On tap this week: Dry Rye Stout!

Hey y’all –

Did everyone see the post over at CD News about the Pro-Am competition? The winner was Chris Prost, with the Simarillian Pale Ale, an aromatic, light bodied ale hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo. The name clearly references the hops used, but it’s also a J.R.R. Tolkien reference. We’ll brew this guy early next week, so look for it somewhere around the 23rd.

I’m still waiting on the custom patio cover I ordered a while back. It should be done later next week some time. You can believe that I’ll have it hung the day it becomes available.In the mean time, the sun is scheduled to come back out this week, so come enjoy happy hour with us, why don’t you?

Have you tried the Imperial IPA, yet? If you are a hop head, this is your jam. It’s very light bodied, and very densely packed with hop flavor and aroma that we IPA drinkers love (Columbus, Citra, Centennial, Simcoe). Still, it isn’t too bitter, and quite quaffable for an 8.6% beer.

Lastly, the Dry Rye Stout is wrapping up and will be on tap on Friday. I’m bringing in a nitro tap for this, so it’ll have that gloriously creamy head and mellowness that accompanies nitrogen gas. It’s about 4.5%, and I expect to have this guy on tap for a while. See? We don’t just do big hops and alcohol.

On tap this week: Imperial IPA #2

First, here comes the rain. You may be thinking “Standard, see you in 6 months, because now I can’t sit on your patio.” To this I say, “Not so fast!” I’m currently waiting on a custom covering for the new patio space, which will keep the rain out and the heat in (to be supplied by a propane heat lamp). The patio will be your winter beer garden some time toward the end of next week.

The Wet Hop Ale is selling like hot cakes, and we’ve only got another keg or two left. If you like a hop aroma that is both fresh and dank, you might want to hurry down for a pint before it’s gone. Also, we found a final keg of Tepache hiding in the walk-in, so if you want to pretend that’s it’s still as warm as it was a couple weeks ago, you’ve got one last chance to get some delicious pineapple beer.

The Imperial IPA #2 is the next new brew coming on, and it’ll be up as soon as the Wet Hop or Tepache finishes up. It’s dry hopped with a ridiculous 2 lbs per barrel, which turned out to present a severe chill haze problem that has taken a week to clear up. By comparison, the West Coast IPA has about half that volume in dry hop. It is a totally different beer from the Imperial IPA you may remember from 4 months ago, which had a more caramelly body, and was somewhat less aromatic, and thus, it gets a #2 tacked on the name. There is an immense amount of aromatic hop oil in this light bodied, 8.6% IPA, and I probably won’t make it quite like this again, because the dry hop has proven to be a royal pain to do.

This week we made a Rye Stout, and a Barleywine, so keep your eyes peeled for these. I’ll be bringing in a nitro tap for the stout, and in the future, will likely play with carbing some beers with nitro that usually get CO2, for a creamy head and more subtle carbonation. It seems that there is enough of a late harvest of Nugget and Hallertau left on my hop plants that I’ll be able to do a second Wet Hop, so look for that soon, as well.

Pro-Am Competition call for judges!

So, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve heard me mention the CDBC. Their full name is the Central District Brewing Collective, and they’re a bunch of zymurgically intelligent beer nerds, who make some pretty fantastic beers. They deserve a place in the spotlight, and we thought it would be fun to put them on tap at the brewery. The problem is, we can’t put them all on … we only have 8 taps, and our own beer to sell. There can only be one.

This brings us to the showdown this Saturday. At noon, we will gather to taste and elect a best of show that will be brewed in Standard’s brewhouse and be made available on tap at the brewery for consumption over and over again, until it is gone. We figured it is more fun if this is an audience choice award. I mean, you guys are the ones drinking the stuff, so let’s have you pick the winner. If you are available between 12-2 this Saturday, and you would like to be one of the 15 judges, please email me here immediately. That is all.

On tap this week: Wet Hops and Cliches!

It’s that time of year. Everything comes out of the ground and goes into beer. And while I generally have a problem with putting things like squash and pumpkin in my beer, I’ll let my friends put beets in it. Now that the Beetalejuice is almost gone, it’s time to put fresh, aromatic wet hops into a batch. We brewed a beer leaning heavily on a combination of Columbus and Willamette hops to put some of the hops growing in my yard to use.

