Posts tagged ‘IPA’

September 5, 2014

The Pint is Mightier: Schooner Exact Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

For out latest review we ventured to the South Seattle destination of Schooner Exact Brewing. While it would be easy it pass judgment on their business park location with airplanes from nearby Boeing field buzzing overhead, it would be a mistake to do so. Aside from a solid selection of beers and a cozy interior, it’s home to the best damn Reuben in Washington State.

Unfortunately we visited when the brewery was missing one of their most delectable looking brews: the Black IPA and the barrel aged Winter Warmer. Expect a follow up review in the future!

Schooner Exact Brewing Company

Eric’s first beer – Gateway Golden (3.5/5 on Untappd)

I don’t usually go for Golden ales, but our quest for great beers always pushes me to try new things – and in this case I am glad I did. I enjoyed this beer much more than I expected to.

The brew poured a golden color and had a mild hop aroma. It did not appear very carbonated.  At first taste I was surprised by the level of hoppiness, which was very apparent and pleasant. It is a shame that Schooner Exact was out of their Pale ale at the time of review, because it would have been very interesting to compare the two.  Strangely, there is almost a subtle creaminess in the aftertaste, hidden cleverly amongst the hop flavor, that added a good level of depth to this beer. The Gateway Golden would be a fantastic beer for a hot summer day.

Porter, Golden and Eric

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July 5, 2014

The Bracket is Mightier III: A Game of Beers

7:13 update – We have a victor! The Delirium Tremens is the official champion of the third annual(ish) beer bracket. Congratulations to Zach, who entered the DT!


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June 30, 2014

The Pint is Mightier: Standard Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Last time we took it easy, getting back into the swing of things with a Pint is Mightier trip to Reuben’s Brews. Didn’t want to pull any beer-drinking muscles after so long without a brewery review.

This time though, we really came out swinging.

In our most expansive review to date, we covered four beers each at Standard Brewing, the Central District’s first craft brewery. Aided by the fact that Standard is a mere three blocks from Eric’s house and thus not requiring a car to get to, we dove mouth-first into the beers proffered by one of the new kids on Seattle’s brewery block. With a jewel of an outdoor area and a broad selection of beers ranging from old standbys to unique treats, this is absolutely worth a trip (walking recommended).

Standard Brewing

Standard Brewing

Quinn’s first beer – West Coast IPA (3.5/5 caps on Untappd)

With a golden profile and an excellent hop aroma, I was excited to start my review of Standard with the West Coast IPA. The flavor was heavy on hops, but not in a way that was excessive or unpleasant. The blend of bitter and citrus notes was well done, although it lacked a bit in complexity. In short, the West Coast was a quintessential (see what I did there?) Pacific Northwest IPA. It wasn’t the best of it’s style that I’ve had, but it’s well-crafted and enjoyable nonetheless.

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December 7, 2013

The Bracket is Mightier II!

5:53 update – The decision has been made! In a 6-5 split, Black Diamond’s Peak XV Imperial Porter has triumphed over New Belgium’s La Folie. Kudos to all the beers entered!


5:28 update – The Championship Round is upon us! It’s New Belgium’s La Folie against Black Diamond Peak XV Imperial Porter. May the best beer win!

4:33 update – We have our elite eight! Still remaining in the bracket are:

  • Sculpin IPA
  • Alba Scots Pine Ale
  • Trois Pistole
  • La Folie
  • Wesphestanier Korbinian
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  • Peak XV Imperial Porter

4:02 update – First round of the losers bracket is up! Here are the results

Losers round 1

3:04 update – The first round of the winners bracket is over! We had a couple upsets, here’s where things stand!

Winners round 1

Original Post:

Veteran readers may remember the first beer bracket that we set up and liveblogged here on Rosemary Renaissance. Eric and Quinn both selected eight of their favorite beers and pitted them against one another until one – Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack – emerged victorious.

It’s been a long time coming, but we are excited to announce our second annual(ish) beer bracket! We’ve made a couple changes this time though. It’s now a double elimination bracket, and we’ve opened it up for fellow competitors to enter beers as well!

