My sister gave me a bottle of Dogzilla for my birthday then I left it at my parents on Christmas. I got it back though. This black IPA is a balance between bitter burnt and roasted and bitter citrus hops. Not particularly memorable but decent.
Who makes this? Laughing Dog? Where is that? IDAHO! They have beer in Idaho?
Wookey Jack is an interesting Black IPA. A creamy, citrusy head leads to a milk chocolatey middle and a grapefruit and pine finish. The pine is almost minty. At one point all I could think was: chocolate covered orange! The full body complements the chocolate but after it’s settled, Wookey Jack is more of a regular IPA.
The one problem, or benefit, of brewing is that it takes time. Everything takes hours, which made me uncomfortable for a while. I didn’t want to burn anything. But we got to drink plenty of beers.
Given the beer we were making a wheat beer, we started with a wheat beer, Pyramid Hefeweizen. Pyramid is based out of Seattle. They make a lot of wheat based beers. This beer was surprisingly German tasting, unlike other American versions. Spicy nose, a hint of banana. It was missing the phenol finish, but had an out of place bitter hop finish.
We moved on to the next lightest beer, Redhook ESB. Redhook is a sort of classic North West brewery, also founded in Seattle in 1981. This is their flagship beer a pretty traditional English bitter. It has a nice clean, easy drinking feel. It’s a little bit fruity with a dry hop finish. Not too shabby.
Followed that up with a Discord Dark IPA also from Pyramid. Delicious IPA scent, green hops and citrus, but tasted sort of like stale coffee mixed in with an okay IPA. I am getting really annoyed with these IPA color experiments.
M Bar is basically my favorite place to have a few pints. They only have three taps, but they rotate regularly, daily almost. For six months out of the year they pour the best Guinness in town on the nitro tap. They spend the proper three minutes to make sure it’s all settled and ready to drink. The rotating taps all come from smaller Oregon and Washington breweries. I’ve been introduced to a few breweries like Boneyard and Walking Man via the three taps at M.
Today was another great example of an interesting, yet familiar trip to M. I started out with a Kolsch from Occidental Brewing, which hit a lot of the notes I love in a Kolsch: light, crisp feel and nice malt flavor. I thought it had a little too much hop flavor for my taste, more like a classic pilsner than a bready Kolsch. I missed the saltine cracker flavor I tasted at Pfaffen. I was reminded more of the Früh Kolsch; the Occidental left a sort of oily tongue coating. Still a solid choice for a sunny day on the patio.
I followed with Hopworks Secession Cascadian Dark Ale. I think they stopped making it for the summer, and this tasted like an older keg. It was a lot darker than I remembered but still hoppier than a porter. The aroma of the hops has faded, but there is still a bit of grassy flavor. The overall flavor was dominated by a smokiness. The finish is smooth and dry. And unlike many stouts or porters, the body was still relatively thin and crisp. Overall not entirely unwelcome.
As the weather warms and the nights lengthen you can count on M to bring out some very nice, crisp, tasty beers.
We’re at Hopworks drinking some beers after yoga. I had a HUB Lager followed by their Secession Cascadian Dark Ale. Both were very refreshing and interesting. The lager recently won the Willamette Week Pils Off comparing different pilsners from around the state. The HUB lager definitely deserves such distinction. It’s crisp and tasty with a little bit of bread and a healthy dose of bitter with a clean dry finish. It’s so nice. On the other hand I have never thought a black IPA sounded that great. Hops and black malts? At the same time? Actually pretty great. Definitely surprising, the dark smokey, burnt malt flavor melds perfectly with the bitter, grassy hop flavor. It has a porter like darkness and a great green hop flavor. Really interesting.