IMG_18782 years ago I planted 8 varieties of hops, and while they all produced, the Columbus and Willamette were ahead of the other 6’s schedule. Now that the rains are back, I’m worried they could mold on the bine (not a typo). Only time will tell, but there were enough to make a batch with, so I present to you the most cliche beer I’ve ever made: the Harvest Estate Grown Wet Hop Dry Hopped Local Small Batch Single Barrel Organic Grain Fed Fair Trade Single Origin … Ale. It’s all true, too. Here’s the action shot, where the extra bit of magic happened:

IMG_1901As soon as the Beetalejuice kicks the bucket, it’ll be available. I’m guessing it will happen later tonight or tomorrow.

On tap this week: A word or two about growler cleaning

Before we get to growlers, an update on the taps. Only a couple of kegs left of the BeetAleJuice. We should run out by the end of the week. Also, Tepache will be going on hiatus soon, as the summer cools off. Only a couple kegs left until next summer. Otherwise, we have plenty of Rye IPA, CDA, West Coast IPA, Pale, Wheated Red and Bee’s Wine. Coming soon: Imperial IPA #2, and Estate Wet Hopped Pale! Now, something preachy:

With the rise of nano-breweries, bars, convenience stores and Walgreens (?!?!?) filling growlers as a great way to take beer home, people are using half gallon glass and stainless steel jugs to carry beer a lot more than they used to. It’s a fantastic thing. Breweries get a little advertising, and those of us too tiny to justify the cost of bottling can offer people an option for going home with our beer. We’ve got a problem, though, and we need to talk about it. While most growlers that show up at the tap room are acceptably clean, I get quite a few disgusting growlers. Many breweries will refuse to fill a dirty growler. I’d prefer not to refuse service, so I’m going to try standing on my soap box instead.

After being open 6 months, I’ve smelled a lot of vile, stomach churning and unhealthy situations inside growler jugs. I’ve been handed growlers with black mold inside caps and on the bottom of the inside of the jug, Mysterious slimes have oozed out from inside. I’ve been handed some that were used as tobacco spittoons, and even an ashtray. Sometimes they smell like the last beer it was filled with, sometimes like a ripe sour beer, sometimes straight vinegar or buttery bacterial funk.

The prevailing attitude is that a dirty growler only affects the person buying it. Not true. Health issues aside, if I pour my beer, which tastes exactly like it does because I worked hard to make it so, into a sour or moldy growler, my beer then tastes tainted by mold or bacteria or wild yeast. If you take it to a party, everyone then thinks my beer tastes this way, because nobody is going to say, “I brought Standard’s IPA to your party, but just so ya know, my growler smelled like well aged cheese when I brought it in.” Perhaps you’re the only one drinking from the growler, so this doesn’t apply? Well, a dirty growler also affects the people that fill after it. In order to reduce foam, most places use a silicone tube to bottom fill the growler. If it comes into contact with a funky growler, we then transfer bugs to the next person’s beer, which can grow over time to populations detectable in the beer, even making people sick sometimes.

It is understandable that once in a while, perhaps after drinking the whole growler yourself, you might forget to deal with the sanitation part of your growler relationship. As a courtesy combating a typical level of neglect, we at Standard Brewing have a policy of rinsing and dunking growlers in a sanitizer briefly before filling to protect the next guy from potential growler funk. Still, nothing short of bleach will really cure a mold issue, which is one of the most common problems, and a quick dunk in sanitizer only deals with very minor problems. A severe problem (one detectable on the nose) requires a solid cleaning involving a bottle brush and a few minutes, which will hold up the line at a tiny brewery.

So how do you care for a growler? It’s easy.

1. Keep it cold until it’s clean. Any bacteria or yeast will be mostly dormant at cold temps, but very happy about breeding at room temps.

2. After finishing the beer, triple rinse with hot water and drain upside down until dry. So long as nothing has really bred inside, this will kick the vast majority of the nasties out, and drying will make it inhospitable until you refill it. Leave the cap off until you bring it in to make sure it is as dry as possible. Putting the cap on traps any moisture and turns the growler into a petri dish. Also, running it through the dishwasher isn’t really very helpful, because the mouth is so small.

3. Stick your nose inside and sniff before bringing it in. If it smells like anything other than air, it needs to be cleaned. Soak it in Oxyclean, bleach water, or at least dish soap, then thoroughly rinse again before bringing it in. The least amount of bleach or soap residue will be detectable in the beer.