Below is the bracket, the winners half at least, with match-ups starting at 2:00 pm Pacific. Be sure to stay tuned here or at the Rosemary Renaissance Facebook Page as we look to settle once and for all (but not really) what is the greatest brew of all time!

Beer Bracket II

The Beers:

  1. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  2. Firestone Walker Double Jack
  3. New Belgium La Folie
  4. Stone Double Bastard Ale
  5. Rodenbach Grand Cru
  6. Dogfish Head Burton Baton
  7. Unibroue Trois Pistole
  8. Weihenstephaner Korbinian
  9. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
  10. Schneider Weisse Original
  11. Peak XV Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter
  12. Iron Horse Irish Death
  13. Alba Scots Pine Ale
  14. New Beligum El Dorado Fresh Hop Ale
  15. Pelican Wee Heavy Ale
  16. Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  17. Schooner Exact Hoppy Holidays
  18. Wells Banana Bread Beer
  19. Iron Horse High Five Hefe
  20. Kulshan Trans-Porter
  21. Big Time 25th Anniversary IPA
June 20, 2013

The Pint is Mightier: Outlander Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

After playing some serious catch up with our previous review of Skagit River Brewery, we’re ready to stay ahead of the game with our latest review! From the Center of the Universe in Seattle, WA….

Outlander Brewing

Although this brewery has only been open for about six months, we would hardly be surprised if it wound up taking off in the near future. With a prime spot in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, a stylish location in a converted old home, and a line up of well-crafted, creative beers, Outlander is one to watch.


The first beer that we tried was Outlander’s Peanut Butter Stout. It was quite dark with mild carbonation and a light scent of peanut butter on the nose. The beer itself had nice, roasted notes in the flavor with just a hint of chocolate. We felt it had a mouthfeel more similar porter, but that’s semantics. The peanut butter flavor was very subtle, but was just enough to add that special something to the brew. It’s just a slight tease, enticing the drinker to go back for more and more until, before they knows it, their glass is empty and it’s time for another beer. Evil geniuses, those Outlander folks are.

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May 14, 2013

The Pint is Mightier: Skagit River Brewery

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

We confess: this brewery review is from almost a year ago. It got buried in the to-do stack and we just got around to finishing it up. A blast from the past, and from Mount Vernon, WA…

Skagit River Brewery

Tired – and definitely not hung over – we were on our way back from Bellingham when we drawn in by the siren’s call of another brewery. Although occasionally disrupted by a loud train careening by right outside, Skagit River generally held the same sleepy, relaxed atmosphere as the town around it. Digging the laid back attitude, we settled in for some reviewing.

Our first beer was the Highwater Porter, which poured a thick, dark black with no head to it. The aroma was light, but carried hints of the roasted malt flavor that made up the base of the flavor. A sip revealed mild grassy and earthy notes as well, but not in any unpleasant sense. There was a hint of strength, but nothing to suggest the actual potency of the brew – 7.2 percent. Overall the Highwater was good and well fortified porter, but nothing to shout from the mountaintops about.

The next beer that we tried was the Sculler’s IPA, a dark amber beaut. It had poured with a relatively small head, and had a rather see-through appearance for an IPA. The beer had a characteristically fruity-hop aroma that was quite enjoyable. The first sip revealed an incredibly power hop flavor, a hop-hurricane (patent pending) you might even say. It wasn’t until the aftertaste that the citrus hops really shone through however. This IPA was tasty and strong, but somewhat unremarkable. You’ll enjoy it if you like IPAs, but it won’t hook you on the style if you don’t.

We were not very impressed with our first sip of the Gospel IPA, with it’s faint banana undertones and overly bitter finish. Something about the hops, malts and yeast were out of whack.  There wasn’t enough body to make up for the force of the hops, which themselves were too weighted towards floral tones without any hint of bitter or earthy notes.  Although we found that this deep amber, medium carbonation beer did grow on us somewhat towards the end, we think that probably had more to do with our taste buds acclimating than anything else.

