s the list:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Imperial Rye IPA
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Citra Hops
  10. Bière de Garde
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

As usual, we will be opening early for the 1:25 game of Seahawks vs. Giants on Sunday. Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple weeks for a 12% Smoked Imperial Stout, A Belgian Dark Ale, and later on, Experimental IPA #2 (Zero IBU IPA).

World Series and Halloween Cinema

There are 162 games of Major League Baseball played by 30 teams over 180 days each season. That’s 2430 games every year, and the main reason I tend to save the few spare chunks of gray matter I have left for things that don’t take up so much time. Nevertheless, when your World Series is the Giants vs. the Royals and it’s tied at 3-3 games, I have no problems turning it on the tube. Come down and watch the last drama filled game at 5pm.

As for the coming Halloween, we’ll be playing the most hilarious “scary” movies all week long in a marathon of Standard Brewing cinema. Here’s the lowdown:

Thursday, @ 6:00pm – John Dies at the End

Friday, @ 6:00pm – Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Saturday, @ 6:00pm – Fido

Sunday, @ 6:00pm – Dead Snow

 

 

IBUs, hops and beer bitterness

WARNING: This post is kind of nerdy.

I often find myself stalling, looking for an answer when someone walks into the brewery and asks “How many IBUs does that beer have?” It happened more than usual last weekend while we sat at our table at the South Sound IPA Festival in Tacoma. People grazing on 4 oz pours of hoppy beer have been trained to look to IBUs as a marker for the most heavily hopped IPAs, but there’s more to it than this. IBU stands for International Bitterness Unit, and it is a measurement of isomerized alpha acids. Bear with me, I’ll break it down.

Alpha and beta acids are the two easiest stats to find on a bag of hops, in spite of dozens of other important qualities in any given hop varietal. Though chewing on a hop cone will always give you the most unpleasantly bitter experience of your life, neither alpha, nor beta acids will add bitterness to beer without a fundamental change. For alpha acids, that fundamental change is isomerization (rearranged molecular structure using heat), and beta acids, it’s oxidation (chemically reacting with oxygen). European “noble” hops are prized for having relatively balanced alpha to beta ratios, and many brewers age their hops to target beta acid forms of bitterness, which wouldn’t count toward IBUs at all. Here in west coast styled IPA land, we aim for all things resinous, and the alpha acid is king. Isomerization requires boiling, and the longer you boil, the more of this type of bitterness is created in your beer. Alpha acids come from the resin glands in hops, which also produce flavor and aroma oils (hoo boy, does it get complicated from here). You can look for myrcene for resinous qualities, cis-rose for fruity, octanal for citrus, 4MMP for black currant, linalool and geraniol for floral, or my favorite, Caryophylla-3,8,dien-(13)-dien-5-beta-ol for cedar notes. These flavor and aroma oils are volatile, and boil off quickly, so while you might gain bitterness from isomerization, you lose what most IPA lovers call “hoppy”. This is why we throw tons of pretty hops that you can smell from across the room into the boil kettle during the last few minutes of the boil. We call this “hop bursting”.

A beer made with 16 metric tons of IBUs and no hop bursting would not satisfy the average IPA drinker. So when the question comes up “How many IBUs? Tell me how many!!! I WANT MORE IBUs!!!!!”, I hesitate a little, wondering how far to go with the conversation. Many of the most revered IPAs only have 70 IBUs and dump liquid CO2 extracted hop oils into the beer after it’s been made. This is a verse from a different song, however, and we’ll get into that another day.

The bottom line is that there is a difference between “hoppy” and “bitter”. If all you want is bitterness, your cheapest option would be 4 or 5 bags of black tea steeped in your cup for a half hour. You’ll find yourself face to face with a truckload of tannins. Ever come upon a stream in the Olympic Peninsula colored orange from all the decomposing cedar upstream? Mouth puckering tannins aren’t inherently bitter, but can be perceived that way. In beer, tannins counteract malt sweetness by drying it out, and malt balances IBUs. You can get tannins from the hops, or from the husks of the grains during the mashing process. The point is, bitterness is complex, and while many might not care to know, in a world with a bazillion IPAs, it helps to at least know the difference between hop flavor and hop bitterness. It’s for this reason that the question “What do you have that isn’t hoppy?” also gives me pause, because theoretically, you could have a beer with tons of “hoppiness” and extremely low bitterness. I may or may not be brewing that beer this week.

