Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vacation - Seattle and Pacific NW Beers

My wife and I went to Seattle over the weekend of 19th and 20th for a wedding and I had the opportunity to try to tasty beers.  The three highlights were Pike Brewing Co.’s Old Bawdy Barleywine, Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Double Black IPA, and Deschutes Black Butte Porter. 

During the flight, I started the vacation with a Blue Moon Belgian White (5.4% ABV).  On Thursday evening we attended the rehearsal dinner at Ray’s Boathouse and I had a Maritime Imperial Pale Ale (7.5% ABV), Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5.0% ABV & 40 IBU), Widmer Heffeweizen (4.9% ABV & 30 IBU) and Deschutes Black Butte Porter (5.2% ABV & 30 IBU).  We later went out to Bel Mar in Ballard and I had a Firestone Walker Double Barrel Pale Ale (5.0% ABV).  These were all tasty beers and the standout was Black Butte Porter with desert – an excellent pairing.

On Friday, we met one of Lori’s previous co-workers at Cutter’s and I had Maritime Jolly Roger Christmas Ale and a Mac& Jack’s African Amber that paired nicely with a lunch of fish and chips. Later, I went to the local QFC and picked up Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Double Black IPA (8.5% ABV & 70 IBU).  I had this at the Friday evening party and it is excellent.  If you want to try a Cascadian / Black IPA this is a great one to try, if you can find it.

On Saturday, I tried the Pike Old Bawdy 2008 (10% ABV & 90 IBU) in the afternoon and this is a great beer that I enjoyed.  Later that evening, we met up with George & Mary Lou, and Michael at Wilde Rover in Kirkland for some good Irish food & drink and billiards.  I had a Guinness Stout (4.2% ABV), Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale (4.5% ABV) with a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, New Castle Brown Ale (4.7% ABV), and Kilkenny Irish Red Ale (4.3% ABV).  We had an excellent time and George and I actually won a few matches of pool.  At dinner, I gave George a bottle of Avery Hog Heaven and Michael a bottle of Avery The Reverend.  George replied that he tried and really liked Hog Heaven.

On Sunday, we meet Ben (one of Lori’s former students) at Cutters and I had a NW flight of Manny’s Pale Ale (5.5% ABV & 37 IBU), Diamond Knot Winter Warmer (7.7% ABV & 60 IBU) and Elysian Bifrost (7.5% ABV & 55 IBU).  Flights are a great way to sample different beers and these were approximately 4 – 5 oz. servings for the price of a normal pint.  At the reception that evening I tried Widmer Broken Halo IPA (6.0% ABV & 45 IBU) that was excellent with dinner.

On Monday, Lori and I went to my favorite lunch spot in Bellevue, the King and I.  I ordered Phad Thai Tofu and enjoyed a Pyramid Heffeweizen (5.2% ABV & 18 IBU).  I love Phad Thai and this is one spot to get great Thai food.  That evening, we met friends at Paulo’s in Kent and I had a Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5.0% ABV & 40 IBU) with ravioli in a walnut cream sauce and this was excellent.

We returned to Denver on Tuesday and I took Lori, Jonathan and Donna (Lori’s mom) to NoNo’s and I had an Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager (4.2% ABV & 13 IBU) and a Bridgeport Ropewalk Amber (5.6% ABV) with a dinner of Cajun meatloaf.  This was a nice pairing and it is too bad this beer is no longer being brewed at Bridgeport.

The trip to Seattle was excellent and it was great to see old friends and enjoy good food and drink.  There are some excellent beers in Seattle and the Pacific NW and I was able to do a quick tour of Pike Brewing Co.  If you are in Seattle downtown, stop by Pike – they have a great selection and you can obtain many “goodies” to go. 

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