We concluded our daydrinking session with the Farm to Market Bitter. We don’t often have the chance to review an ESB, much less a regular old bitter (if you don’t know the distinction, don’t be troubled, it’s minor). It poured an amber color with a delightful half inch of head, with a malty and mildly hoppy aroma. It lacked opacity and appeared quite bubbly and carbonated. Just as it smelled, this beer had a good malty flavor with a perfect level of bitterness to balance out the flavor. At 5 percent ABV wasn’t a weak beer, unlike other bitters. We were quite pleased with this beer, judging it to be better than the similar but more widely imbibed Redhook ESB and Mac and Jack’s African Amber. If you like either of those beers, you ought to give this one a try.

The Skagit River Brewery was a fairly pleasant place. It has a good atmosphere, and we imagine that it’s a great local spot for those who live in and around Mount Vernon. While it would be worth your while to stop by if you’re passing through, we don’t recommend an expedition unless you’re as crazy about trying new breweries as we are.

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December 28, 2012

The Pint Is Mightier: Two Beers Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Long time, no brew. We know.

It’s not because we haven’t been drinking beer. Oh no. We’ve just been lazy in writing about it. But we’re roaring back into the Pint is Mightier with a new review from south Seattle…

Two Beers Brewing Co.

Two Beers Tour

Two Beers Brewing is an unassuming craft brewery located just off 99 in Seattle’s SoDo District (that’s south of the dome, for those of you who aren’t from around these parts/don’t remember the Kingdome). The small business park where it’s located is easily accessible by car or public transit, so there’s no excuse not to check it out.

There were quite a few beers to choose from, but being the connoisseurs it’s our job to be decisive. The first beer up was the Back Country Cascadian Brown Ale. Some of you have probably heard of a Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA), but for those of you who haven’t, here’s the scoop – it’s a dark IPA with lots of roast and lots of hops. Two Beers took the CDA concept and applied to the traditionally sweeter brown ale. Preposterous, you say? Pshaw! They very much pulled off the brown ale with big hop flavor. This dark brown ale of medium opacity had all the best parts of a brown ale on top of a perfectly balanced hop profile. Combined with solid carbonation, this beer was highly drinkable. And it comes from us highly recommended. Drink up!

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June 2, 2012

The Pint is Mightier: Chuckanut Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

After night one at Boundary Bay, we traipsed over to the other side of Bellingham to check out the city’s other major brewery…

Chuckanut Brewing Co.

Often overshadowed by Boundary Bay, Chuckanut Brewing Co. is the spot of some splendid brews. Unlike most breweries in the region that specialize in the Northwest styles we know and love, they stocked a wide variety of German inspired and styled beers. We settled into a booth

The first beer we tried was their Alt. It poured a small head and was not cloudy at all. It had a pleasantly zesty hop aroma, not as strong as an IPA but more akin to what one might expect from a pale ale. The beer itself had a classic German filtered taste and a crisp finish. The hop notes were evident, but not overpowering, while the bitterness lingered ever so slightly on the tongue. We found this beer to be light-bodied but rather refreshing with its somewhat carbonated mouthfeel. Overall it was a pleasant German-style beer with a bit of a Northwest Hop twist.

We took a shot at the Smoke Porter after that. Now introducing smoke flavor to a beer is a tricky thing to do. Much like adding fruit or other flavor additives, it’s very easy to go too far, overwhelming and ruining the original profile of the beer. Smoke, in particular, is very powerful. But Chuckanut got it right with this porter. The smoke flavor was subtle and seamlessly woven into the roasty profile of the beer. It carries through in the scent and in the aftertaste, but never too strongly. In profile, this porter was quite dark with a light white head. We found this to be an exceptionally well-craft and well-balanced beer.

Next up was the Chuckanut Pilsner. What Chuckanut lacked in creative naming it more than made up for in crafting very drinkable beers, in styles we don’t enjoy no less. This pilsner is one of the best we’ve had in our illustrious drinking careers. It poured a small head and had no opacity. The color was golden, while the taste had just a hint of a bite at the end. The beer was straightforward and simple, which are not necessarily bad things and served this style particularly well. The Pilsner had a very crisp, clean finish and was quite refreshing – definitely a reason to check out this brewery.

The final stop on our tour de Chuckanut was their IPA. It poured uncharacteristically for an IPA, with a reddish amber hue and no hop aroma. Despite lacking any strong smell, the flavor profile was hop-heavy with a decidedly earthy and floral lean. The malt influence was very minimal, although hints of rye peaked through into the flavor palette. As you transition to the aftertaste, the flavors peel away leaving just faint floral notes. We thought the IPA was solid, but nothing exceptional.