MOVING ON … here are your options this week, and their IBUs, which you’ll probably never see again:

  1. Rye IPA (67 IBUs)
  2. West Coast IPA (65 IBUs)
  3. Imperial IPA (111 IBUs)
  4. Pale Ale (43 IBUs) out until Friday
  5. Wheated Red Ale (44 IBUs)
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale (96 IBUs)
  7. Imperial Rye IPA (100 IBUs)
  8. Belgian Strong Ale (36 IBUs) next up, Belgian Dark Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Cluster Hops (54 IBUs) next up, Single Hop w/Citra hops
  10. Bière de Garde (25 IBUs)
  11. Auld Alliance (26 IBUs)
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer (no IBUs at all)

Ever had Gruit? Drink some and watch the Hawks.

Before humans used hops in beer, we used all kinds of herbs to balance the sweetness of grain sugars to make beer palatable. I’m sure many combinations would test even the most adventurous modern palates, but diversifying the herbal content in beer can be an interesting detour from the usual elements of the Reinheitsgebot. We decided to take our biggest step away from the norm with a gruit that we’re calling Auld Alliance. In the Middle Ages, the Scots allied with France to help protect themselves against British tyranny and constant invasion. Our gruit was named after this alliance to reference the primary ingredients you’ll notice – herbs de provence, and peat malt. The “dry hop” consists of marjoram, lemon thyme, lavender, coriander and black pepper, and a pinch of peat malt bring the influence of single malt scotch whisky to the picture. Similar to the beet ale we just finished up, it takes a second to adjust your palate to the unusual combination, and becomes more refreshing the further you get into it. Give it a shot and try something you don’t get to try very often.

We’ll be opening early for the Seahawks game today at 1:25, and as usual, it’ll be up on the big screen outside. Come on down and let’s yell at the screen together. Here’s the tap list:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial Fresh Hop IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Imperial Rye IPA
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Cluster Hops
  10. Bière de Garde
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Imperial Rye IPA has been tapped

You may remember this juggernaut from a few months ago. Those of you that love big, juicy hop bombs were pretty fired up about it. We sold a keg to Chuck’s and it was gone in a couple hours. This time, we’re keeping it all to ourselves. The Imperial Rye IPA is on tap, and it is so very delicious. A Mosaic heavy IPA, and paired with Columbus, Citra and Jarrylo, this little number balances tons of aromatic hop oil with rye and British Ashburne malt. It’ll warm you up at 8.5%, and it’ll be your friend while you try to get used to the chill in the air. Fall is here, and it’s time to drink big beer again. Here’s our big beer lineup for the week:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial Fresh Hop IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Imperial Rye IPA
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Cluster Hops
  10. Bière de Garde
  11. Super Saison > next up: Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Bière de Garde is here!

“Bwhat de What”, you ask? Bière de garde is a French farmhouse ale (or saison). Literally, it means “beer for keeping”, or beer you would cellar for a time before drinking.Rather than continue producing saisons that are dry as a bone and so light and quaffable you wanna stick a straw in it, we’re moving to more fall-like beer in our brewing rotation. While bière de garde is traditionally drunk in the summer, I’ve always felt it’s dry, complex maltiness was most enjoyable with crisp air and fading sunlight. We’ve sat on this guy for a month and a half and he’s primed and ready to go.

We used a pilsner malt base along with munich malts and some rich caramel malts to bring a little raisiny toastiness to the backbone. If any of you are familiar with Fantȏme, you will recognize a very unique yeast characteristic in our bière de garde. While nobody professionally admits that the strain we used comes from their brewery, they do say it comes from Soy, Belgium, and well, Fantȏme is the only brewery there. Though bière de garde is French and not Belgian, it is northern French, and this yeast is perfect for this beer. It makes a little room for initial malt sweetness, but dries out well on the finish and brings subtle wine-like esters, no Belgian spiciness, with a touch of cellary funk (not to be confused with celery funk, which isn’t a thing, though maybe it should be a style of music). With mild alcoholic heat of an 8.2% beer, this number is perfect for an early fall evening. If you like the more subtle, graceful sour beers, this one might toot your horn. While it isn’t soured, per se, this is a far cry from our dry and hoppy beers. Come and try it out!

