Opening Day at 2012 Holiday Ale Festival

The 17th Annual Holiday Ale Festival kicked off today. Opening day is a great time to attend. The crowds are light, the lines are minimal (if any), and all beers are available. I took the afternoon off and headed down to Pioneer Courthouse Square to partake in the festivities.

Even though I've attended several times, I'm always amazed by how the open space of the Square is transformed into the tented festival venue. I never tire of looking at the views of the lighted Christmas tree (or Holiday tree, if you're more politically correct) and city skyline from under the roof of the clear tent. You just need to experience it! Anyway, this event is all about the beer. Here's what I sampled this afternoon:

Wild Merkin (Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout & Gueze Blend), Firestone Walker: I'll taste anything made by FW! This beer, a blend of Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout and a Gueze, did not disappoint. The individual components complemented each other. It managed to perfectly balance the roasted malt from the stout and tart from the gueze. Don't miss this one!

Organic Cocoa Bretta (Stout), Bison Brewing & Logsdon Farmhouse Ales: This collaboration intrigued me because it played on the strengths of its creators. In the end, it was a letdown for me. The cocoa component was prominent, but I couldn't taste the bretta (from the Brettanomyces). It also seemed a bit thin.

Boysen (Dark Belgian Ale), The Commons Brewery:  The boysenberry came though in aroma and flavor. It has lots of layers including chocolate and light Belgian spiciness. It's 10.5% ABV, but you'd never know. Give it a try.

Mexican Mocha Porter, Kells Brewpub:  Chocolate and spicy peppers were promised. Chocolate and spicy peppers were delivered! It's got some heat, but is not overwhelming. Well done.

Cherry Chocoholic (Baltic Porter), Rusty Truck Brewing:  A very nice Baltic Porter, but I couldn't taste the cherry.

Prepare To Be Boarded (Barrel Aged Spiced Stout), Bear Republic:  This gets my vote for Most Unusual Beer. It's like a cross between a beer and wine, but leans more towards the wine side. It's got some sour notes, as well as plenty of fruitcake-like spice.

Diesel #2 (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout), Cascade Brewing:  Sadly, Cascade didn't send a sour beer to HAF this year. Don't fret though. Coffee, chocolate, and bourbon all meld together to form one might tasty brew! Be wary of the 11% ABVit's stealthy, so handle with care!

As an added surprise, a 4 year vertical tasting (2007-2010) of Deschutes' The Abyss was held at 4 pm. This wasn't previously announced and I learned about it through HAF's Twitter feed.  I tasted the 2007 and 2010 vintages. They were both great, but I preferred the 2010.

So that's a wrap of my opening day at Holiday Ale Fest. I'll be back for another round this weekend! What were your Holiday Ale Festival hits and misses?

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Boysen, The Commons Brewery

Review: Flanders Fred, De Proef Brouwerij & Hair of the Dog

Flanders Fred
De Proef (Lochristi, Belgium) and Hair of the Dog (Portland, Oregon)

  • Style:  Strong Ale and Lambic Blend
  • Bitterness: Not specified 
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Malts: Not specified
  • Hops: Not specified
  • Sampled: 750 ml. corked and caged bottle

Description: "The sixth edition of the De Proef Brewmaster's Collaboration Series is our first blended beer. Legendary brewer, Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog joins Dirk Naudts at De Proef to create this unique bottle conditioned beer. Flanders Fred is a blend of Flanders-sourced lambic with a collaboratively-brewed version of the famous Hair of the Dog Fred. The result is a deep golden ale topped with a creamy off white head. The nose is complex with notes of lemon, pine, tropical fruits and spice. The palate is rich and layered with toffee, apricot and almond, balanced by some green apple, a hoppy bitterness and barnyard funk. Please enjoy Flanders Fred with food and friends. This beer should pair very well with many cheeses, roasted vegetables and grilled meats. We believe this bottle will continue to evolve beautifully over the next few years, adding a subtle blending of the flavors."  — De Proef Brouwerij & Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts: I received Flanders Fred as part of a shipment from The Rare Beer Club. This review is strictly for the beer. I have posted a separate review for The Rare Beer Club. I'm a huge fan of wild / sour ales, so I was thrilled to receive this as a club selection! I saved Flanders Fred for a special occasion and finally cracked it open on Thanksgiving.