Thanks for listening, and we hope to fill your clean, non-smelly growler soon!

On tap this week: Guest Brewer/Beet Beer!

This week marks a couple momentous occasions. Fall is coming, and I’ve been busy preparing around the brewery with an extension to the patio space. I’ve been planning for a while to take over half of my double parking space to build extended patio benches, and I finally had a moment to build it out. If you came by last week, or cruised down the street, you likely noticed the new benches. For those of you that sat in them and disapprovingly found them built for a 6’2″ person, I’ve adapted them (read: hacked 3 inches off the legs). The planters are now built out, and I’m working this week to fill them with luscious foliage to make the beer taste even better. Thank you to Peter and Alleycat Acres for filling them with soil and compost made with our spent grain! As we get closer to the cold, you can expect the entire patio to be covered and a heat lamp and lighting to appear.

IMG_1843This week is also the release of our first beer from our Guest Brewer series. We are  filling the void left by the Farmhouse IPA with a special beer. One of my homebrew pals of old is close friend and high functioning human being Ian Hunter. You may remember him as the guy that painted the Standard Brewing sign. He’s an engineer, brewer, gardener, fisherman, bike nerd and artist and he’s got a great beet beer that we adapted to the Standard brewhouse to produce this:

IMG_1842It’s a light bodied pale ale with beet juice that Ian affectionately calls “Beet Ale Juice” (get it? No? Say it fast, out loud.). The beer is delicious. Using beets from his garden, we added juice at the end of the boil on the way to the fermenter. It’s refreshing and aromatically earthy and hoppy. Dry hopped more profusely than any beer I’ve made at Standard with Mosaic, Willamette and Amarillo, it has a refreshing vibe complimenting the earthiness of the beet juice. ABV is 5.5%, and you’ll be hard pressed to find another beer with a pink head on it. Here’s what went into the beer:

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On tap this week: Guest Tap

The Farmhouse IPA came out delicious, and it’s perfect for 83 degree days like today. Come drink it down while it’s in season!

In addition to the Farmhouse, we have the Rye IPA , Pale, CDA, Wheated Red, West Coast IPA, Bee’s Wine, Tepache aaaaaaaand an IPA from our friends over on north Queen Anne, Rooftop Brewing! It will be going on tap on Thursday, so come enjoy someone else’s beer without having to drive across town. Only one keg, so come Thursday if you want it.

Don’t forget, we have happy hour during the first hour we are open ($1 off), now open Sundays, and weekend hours are now 2-8pm!

Farmhouse IPA just got tapped!

If you liked the Saison’s spicey yeast, but you love IPAs, come on down and try the Farmhouse IPA. It’s going to be our last spin on the DuPont yeast strain. The Farmhouse IPA is dry, tangy, and refreshing, using Galena and Centennial in the boil, with nothing boiled longer than 20 minutes, so the bitterness is fairly soft. It’s heavily dry hopped with Horizon, and when it’s gone, it’s gone!

On tap this week: Extended hours!

Y’all asked for it, so we’re giving it to you. Starting this week, Standard Brewing will be open for serving on Sundays. In addition, we are going to start opening the doors at 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. To sum it up, the new tasting room hours are:

  • Wednesday 4pm-8pm
  • Thursday 4pm-8pm
  • Friday 4pm-8pm
  • Saturday 2pm-8pm
  • Sunday 2pm-8pm

And don’t forget – happy hour means a dollar off full servings of beer (as opposed to tasters) during the first hour we are open, which will be from 4pm-5pm on weekdays and 2pm-3pm on weekends.

On tap we have the usual suspects plus the Summer Copper Ale. Right around the corner will be the Farmhouse IPA, which is dry hopping at the moment, and should be ready when the Copper kicks the keg.

Happy IPA Day! Happy Hour starts today with randalled beer!

Chances are, you probably already knew that today is IPA Day, but if you didn’t, I’m here to let you know. We like our hops here at Standard, and if you get technical about it, you could probably define most of our beers as some kind of IPA. Even the Wheated Red and Pale Ale are dry hopped, and the Pale kind of sits on the IBU line of an IPA. So what can we do to pay homage to a style that we clearly already endorse?