Lots of new beer on tap

If you haven’t been by in a while, now’s a good time to swing in. We have a lot of new styles that either just went on this week. The newest is the Cluster Single Hop. Cluster is one of the oldest hops used in American styles and is often used in historical recipes to get as close to the hop character used in older beers. All of it’s flavor and aroma is isolated in the single hop style of brewing, and presented in a super light 4.7% easy drinker with a distinct tea-like flavor on the finish. Also in the line up:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial Fresh Hop IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. BeetAleJuice > next up: Biére de Garde
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Cluster Hops
  10. Fresh Hop IPA > next up: Imperial Rye IPA
  11. Super Saison > next up: Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Belgian Strong Ale is on, open for Seahawks.

Just a quick note that we are open early (1:00pm) for the Seahawks vs Broncos Super Bowl rematch. We now have the Belgian Strong Ale on tap, as well. It’s fruity, 8.3% and a great choice for the start of fall. Come enjoy what might be the last 80+ degree day of the year by watching an exciting game on the patio. Tap list:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA > next up: Imperial Fresh Hop IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. BeetAleJuice
  8. Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Kölsch > next up: Session Single Hop w/Cluster Hops
  10. Fresh Hop IPA
  11. Super Saison > next up: Biére de Garde
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Fresh Hop IPA is on tap!

It’s that time of year, again …

Anyone that’s lived in Seattle for a decade or more knows that the last 3 summers have been stupendous by historical standards. This year might go down as the best summer in a generation or so. I feel like it’s been summer since March, and with the long range forecast calling the upcoming fall warm and dry, we might not be very near to summer’s end just yet. This has been great news for gardeners inside city limits, who usually struggle to get more than a handful of tomatoes and other sun-loving crops. Hops definitely love the sun, and as such, we’ve had a bumper crop of aromatic cones. To celebrate, we’ve thrown an ample lot into this year’s Fresh Hop IPA, which features Palisade, Columbus and Northern Brewer hops. It’s 6.9%, and quite crisp, clean and bright. It’s just what you want to drink if you’re celebrating the fact that we’re going to see temperatures in the 80s during the 3rd weekend in September.

Currently on tap:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA > next up: Imperial Fresh Hop IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. BeetAleJuice
  8. Schwarz Kölsch > next up: Belgian Strong Ale
  9. Kölsch > next up: Session Single Hop w/Cluster Hops
  10. Fresh Hop IPA
  11. Super Saison > next up: Biére de Garde
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer

Currently fermenting: Imperial Rye IPA

Also, We’ll be open early for the Seahawks game against the Denver Broncos at 1:25pm. Go Hawks!

Opening early for the Seahawks

A brief note that we’ll be open early tomorrow for the Seahawks vs. Chargers game at 1:00, showing the game outside on the patio projector. Come on down, and help us drain the Session Single Hop so we can put the Wet Hop IPA on!

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BeetAleJuice and a Used Book Sale

A quick note to let you all know that BeetAleJuice is on tap. You may remember it from last year as the refreshing, earthy, aromatic and bright red ale we did as a collaboration with homebrewer pal Ian Hunter. Well, it’s back, and it’s waiting for you with a big pink head.

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Like books and beer together? We’re hosting a used book sale in the parking lot of the brewery on Saturday from noon to 4pm. Book sale proceeds go to the Colman Neighborhood Association. Come browse the selection and when you find one to buy, scoot into the patio and read the first few chapters over a pint of beer! That’s all for now. See you soon!

Seahawks opener!