The tasting: Golden orange in color, hazy, with a head of fine white bubbles that lingered throughout the entire drink. From the first sniff, the lactic acid provides clues about what's in store. Some light funky barnyard notes were present in aroma as well. The flavor begins with the bright tartness promised by the aroma. The tartness is prominent, but not overwhelming. In the middle, many different layers of flavor come through. There's lots of fruitcherry, lemon peel, and crisp apple. The Belgian yeast lends light spicy notes. Overall hop bitterness is low and the 7.5% alcohol is well-masked in aroma and flavor. Underneath it all, a biscuit-like malt base provides the backbone. Flanders Fred is light to medium bodied, has a smooth and creamy mouth feel, and finishes dry with a light earthy hop bitterness. Overall, this beer is very nicely balancedeverything is just right!

Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again!  Simply stated, this is an amazing beer! I slowly savored the bottle over the course of a few hours. As the beer warmed, different flavors emerged. Normally, I'm ready to move on to something new after a glass or two. Not the case with this one. Too bad it wasn't a 1 liter bottle...

Flanders Fred was brewed once, and was released in June. If you can still find a bottle (and I doubt you can), you should consider snatching it up! I wish I had another bottle to age. If you like wild / sour beers, this is a beer you'll appreciate. If you're not a fan of the style, this just may be the one that converts you to the sour side..

Have you tasted Flanders Fred?

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Review: Rare Beer Club

Two years ago, I received a Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club membership for Christmas. I enjoyed it because it was, wellbeer! Seriously, it gave me the opportunity to taste beers not available to me. Also, there's nothing like the feeling of getting a box delivered to you on regular basis filled with liquid goodness! For more details, click to see my Beer of the Month Club review.

The company that offers the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club also has a Rare Beer Club. Here's a description from the website:

"Originally founded by Michael Jackson, who was well established as the world’s leading authority on beer, The Rare Beer Club™ offers two different selections each month in 750 ml bottles, often cork finished. Members will discover bold U.S. and imported interpretations of Farmhouse Ales, Russian Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines, Belgian Abbey Ales, varied Imperial, Extreme, Strong Ale and Grand Cru offerings, oak and other cask-aged ales, and much more. Many selections are pushing the envelope of creativity, are not yet distributed in the US, and brewed such that they can be cellared and aged. Offering the ultimate in flexibility, our Personalized Shipment Program™ ensures that personal members always get only the featured beers they want to get."

One of my favorite aspects of the Rare Beer Club is members can select the beers they want to try and won't get stuck with styles they don't like. It sounded good, so I thought I'd give it a try. I got my shipment via UPS Ground. Here are a few unboxing pictures.

Club Information is provided in addition to 2-page information sheets about each beer.
Each of the bottles are well protected.

The moment of truth...

My shipment included these beers. I will post detailed reviews for each:
  • Flanders Fred:  Collaboration between Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. (Portland, OR) and De Proef Brouwerij (Lochristi, Belgium)
  • Zomerhop: Brouwerij de Molen (Bodegraven, Netherlands)

Disclosure.  I like the Beer of the Month Club and recommend them based on my experience. I enjoyed it so much that I became an affiliate partner of the club. What does that mean? If you purchase a club membership using one of the links on my site, the Beer of the Month Club pays me a referral fee (equivalent to a six pack of really good craft beer). This results in no additional cost to you. Just to be very clear, I do not accept fees or any form of compensation for any of my beer reviews.

But wait, there's more! Beer of The Month Club is offering special discounts for my readers. To get these discounts for either the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club or The Rare Beer Club), visit their site via the links in this post and enter one of the following codes during the checkout process!

NOTSOPRO5 - $5 off any membership
NOTSOPRO10 - $10 off any prepaid membership of 6 months or longer
NOTSOPRO20 - $20 off any prepaid 12 month membership

It's no coincidence that I'm posting this on Black Friday. Beer makes a great Christmas gift! If you're looking for a gift for the beer lover (or beer geek) in your life, these are great options!

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The Commons Brewery's 1st Anniversary

What a year it's been for Mike Wright and the crew at The Commons Brewery! In the first year of operation in their new location, they've won medals at World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival, opened a taproom, increased brewing capacity, and expanded distribution outside of Oregon!

To celebrate this milestone, The Commons is hosting a few gatherings on 12/6 and 12/7.  So stop by The Commons, drink some great beer, and congratulate Mike, Sean, and Josh on an amazing first year!

I can't wait to see what's in store for Year 2...

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(Portland, OR) –The Commons Brewery will be recognizing their one year anniversary by celebrating two nights: Thursday, December 6th and Friday December, 7th from 5:00-9:00pm at the brewery.

