West Coast IPA wins a medal!

I’m excited to announce that we just won a bronze medal for the West Coast IPA at the “Best of Craft Beer Awards” down in Bend, Oregon. The beer came in behind two of my favorite IPAs, Breakside Wanderlust and Reuben’s Brews Crikey. Congrats to our friends at Reuben’s Brews for another win for a fantastic beer (they also won gold for their Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout), as well as Pike Brewing, who won silver for their pale ale. We’re proud to be included with these fantastic breweries as the Seattle representation winning medals. In a crowded category that had more entries than any other style, it’s exciting to announce, especially knowing the competition was attended by such IPA brewing greats as Firestone Walker, Deschutes, Stone, Ballast Point, Worthy, Goodlife, Bend Brewing, and Oakshire. Cheers for hoppy beers!

Thanks, the Stranger!

Thanks to Angela at the Stranger, for the mention in her article about CDAs, or Cascadian Dark Ales. It’s a contentious subject, and causes feelings of prickly agitation in some, so read up, and take a side! If you haven’t had ours, come on down today and give it a whirl.

Aaaaaaaand … if you all can drink the last gallon or so of the Cascade Single Hop and the Baltic Porter, we have the Altbier and Bière de Garde ready to go up next.

Holy Catfish! Imperial Rye IPA is back.

The much-beloved Imperial Rye IPA just went on line. Utilizing a whopping dose of Mosaic, Columbus, Citra and Jarrylo, this beer’s got a lot to love for those that like juicy Imperial IPAs. A medium bodied, highly aromatic IPA, you can smell the guy next to you drinking it. At 8.5%, it’ll solve Wednesday’s problems and set you on track so you can think about how amazing that game against the Packers was. See you at the brewery!

Winter Farmhouse Ale is now on tap!

After a long day brewing a triple IPA for the Hop Mob IIIPA Roadshow, and standing behind the taps tonight, I’ll be enjoying a pint of our Winter Farmhouse Ale. It’s delicious. Complex, dry, and fruity, with wine, strawberry, and perhaps a hint of licorice, this little number has it going on. We fermented a wort made with pale malt, wheat, caramel malts and a touch of black malt using a Biere de Garde strain, which leaves a beer slightly tart. The result is a little malty, but refreshing and dry. It is also a hop-forward beer, though not very bitter. Using Belma, Mosaic and Strisselspalt, we dry hopped it, and threw hops late in the boil for complex aroma. I’m looking forward to my post-shift beer …

The Seahawks and Kam Chancellor blew everyone’s mind last week with a stunning annihilation of the Panthers to move on to the NFC Championship. You either already knew that, or you aren’t reading any more because you hate football. Either way, this paragraph is dedicated to stating that we’ll be open early on Sunday at 11:30 in preparation for the last game before the Super Bowl (!!!). Kickoff is at noon. See you then!

 

New Single Hop, Baltic Porter, and a recommendation.

Well, we made it. Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year … the shortest day of the year (ugh). You entertained your crazy aunt Belma and survived the airport, or maybe you stayed home and drank cozy beverages like Sun Liquor’s famous egg nog in front of a fire (if you were smart and lucky). However you did it, you made it to 2015. Every day is a little longer. The crocuses and daffodils that sprouted, weirdly, in November, will soon be blooming. Everything gets better from here.

Shilling barleywine on Wednesday was a blast, and we “took New Year’s Day off” to brew another batch of beer. If you couldn’t get in to grab a bottle of barleywine on Wednesday, we still have 5 bottles left of the 2013, and plenty of 2014. We’re relaxing restrictions on purchasing quantities, so if you want it all, come and get it all.

We just recently tapped the new Single Hop, which features Cascade … perhaps the Robert Redford of hops. They’ve been around forever, and manage to both be classic and find plenty of modern use. They’re kind of the original higher alpha acid hop, used famously in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and one of the first to really push the aroma boundaries. Popular for bringing lots of grapefruity citrus and floral components to beer, we used Cascade hops with a light grain bill and low ABV (5.2%) to make another refreshing single hopped beer.

We also just tapped our Baltic Porter, which is a deviation of the Peated Pumpkin Baltic Porter we brought to Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Fest and later tapped at the brewery. While continuing to use peated malt for complexity, we scaled it way back. The vegetal pumpkin notes are gone in this version, but the Kölsch yeast vinous qualities are still there, hugging a moderate chocolatey malt, and a relatively restrained sweetness. We kept the ABV appropriately high at 7.8%, so it will keep you warm this cold and damp weekend.