Add more hops, obviously. Just for this evening, we’ll be randalling the West Coast IPA with Cascade. A randall is a container full of hops that you run beer through between the keg and the tap, bringing a very unique version of hop flavor to beer. What’s more, we aren’t even charging extra for this totally wasteful use of hops.

FURTHERMORE: Today is the start of our happy hour, which means that all single servings are a buck off for the first hour we are open, every day of the week! This means that the aforementioned beer can be had for the low, low price of $4 between 4 and 5 pm.

Long live the IPA!

P.S.: the first person to thank me for not using a hop pun in the title of this post gets a free beer.

On tap this week:

Just a quick note to let you all know that the taps are full. The Saison has a half keg left, so come get it while you can, before it disappears until next year. I also have plenty of Rye IPA, CDA, Pale, West Coast IPA, Wheated Red, Tepache, and Bee’s Wine.

The Copper Ale will be on tap as soon as the Saison kicks the bucket, and look next week for the Farmhouse IPA and … psst … expanded hours!

On tap this week: Tepache and Copper Ale

It’s been a busy week around the brewery, fixing stuff and finishing a lot of little things that no one is likely to notice. One thing you may notice is that the cedar paneling that stopped where the service area originally sat has finally been extended to the end of the wall. It may not matter to most people, but it’s been buggin’ me for months.

But you guys don’t care about that. You want beer. I’ve got beer. I’ve got more beer than I’ve got room to store, or space to put it on the menu board. The last few months of speed brewing finally has me ahead of demand a little bit. The Tepache carbonating, in kegs, and will be ready to serve tomorrow (Thursday). In case you’ve never heard of it, Tepache (pronounced “Teh-pah-chay”) is a refreshing “beer” made of sugar, pineapple, cinnamon and clove from the Sonoran region of Mexico. It is often fermented wild, from the yeast on the skins of the pineapple. It is damn near impossible to control this way, and after a lot of research, I’ve found it is delicious fermented with water kefir, a symbiotic culture somewhat similar to ginger beer plant and kombucha. The result is a slightly sour, slightly sweet, fizzy, mildly alcoholic beverage with lots of probiotic goodness that is quite refreshing on hot summer days. I put parentheses around “beer” because it is not made with grain sugar, but brown sugar, or panela/piloncillo, an unrefined brown sugar. Don’t expect maltiness from this dram, but something more akin to our Bee’s Wine, like an adult soda.

My Summer Copper Ale is ready to drink. With a grain bill of 2 row, Rye, Wheat, Caramel and a touch of Carafa II. It is a relative of the Wheated Red, but it is much drier and lighter in alcohol (5.5%). Boil hops are Palisade, Cascade and Ahtanum, with a generous dry-hopping of Palisade and Mosaic. I was going to wait for something to run out before tapping it (ahem, Saison), because I don’t have space for it. Since the Tepache is delayed a day, I’m going to have it on this afternoon, but I’m going to have to pull it tomorrow to make way for delicious pineapple beer, until the Saison blows. If you want the Copper, drink Saison!

Tap list is as follows: Rye IPA, CDA, West Coast IPA, Pale Ale, Wheated Red Ale, Summer Copper Ale, Saison, Bee’s Wine, and (tomorrow!) Tepache.

Next up on the limited edition beers – Farmhouse IPA! Fermented with the Saison yeast, and finished with our house strain. It is bittered entirely through hop-bursting. No hop was boiled longer than 20 minutes – a totally wasteful, but delicious and aromatic way to brew beer. Centennial and Galena in the boil, Horizon dry hopped.

On tap this week: Tee shirts!

I hope everyone has recovered from a four day weekend full of patriotic beer swilling, because there is another reason you should swing by the brewery on your way home from work. After many requests for us to make tee shirts, they’ve finally arrived. $25 will send you home with our handsome logo emblazoned on your chest in glorious gray and white. These ain’t no Fruit of the Loom tee shirts, either. American Apparel means you’re going to enjoy wearing it after you’ve washed it a few times, and it’ll fit well, not like a cotton sack with arm and neck holes cut out. Speaking of the fit, ladies, they come in lady cut tee shirts, as well.

So come on down and enjoy a Saison, while it lasts. Once it’s gone, we’ll be tapping our Summer Copper Ale. Next week, you’ll see more Tepache, and it should be on through the rest of the summer.