If you’re looking for a little break from traditional Pacific Northwest brews, then Chuckanut is a great place to stop by. Their German-influenced beers are quite a pleasant, and the pub friendly and inviting. It may not have the same reputation as Boundary Bay, but its worth swinging by if you’re in the area.

March 24, 2012

The Pint is Mightier: Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Ground zero for four of the eight years of our misguided youth (aka college), our next review comes from the great white north of Bellingham, WA.

Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

Located in downtown Bellingham, Boundary Bay is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Anyone on the street could have told us that what an amazing brewery it was, but asking other people isn’t how we roll. For us, tasting is believing.

First up was the Belgian Trippel. It poured an amber color into a tulip glass with zero head. It possesed a yeasty Belgian aroma with fruity undertones; a definite precursor to the flavor of this beer. The Trippel had many sweet esters and a very fruity taste, while faintest hint of hoppiness lingered on the end of your tongue long after the sip had been taken. It held an interesting combination of hops and malts that emulated a very good old-world Belgian flavor. It was very drinkable and had a good deal of complexity, which became apparent as honey flavors emerged halfway through the pint. In the end we felt the hoppiness clashed mildly with the other flavors in the aftertaste, but overall it was good, complex, and original Belgian style ale.

The Imperial Oatmeal Stout was next on our list. It had a very dark profile, maintaining its opacity even as a thin spindle being poured.  The pint was lightly carbonated with no head and little aroma. The flavor opened robustly, with a strong, dark roastiness that was also vaguely sweet. Despite a strong first impression, the stout unfortunately never moved beyond that single note. The aftertaste lingered, but never developed any additional flavors. Ultimately the lack of complexity in this beer made it rather boring as time went on. The rest of Boundary Bay’s lineup was much stronger; we recommend sticking to their many other great beers.

Speaking of great beers, next in line was Boundary’s Winter style ale: the Cabin Fever. It was dark and completely opaque in color with a surprisingly mild aroma. Upon the first taste we noticed the excellent balance of roastiness and hoppiness, a rare. Winter seasonals from this region usually either play heavily on the hops or heavily on the roast. Although both were strong in this particular brew, they were also wel balanced, setting it apart from others in its class. Overall a delicious beer this is one of the best winter seasonals we have had in our travels.

We rounded out our evening with the Boundary Bay IPA, a mighty good night to be sure. As with all our beers this evening, this pint had no head and has just a bit of carbonation. It was darker than most other IPAs with a amber hue, though the malts were relatively mild. This IPA had a great hop profile that was well balanced between bitter, fruity and floral notes. The lingering aftertaste was leaned more towards the bitter hop flavor, but in an entirely pleasant fashion. Overall this beer was a great medium-bodied, well balanced IPA worth trying whether you’re a hop-head or a hop-hesitant.

Excellent beer, tasty food and cozy atmosphere make Boundary Bay a must-visit for any beer aficionado.

March 1, 2012

Microbrew Micro-review: Fish Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

With Quinn being a frequent patron of the Fish Brewery when he was living in Olympia, his only regret when reviewing it was that it was done over the summer. However, our recent excursion to Bellingham (reviews are on the way!) offered us a shot at redemption – Chuckanut Brewing was featuring Winterfish as their guest tap.

That’s right, it’s time for another Microbrew Micro-review!

The Winterfish Seasonal Ale poured a golden amber color with very little head and a surprising amount of cloudiness to it. The lack of aroma belied a delightfully flavorful brew. The hop profile was robust, with multiple fruity notes and a moderate amount of bitterness. The malt background was subtle but noticeable. The most interested element of the beer though was the yeast strain, which gave it a distinctive, floral finish. The result was a bold, hoppy and unique beer that had both of us itching for more.

While our weren’t overly impressed during our initial visit, the Winterfish more than redeemed Fish Brewing. This ale was the best winter IPA that we’ve tasted, and a standout among every category. Even alone, it’s more than enough of a reason to nip out to Olympia or Everett for a pint. Or two.

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