While The Commons has roots in Mike Wright’s garage as Beetje Brewery, there was effectively a reset when the venture moved into the new space and started brewing on the new 7bbl system. The doors to the tasting room opened December 3, 2011, “We put a stake in the ground and declared that day one of the new business.” noted Mike Wright.

With the garage only a distant memory, Mike never imagined that a year later the beers that started the brewery would take home two medals with Urban Farmhouse Ale winning bronze at the World Beer Cup and Flemish Kiss winning Silver at the Great American Beer Festival.

The Commons would like to take a moment to recognize all the hard work put forth over the last year and thank their customers for the unbridled support by hosting two events.

Thursday, December 6th from 5-9PM marks the release of Bourbon Little Brother, our Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel aged Belgian Dark Strong. We’ll have 750ml bottles for sale for $11 and $125 per case. To celebrate we are hosting a potluck & bottle share in our brewery. Just show up with a bottle of beer and/or food to share with friends.

On Friday, December 7th from 5-9PM we will tap a few special kegs including the last bit of Plum Bretta and provide appetizers from local friends Lardo, Pacific Pie, 2nd Story, and Cheese Bar. At 7pm we will mark the anniversary with a toast.

The Commons Brewery crafts small batch approachable and balanced European-inspired beers. The tasting room is located at: 1810 SE 10th Ave., Unit E (entrance on SE Stephens between 10th & 11th). The Commons tasting room hours are: Thursday & Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 2-9pm.

For more information, contact Mike Wright at or 503-343-5501.

Holiday Ale Fest: Official Program & Limited Tappings

The 17th Annual Holiday Ale Festival kicks off in 8 days! Here's a link to the official program which contains delicious descriptions for each of the 44 “regular” main lineup offerings.  I use the word regular loosely. If you read the descriptions, you’ll see that these beers are anything but regular! Most were created especially for Holiday Ale Festival. Download the guide and take a look! If that's not enough beer for you there's more. From the HAF website:

As a special gift to you, in addition to the main lineup of 44 winter seasonals, we’ve gone deep into the cellar to bring out a few rare kegs. In most cases, these rare or vintage brews are limited to just one single keg, so timing is of the essence if you want to taste any of these. Please note, this list is subject to change with little or no notice. There may be more tapped in the 6 pm hour Wed-Sat. Also, check out the Lounge for additional beers and a chance to meet some brewers. If you want to stay up to date and bein the know, follow the Festival’s mobile website at

Wednesday, 11/28 @ 2 PM
  • 2005 Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus: tasters only, double tickets
  • 2008 Alaskan Big Nugget: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2008 Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2008 North Coast Old Stock: tasters only, double ticket

Thursday, 11/29 @ 2 PM
  • 2009 Dogfish Head Festina Peche: regular pricing
  • 2009 Kona Black Sands Porter (from the island): regular pricing
  • 2009 Deschutes Lost Mirror Mirror: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2009 Cascade Sang Noir: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

Friday, 11/30 @ 2 PM
  • 2008 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2009 JIM Commemorative: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per ll
  • 2008 Deschutes Snow Quad: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per ll
  • 2010 New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

Saturday, 12/1 @ 2 PM
  • 2006 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2007 Anchor Old Foghorn: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2009 Rock Bottom Maude Flanders: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill
  • 2010 Bear Republic Ebeweesner: 2 tickets per taste, 6 per fill

If you're a regular HAF attendee, you may have noticed that the entry price is now $30 (an increase of $5 from last year). In the past, there's been a fair amount of discussion in beer geekdom about the price of festival mugs, entry fees, etc.  I expect this increase may spark similar discussion. I contacted Chris Crabb to learn more. Here’s what she told me: 

“Because of Preston's hard work, the beers for this festival are getting more and more special - lots of Barrel aged beers this year - and the more special the beer, the more expensive. For example, Preston flew down to Firestone Walker to blend a beer for the festival: Wild Merkin is a blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin and Barrelworks Gueuze. That isn't your everyday beer, and you won't find it anywhere else. And that's just one example. 

We also purchased more kegs this year so we wouldn't run out. This festival actually doesn't make a huge profit - the Square is ridiculously expensive to rent, as is the scaffolding used to cover the stairs,the clear top tents, etc.”

Ultimately, for me, it’s all about VALUE.  Where else can I sample so many unique beers in a single place for $1 each?  Nowhere that I can think of! That’s why HAF is one of my favorite beer festivals. See you there! Cheers!