Come watch the Seahawks opener tonight at the brewery! We’re showing it on the big screen outside, which is now under a black shade, to ensure a bright, crisp picture on sunny days. It’s gonna be an exciting game. If you can help us finish off either keg of red beer (Wheated Red or India Red Ale), we can put on the BeetAleJuice (your favorite beet ale of all time). Game time is at 5:30. Here’s the tap list:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. India Red Ale
  8. Schwarz Kolsch
  9. Kolsch
  10. Session Single Hop
  11. Super Saison
  12. Bee’s Wine

Seahawks randall tonight

Come watch the game with us at 7pm tonight! Of course, we’ll be open late so we can watch all of it, as we’ll likely mow down the Oakland Raiders using their own ex-quarterback. Should be a fun time, and the view will be great on our new, big ol’ projector screen out on the patio. To fuel the fun, we’re going to be randalling with fresh hops again! This time it’s the Wheated Red Ale with fresh Northern Brewer hops. If you just want the randall and hate sports, just come before 7pm, because we’ll be running it all night. OK then, see you tonight!

Super Saison is on, Tepache almost gone.

Hey folks -

Just want to let you know that the Tepache is almost out for a while. We have to ramp up production on ginger beer to keep up with growing demand, which means that Tepache has to take a back seat. We’ve got less than half a keg of it left, and then it will disappear for a while. If it was your favorite thing ever, you might want to get down here pronto.

Also, we just tapped the Super Saison! It’s a big boy at 8.8%, but it’s clean and refreshing for it’s size. It has a sizable dry hop featuring citrus, pepper, and spicy notes from Green Bullet, Horizon, and EXP 7270 hops. Come quaff it up!

Hopscotch, Schwartz Kölsch, Seahawks Randall

It’s a big weekend in the CD, folks. Saturday from 9am-6pm will be the second annual Hopscotch CD! I know, I know, you might be too proud to be seen hopscotching around the neighborhood for almost 3 miles, but you should see all the events. Look here for the route and things to do. It has even grown since the map was made, and it seems like this event is turning into a bit of a festival, bringing the whole neighborhood out to mingle, eat, drink, get some exercise, shop rummage sales, listen to music, and on and on. To celebrate, we’ll be opening up at noon and running happy hour until 6pm.

HOWEVER, before we get to Saturday, let us deal with tonight. Fresh hop season is upon us! Our estate grown, organic, grain fed, local, fair trade, small batch crop is beginning to mature and we are ready to begin applying them to beer. The first hops ready for pickin’ are Willamette, Northern Brewer and Hallertau. I’ll be picking an artistic melange of fresh hops tonight and stuffing them in the randall with some lavendar, and we’ll be running the Summer Wheat Saison through it. It will be delicious, so come indulge while we cheer on the Seahawks against the Bears in preseason game #3. Game time is at 7pm. We will be open until the game ends!

Lastly, you’ve had Kölsch, but have you ever a Schwartz Kölsch??? We added enough Carafa to our Kölsch recipe to get it nice and dark, and applied German Hallertau hops all the way through to give the beer a floral influence. The Kölsch yeast gives it that crisp, clean finish you’d expect. While not technically a real style, we think it’s a great way to drink a dark beer on a warm day. Come enjoy one after you try the randall.

On Tap:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. India Red Ale
  8. Schwartz Kölsch
  9. Kölsch
  10. Session Single Hop (El Dorado hops)
  11. Summer Wheat Saison (randalled with fresh hops and lavendar)
  12. Bee’s Wine
  13. Tepache

In fermenters, coming soon:

  • BeetAleJuice
  • Biere de Garde
  • Super Saison
  • Belgian Golden Strong

Correction: Seahawks Randall Tonight

I’m sure many of you caught my little *derp* moment yesterday. The Seahawks 2nd preseason game is tonight at 7:00, not last night at 6:00. Those that showed up last night get to come enjoy the India Red Ale randalled through Chinook hops two days in a row. The good news is that the game is happening late enough that we’ll be able to show it on the projector outside on the patio. Those of you that want to come down will get to keep up on the game on an 80″ projection.

Fun fact: Our randall has been named Randall Wilson, in honor of a dear friend’s misunderstanding of our starting quarterback’s name. See you tonight!

Seahawks Randall: IRA and Chinook

Just a quick note to let you know that we’re randalling the India Red Ale through Chinook hops tonight. We’re open to watch the next preseason Seahawks game tonight, so come on down, get your beer on, and let’s nerd out about all the new kids on the team! We’ll be open until the game is over, and since it starts at 6pm, we’ll likely be open past our normal 8pm close time.