Lastly, I’d like to toss out a recommendation for anyone looking to eat some amazing food this weekend. We sell our beer primarily at the brewery, but a small percentage goes out to other establishments. Many of you have had it over at Chuck’s, but you can also get our West Coast IPA at Cafe Barjot alongside some of the most delicious food in Seattle. If you’re a fan of eating in beautiful spaces, love pickled stuff, and want to impress a date, GO EAT HERE. So good. The new dinner service runs Tuesday through Saturday from 5-10pm, but you can also eat brunchy things until 2pm. I mean, seriously, look at it.

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. Kotbüsser
  8. Belgian Dark Strong Ale (next up, Winter Farmhouse)
  9. Single Hop w/Cascade
  10. Baltic Porter
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

Barleywine 22 oz bottle release tomorrow!

To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our oak aged barleywine in 22 oz bombers tomorrow. Aged on American oak and 11.3%, this rich beer was brewed with Cascade, Centennial, and Mosaic hops and caramel, Vienna and Munich malts. We’ll be open early, as well, from noon to 8pm. It gets even better: we have a small allotment of the 2013 barleywine (only 36 bottles) that will be for sale, as well. The current release should be cellared for a while before drinking, but last year’s is ready to drink. Come grab yourself a bottle and ring in the new year with it. We put the entire batch in bottles, so none of it will be on tap. Come get yours! The 2014 barleywine is $16, the 2013 is $17, and as always, tax is included in the purchase price. We will be closed on New Year’s Day.IMG_2845

Open at 1pm for Seahawks season finale

Hey all – just a quick note to remind you that we’ll be open early for the Seahawks today. Door swings open at 1pm. With the Seahawks securing a place in the playoffs last week, we’re playing for home field advantage throughout the playoffs by getting the #1 seed. A win will seal the deal. Given how the Rams always seem to play us with their trickery and tough defense, anything can happen, but the Seahawks are peaking, and it’s guaranteed to be a fun game. See you for some football and beer! Here’s Marshawn’s fine-worthy touchdown entry to get you pumped:

Don’t forget: Open Christmas Eve!

Just a quick note to remind you that we will be open tomorrow, Christmas Eve, from noon till 6pm. Come by and grab some growler fills for your holiday beer. We will be closed Christmas Day, but returning to normal hours on Friday, 12/26. If you need a last minute present, you have one more day to take advantage of our Christmas special: buy a growler and a tee shirt, and you get $5 off and a free printed pint glass!

Ho, ho, hoooooo!

Kotbüsser in now on tap

Ever heard of the Reinheitsgebot? It’s also known as the German Beer Purity Law, instated in 1487, mandating that beer be made with nothing more than water, hops and barley. No mention of yeast was made because Louis Pasteur had yet to be born and brewers still thought that fermentation happened when you said the right prayer, or put the unfermented wort into the right, “blessed” barrel. It’s unlikely that the Reinheitsgetbot had anything to do with “purity”, but was probably used to prevent price competition with bakers over wheat and rye, which was more valuable than barley. It wasn’t for the benefit of the beer, but the law was a clever political move to make sure that brewers didn’t affect the production of bread. Humans don’t like being told they can’t have something, but a positive misdirection can be highly effective. The people bought it, hook, line and sinker, and still do today. You can still find breweries advertising that they conform to the standards of “pure” beer, even though the law was changed in 1993 to allow for the use of wheat and sugar, among other things. Hilariously, the consequences of non-conformity was confiscation of the offending barrels without compensation. I’m sure they dumped them out, wink wink.

One beer that would have been confiscated was Kotbüsser. In a tiny town in eastern Germany, prior to the purity law, there was a style of cool fermented ale that used a heavy helping of oat and wheat, with honey and molasses. The result was a creamy, but light and clean drinking ale with a subtle, complex sweetness in the finish. In our version of it, the base grain is pilsner malt, and we used our Kölsch strain of yeast. It’s 5% ABV, and very refreshing. The creaminess makes it wintery while maintaining a crisp, refreshing vibe. This beer is a welcome addition on our list, which was averaging about 7% ABV, with a lot of dark malts and heavy hops. I’m pretty sure we have a beer for every type of drinker at this point in time.

A few things about our hours this week:

  • Sunday, December 21st – we will be staying open for the Seahawks game, which starts at 5:30, and will likely go until 9.
  • Wednesday, December 24th (Christmas Eve) – we will be open from 12 noon until 6pm.
  • Thursday, December 25th (Christmas Day) – we will be closed.
  • From Friday going forward, we will be open our normal hours.

Here is 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. Kotbüsser
  8. Belgian Dark Strong Ale (next up, Winter Farmhouse)
  9. Single Hop w/Simcoe (next up, Single Hop w/Cascade)
  10. Xmas Ale
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

Holiday Special!