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On tap this week: A Belgian beer for an American holiday

The first in a series of limited summer releases is finally ready! Standard Brewing Saison is on tap and ready to pour. Using the Dupont strain of yeast, our Saison comes in at 7%, is 100% pilsner malt, and uses grapefruit peel, as well as Mt Hood hops in the boil to bring it to 35 IBUs. It is then finished with an easy dose of an experimental hop known as EXP 1210 for a refreshing, hot weather beer. It will likely be the only batch I make for a while, so get it while you can. Available only for on premise consumption, it will not be sold in growlers. If you aren’t familiar with Saisons, you should know that they were usually brewed by farmers in Belgium as a method of payment to their permanent employees in the summer months. While serving Belgian beer for the 4th of July might seem sacrilegious, I feel like a beer intended as a form of payment seems somehow an apt appropriation for an American holiday, particularly if you share an affinity for the proletariat.

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We couldn’t be more well stocked on the usual suspects, and Tepache will make a reappearance some time next week. Also, look for another summery limited release next week, and a new form of Standard Brewing merchandise in the not-so-distant future.

On tap this week:

Let’s keep it simple, shall we? By the end of the week, it’s gonna be pushing past 80 degrees. This should make you think about drinking beer at your friendly neighborhood hole-in-the-wall brewery. Here’s what we’re pushin’ this week:

Pale: plenty of it. West Coast IPA: 2 fresh batches – no more running out, people. Rye IPA: 1 gallon left at the moment. More by Saturday, hopefully. CDA: loads. Wheated Red: plenty of it. Bee’s Wine: plenty of it.

Saison: still putzing along. It will be ready by next Wednesday. Tepache: New juicer showed up today, so I’ll be brewing it tomorrow.

Come and get it!

On tap this week:

Nothing too crazy this week at Standard Brewing, but here’s the state of things, anyway:

The Tepache is gone for now, and I broke my juicer this week, so the next batch will be on hold until it’s replaced. My new brawny commercial juicer should be here by the end of the week, and I’ll get a big batch going then. Look for more traditional Mexican pineapple beer in about 2 weeks.

The Saison is crawling along. I’m pulling out every trick in the book trying to get the bastard to finish up the ferment, but Wyeast #3724′s genetic makeup just refuses to be trifled with. She moves like a 90 year old on Sunday. The good thing is, the end result is much more appealing than said 90 year old.

Otherwise, the Wheated Red is back, and I’ve got plenty of Pale, Rye IPA, CDA, and Bee’s Wine. West Coast IPA will likely run out this week at some point, but I double batched it this week, so come this time next week, I challenge you all to drain my supplies.

On tap this week: Tepache

Hey folks –

I’ll be tossing fresh batches of the Pale, Rye IPA and West Coast IPA into kegs today and tomorrow. The West Coast is out for the moment, but will be back on tap tomorrow. There is plenty of Bee’s Wine and CDA.

The Wheated Red Ale may run out this week briefly, but should be on till tomorrow. As always, once a beer gets down to the last half keg or so, it’s pints only, so I may not be able to fill growlers with it tomorrow. There will be more Wheated Red next week.

The Saison did what I was foolishly hoping it wouldn’t, and stalled halfway through fermentation. This is a trait of the strain I’m using (which is also used by Dupont). It’s annoying, but it comes with the territory of this otherwise amazing strain. On the positive side of things, it is tasting delicious. With 100% pilsner malt, Mt Hood boil and Centennial finishing hops, as well as grapefruit peel, it will be very refreshing. We just need a little more time. Stay tuned.

Lastly, come and try your new favorite low alcohol, probiotic beverage. Tepache is a sort of pineapple beer. A favorite in Sonoran Mexico, it is often fermented wild, using spices, sugar and cubed pineapple. I respect wild fermentation, but I prefer the complexity (and repeatability) of a version made with Water Kefir, a symbiotic culture of microbes (various strains of bacteria and yeast). Water Kefir bears a few things in common with the Ginger Beer Plant, the culture used to make our Bee’s Wine, but sours less and seems to produce more alcohol (soon to be tested). Our estimate puts this Tepache at about 3%, and it is made with brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and pineapple. We are serving it by pint and taster only, because there is only 5 gallons of it. Come and get it before it’s gone! More in a couple weeks.