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Review: Vaporizer, Double Mountain

Double Mountain Brewery — Hood River, OR

  • Style:  Pale Ale
  • Bitterness:  55 IBUs
  • ABV:  6.0%  
  • Malts:  Gambrinus Pilsner
  • Hops:  Challenger
  • Sampled:  500 ml. bottle

Description: "Featuring a locally-grown hop variety and our house pilsner malt, this dry-hopped pale ale is light-colored, alluringly herbal & supremely tasty." — Double Mountain Brewery

Random thoughts:  Vaporizer is Double Mountain's dry-hopped Pale Ale. The Challenger hops used in this beer come from one farm in Yakima Valley. I'm drinking it as part of my series on Double Mountain's newly released 500 ml. bottles.

The tasting:  Light golden in color, slightly hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma of citrusy lemon, and grass. Flavor mirrors the aroma with the addition of a grainy and biscuit-like malt. The malt backbone is light and puts the bright hop flavors towards the forefront. Hop bitterness is low (even though it's rated at 55 IBUs) and alcohol is not noticeable in flavor or aroma. Vaporizer is light bodied, softly carbonated, and finishes the the same citrus and grass flavors that introduced the beer.  

Rating:  3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Vaporizer is a very nice beer. It's light, refreshing, and very sessionable. I'm just not a big fan of grassy hop flavors--but that's my personal taste. If you're looking for a Pale Ale that's not overly bitter and has some unique flavors not found in the typical Pale Ale, give Vaporizer a try!

Have you tasted Vaporizer.  What's your favorite Double Mountain beer?

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2012 Holiday Ale Fest: Meet Sugar & Spice

Each year, the organizers of Portland's Holiday Ale Festival introduce a new pinup girl to represent the festival. This year brings us not onebut two pinup girls! So without further adieu, please welcome Sugar and Spice...



From the HAF website:

In 2009, the Holiday Ale Festival began a new tradition of featuring a vintage pin-up girl as the annual representative of the festival. In 2009, Holly brought us holiday cheer, in 2010, we fell head over heels for Eve, and last year, we received a touch of elegance with Noelle. For 2012, we bring you a special treat, two girls. When winter rolls around, Sugar & Spice know just how to kick it off... with a prolonged trip to the Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, Oregon. After all, there is no better place in the NW for great craft beer. Sugar may have jet black hair, but she's partial to Belgian Blondes, while Spice is all about indulgence and heads straight for the Stouts. You can get one of their official posters at the festival or if you are more of a digital collector, or want to send them to friends, they have a poster available for download in Adobe Acrobat format. Just click the link on the website
A few observations. First, it's clear that Sugar is a rebel. While Spice and past pinup girls have dressed in the tried-and-true Santa / elvish theme, Sugar is obviously going for the confectionery look (candy cane). Good for her! Maybe next year's pinup will break further ground and take inspiration from a fruitcake.
Second, have Sugar and Spice ever been seen together at the same time and place? Come on people, wake up! It's just like the Superman / Clark Kent thing! They aren't even wearing nerdy glasses that magically disguise the face. I theorize that Sugar and Spice are the same person, possibly twins. Prove me wrong. I defy you.
Lastly, they both continue the time honored tradition of wearing not-so-sensible shoes. Will next year's pinup girl sport Birkenstocks? Perhaps. This is Portland, after all...
In closing, if you happen to see Sugar or Spice under the HAF tent, be sure to say hello and ask about their favorite beers. For a look at Sugar and Spice's predecessors, check out my HAF pinup girl retrospective summary from last year.

Are you going to the 2012 Holiday Ale Festival?  Click here to see the taplist.

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Beer Run: Double Mountain's New Bottles

Double Mountain Brewing Co, from Hood River, recently began distribution of bottled beer. These, however, are not ordinary bottles.  

First, each contains 500 ml of liquid goodness. If you do the math, this equates to 16.91 fluid ounces per bottle. So you’ll get a pint and nearly an extra ounce for good measure. Most beers bottles contain 12 oz. or 22 oz.  Second, these bottles are made of thick-walled glass. Instead of being crushed after one use, they’ll  be returned to Double Mountain, cleaned, and reused.  If you hold a bottle, you’ll feel just how solid and sturdy they are. I intend to keep mine and use them for my homebrews. I hope the good folks at Double Mountain don’t mind.  BTW, the deposit for these bottles is just a nickel.

