On tap this week: Altbier!

Many of you probably know that today marks the start of the almighty Seattle Beer Week. For the next week and a half, you have the opportunity to overconsume craft malt beverages 5-10 times a day at hundreds of different venues around the city. This list of events is incredible, and it isn’t entirely comprehensive. There are a lot of small events that aren’t mentioned. We’ll be participating at a few worth mentioning.

Friday, May 9th Naked City Nano Night from 6-9pm

Sunday, May 11th Newbie’s Night @ Brave Horse Tavern @ 4pm

and one that isn’t on any official lists:

Tuesday, May 13th @ Sun Liquor Lounge @ 6pm. This will be a sort of pre-release for the 12 oz bottling of our Bee’s Wine ginger beer. Starting shortly after the event, you’ll be able to pick up 12 oz bottles from the brewery. Soon after that, you might see them at your favorite cocktail lounge, where you can request a mixed drink using proper, traditional ginger beer. We’ll also have the West Coast IPA on draft at Sun Liquor until the keg is gone.

If, however, you are too overwhelmed to head out to a Beer Week event (or perhaps you need an easy drinking pre-funk), today marks the release of our Altbier! What is Altbier, you ask? It’s hard to find a lot of examples, so I don’t blame you if you don’t already know. There are only a few indigenous “ale” style beers attributed to Germany. We all know Bavarian Hefeweizens and Cologne’s Kölsches, but Altbier gets overlooked. What lies behind an Altbier style is cool fermentation temperatures using an ale strain, producing a clean, non-estery flavor with a malty body. A sort of brother to Kölsch, which uses the same fermentation technique (and often the same strains), but differs in grain choice. Both usually start with a Pilsner base, but Alt leans heavily on Munich malt, often using other specialty malts for complexity. Ours is 60% Pilsner, 20% Munich, and includes Victory and Aromatic malts for richness. Non-traditionally, we also included a pinch of Carafa II to deepen the brown color without roasted malt astringency. Hop-wise, we used Saaz, Mt Hood and Willamette, and the result is a beautiful, mellow, easy drinking 5.1% beer that is delightfully rich and dry on the finish. It is so good, that it might make a regular appearance on the menu from here on out …

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Come and get it! Keep your eyes peeled for two more new styles, the aforementioned Kölsch as well as a Belgian Black!