Howdy doody, everybody. If you live in the Northwest (and you probably do if you’re reading this), you are likely a little surprised that it was pushing 70 degrees this morning. Pineapple Express, they say. It’s about as far from feeling “Christmasy” as you can get, so we thought we’d do something to put you in the holiday mood. If you’re like most people, the whole present buying thing is the last thing you do, and coming up with fresh ideas can be difficult. To help out, we’re offering $5 off and throwing in a free printed pint glass for any purchase of a growler and tee shirt. That means that you can give the whole Standard Brewing merch package and get 13-31% off. This applies to either a glass growler or insulated stainless growler, and either tee shirt style (we still have a few of the older light grey tees sitting around). We are all stocked up on the darker tees, so come on down and clear out our inventory!

While you’re here, have a pint! Here are your options:

  1. Rye IPA
  2. West Coast IPA
  3. Imperial IPA
  4. Pale Ale
  5. Wheated Red Ale
  6. Cascadian Dark Ale
  7. Zero IBU IPA (next up, Imperial Rye IPA)
  8. Belgian Dark Strong Ale (next up, Winter Farmhouse)
  9. Single Hop w/Simcoe (next up, Single Hop w/Cascade)
  10. Xmas Ale (Formerly Christmakwanzaakah. Few could pronounce it.)
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

Opening early for the Seahawks

Just a reminder to let everyone know that we will be open early, as usual, for the 1:25 Seahawks game against the Eagles today. We’ll have it up on the TV inside as well as the big screen outside. Come grab a beer and enjoy the sporty drama with us!

Christmakwanzaakkah Ale!

‘Tis the season with a lotta reasons, and we’ve got a beer for most of them. If you’re already burned out on seasonal carols that started before Halloween, and fighting about who’s holiday it is, escape the madness with a diplomatic glass of winter warmer. Just tapped today, Christmakwanzakkah Ale will bring a little cheer to anyone. We used a lot of dark grain in this full bodied beer, and some wheat to smooth it out. It’s balanced by a healthy sprinkling of Chinook hops throughout the brewing process. It’s 8%, full bodied, and after you enjoy the rich chocolate/pine combination up front, you may pick up the subtle festive notes provided by the orange peel, star anise and rosemary we threw in the fermenter for complexity. If you need a beer to warm you heart after a long day of seasonal rigamarole, we’ve got your back. 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. Zero IBU IPA
  8. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Simcoe
  10. Christmakwanzaakkah Ale
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

Single Hop Simcoe and Experimental IPA #2: Zero IBUs

We just tapped the new Single Hop! This time, we used Simcoe throughout the brewing process. Like Citra, Simcoe has become one of the most widely used hops in IPAs. It brings it’s own intense personality to the piney hop game, with it’s extremely high content of myrcene oil, and pungent, aggressive aroma. Don’t expect the tropical, fruity vibes of our last Single Hop. Think of the backbone of most big IPA flavor, where you’ll see this hop used most often. If you’ve had our Imperial IPA, you’ll recognize Simcoe, because it comprises more than half the volume of hops in the beer. The Simcoe Single Hop has a higher ABV (6%) than our last few, as the weather is growing colder, and we need to keep up with your pickling liver.

Coming shortly (maybe tonight?) will be our next Experimental IPA, the Zero IBU IPA! Remember the post about IBUs, and hop flavor/aroma? I wanted to put the idea to the test and brew an IPA that focused on using little more than hop oil, tannic structure, and other forms of bitterness to balance the sweetness of alcohol and malt sugars. The result is a different kind of IPA. We used a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar hops with Simcoe, Amarillo, Belma, and Strisselspalt hops to give the beer a pleasing pine/fruity/floral quality. It’s 7.2%, and goes on tap as soon as the Imperial Rye IPA is gone. If you love the Imperial Rye IPA, get it today, because we only have about 2 gallons left.

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 (next up: Zero IBU IPA)
  8. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
  9. Single Hop w/Simcoe
  10. Peated Pumpkin Baltic Porter
  11. Auld Alliance
  12. Bee’s Wine Ginger Beer
  13. Snuffleupagus Nitro Imperial Stout

Open for Thanksgiving, and Belgian Dark Strong Ale!

Just a quick note to make sure you all know that we’ll be open on Thanksgiving from 12-2pm. Otherwise, our schedule is the same as usual. Come down and fill up your growlers to compliment your big feast! Maybe try a Snuffleupagus while you’re here, just to get yourself primed.

Also, we just tapped the Belgian Dark Strong Ale (8.4%). Using honey malt, wheat and demerara sugar to balance the darker malts, this beer is very complex and subtle. The Belgian yeast esters are subdued by a cooler fermentation temperature, and the result is a beer that sits somewhere between our Belgian Strong Ale and the Bière de Garde. Come get it!

And go Hawks! 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 (next up: 0 IBU IPA)
  8. 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

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