The bottles will retail for about $3.99 each and are now available in the Portland area.  Check out Double Mountain’s blog for a list of bottle shops where you can find the goods.  In the meantime, I’ll have fun tasting each of them. The descriptions are from Double Mountain: 

  • KÖLSCH:  In Cologne, many a brewery produces a light-bodied ale with a delicate fruitiness and rounded maltiness, attributable to the unique yeast strain commonly used. Our Kölsch is unfiltered and more generously hopped than its German cousin. 
  • VAPORIZER:  A golden-hued Pale Ale that features a beautifully hoppy aroma and flavor. The malt is 100% Gambrinus Pilsner, our sweet and supple house malt from Gambrinus Malting in British Columbia. The hops are primarily of the Challenger variety, grown on a single farm in the Yakima Valley. We dry-hop THE VAPORIZER to pump up the hoppy goodness. It's an appetizingly dry, clean and pure-tasting take on a hoppy Pale Ale.
  • I R A :  The “IRA”, as it’s known around here, marries a ruby red color and rich body with the hop flavors of an IPA. Our unique ale yeast strain adds a delicious layer of complexity. One of the first beers we made, and an enduring favorite.
  • HOP LAVA:  This big, glowing, powerful IPA is packed with assertive Northwest hops that are floral, citrusy and resinous. A healthy dose of Munich malt helps to provide backbone and balance against the hoppy attack. The result? Explosive!

What do you think of Double Mountains new bottles? Which is your favorite?

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Review: Milk Stout, Widmer Brothers

Milk Stout
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style:  Milk Stout
  • Bitterness:  50 IBUs
  • ABV:  7.0%  
  • Malts:  Pale, Chocolate, Midnight Wheat, Munich 20L, Roasted Barley
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Cascade
  • Special Ingredients:  Milk Sugar
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle  (provided by brewery)

Description: "It's okay to cry over spilt Milk Stout." — Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Yesterday happened to be Stout Day. Beer geeks across the land celebrated by drinking stouts and logging them into Untappd. Truly a geeky thing to do. Milk Stout is the latest installment in Widmer Brothers' Series 924.

The tasting:  Near black in color with a dark tan head that dissipates slowly. Aroma of coffee and roasted malt. Flavor mirrors the aroma with the addition of bittersweet chocolate, and a very light sweetness. A moderate hop bitterness comes through in the middle. I usually tend not to notice hops in stouts, but it's present here. A mild warming alcohol emerges in the middle, but it's below what I would expect of a 7.0% ABV brew. Milk Stout is medium bodied, softly carbonated, has a silky smooth mouth feel, and finishes with roasted malt. 

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  I love to drink stouts in the winter because of their rich roasted malt flavors! The use of milk sugar gives this a nice mild sweetness and a wonderful creamy mouth feel. Milk Stout is a limited release, so be sure to give it a try before it disappears!

Have you tasted Milk Stout?  What's your favorite stout?

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Anheuser-Busch Cans Water for Sandy Relief

As victims of Sandy slowly recover from the devastation caused by the storm, they’re getting a helping hand from big business.  Anheuser-Busch is one of the many corporations chipping in. No, they aren’t handing out Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas. They’re canning and distributing 44,000 cases of water, free of charge.

Apparently, Anheuser-Busch has been supporting disaster recovery efforts since 1908 and has distributed 71 million cans of drinking water since 1988. For more details, check out this article from ABC News or watch the video clip embedded below (you may be subjected to a 30 second commercial). 

Best wishes to those recovering from the storm and a huge thanks to Anheuser-Busch for helping out!

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Review: Day Time, Lagunitas

Day Time
Lagunitas Brewing Co. — Petaluma, CA

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  54 IBUs
  • ABV:  4.65%  
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description: "Sometimes you want a beer, then you realize how much crap you need to do before you call it a day. This is it. Nicely dosed with Big, Round Hop Flavors and a Toasty Malt Foundation to satisfy your every need. But it still lets you stay in the game to do what needs to be done. Yup." — Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  I first learned about this limited release beer when a reader suggested it to me. I'm not exactly sure what "Fractional IPA" means, I assume it's less bitter—we'll soon find out. I'm sampling Day Time as part of my series on fall seasonal brews.

The tasting:  Light gold in color, clear with a white head that dissipates slowly. It starts with an amazing tropical aroma full of mango and mandarin orange! Flavor of biscuit and light grapefruit. The malt base is light and the ripe fruit flavors from the aroma are not present in flavor. Alcohol is not noticeable in flavor and it has a medium hop bitterness. Day Time is light bodied and moderately carbonated. It finishes dry with a mild citrus hop bitterness.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  I’d have this again just for the amazing aroma! I assume Day Time was heavily dry hopped because it has so many delicious aromas, but lacks the heavy hop bitterness. It's also quite dry, which surprised me because most of the Lagunitas beers I've tasted have been sweeter. This one is an easy drinker, and at 4.65% ABV, it’s a great session beer option!

Have you tasted Day Time IPA?

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When Coffee and Beer Collide: Redhook Double Black Stout

Coffee and beer are two of the greatest beverages to be bestowed upon mankind. How could you possibly improve upon these two fine drinks?  You could put them together...

That's exactly what Redhook did in partnership with Seattle's Caffe Vita. Returning for a limited engagement after a four year absence is Double Black Stout, part of Redhook's limited release Blueline series. Redhook was kind enough to send me a sample of Double Black as well as some other goodies. I'll sample and profile it soon. For more details about Double Black, check out the full press release below.

Do you like coffee in your beer? What are your favorite coffee infused beers?

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Redhook and Caffe Vita Bring Back Double Black Stout
Collaboration Between Two Seattle Originals is the Latest in
Brewery’s Blueline Series

Woodinville, Wash. – Oct. 30, 2012 – Redhook first brewed Double Black Stout 17 years ago. Since he stopped brewing the beer in 2000 and briefly brought it back for a limited release in 2008, it remains one of Redhook’s most requested beers. Beginning Oct. 29, Black is back. Redhook’s Double Black Stout will be available for a limited time through the brewery’s Blueline Series on draught and in 22-ounce bottles to beer drinkers in Washington and Oregon.

This time around Redhook is brewing up some mischief with Seattle’s own Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co. Redhook brewmaster Jen Talley and Caffe Vita green bean buyer Daniel Shewmaker collaborated every step of the way to create a stout so dark no one will know what’s in your mug. Double Black Stout is a robust stout brewed with Farm Direct Caffe Vita coffee to create a complex beer with deep color and aromas, highlighted by rich coffee flavor.

“We are stoked to partner with Caffe Vita to bring back Double Black Stout,” said Talley, Redhook’s brewmaster in Woodinville, Wash. “Daniel and I had a great time tasting different styles of coffee to develop the recipe. This version of Double Black Stout plays on the delicate coffee flavors and aromas with the perfect combination of roast and chocolate character to warm you up as the temperatures drop.”

“When Redhook approached us about partnering to bring back Double Black Stout, we were really excited to work on a project that brings together two Northwest favorites: beer and coffee,” said Caffe Vita’s Shewmaker. “It’s a great partnership. We’re both dedicated to great brewing and we’re excited to share Double Black Stout with our fans.” 

Released under Redhook’s Blueline Series, a limited release series brewed specifically for local distribution, Double Black Stout comes in at 7.0% ABV and 40 IBUs. The beer is a robust stout brewed with the generous use of roasted barley, Munich malt and Carafa 3, giving the beer a deep opaque black color. Roasted, chocolate and coffee aromas and flavors round out the beer for a rich, creamy finish.

About the Blueline Series
Launched in 1993, the Redhook Blueline Series is named for the streetcar line that once ran to the Redhook’s former brewery location in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, which was formerly a trolley barn. Redhook’s brewers are a creative bunch and are always cooking up new ideas for beers outside the standard lineup. Several times a year, the best and most interesting of these ideas are brewed and released under the Blueline Series.  These special brews are only available for a limited time in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in Redhook’s backyard markets.
About Redhook
Redhook was born out of the energy and spirit of the early ‘80s in the heart of Seattle. While the term didn’t exist at the time, Redhook became one of America’s first “craft” breweries.  From a modest start in a former transmission shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, to the current breweries in Woodinville, Wash., and Portsmouth, N.H., Redhook has become one of America’s most recognized craft breweries. While Redhook has “grown up” during the past 30 years, one thing has never changed – he’s still brewing great beers like ESB, Long Hammer IPA, Pilsner, Copperhook and a variety of seasonal brews. Most importantly, Redhook makes sure he has fun doing it. Redhook's beers are available on tap and in bottles, and are available in markets across the country. For more information, visit

About Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Company
Caffe Vita Roasting Co. has been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995. Locally owned and artisanally roasted, Vita operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a roasteria café in New York City, and will soon expand to Los Angeles. Caffe Vita has made it their mission to source the best coffees directly from exceptional farms that practice extraordinary levels of stewardship and sustainability. For more information, visit