Astronomy on Tap

Astronomy on Tap is back! After a couple month break (and the closing of Hilliard's, the former host of Astro on Tap) the star talk meets craft beer event took place at Peddler on a warm August evening. As expected, the Ballard brewery was packed. But with the extensive patio and large projector screen, there wasn't a bad seat in the house. Science and beer lovers alike gathered over food truck grub to listen to engaging talks on the discovery and exploration of exo-planets. 

And if the concept of finding Earth-like planets in other galaxies isn't enough to blow your mind, get a couple beers in and you'll be desperate to ask questions in the Q&A with University of Washington Astronomers. I washed down the astronomical information with Peddler's Earl Grey Kombucha Sour.

Peddler Brewing // Earl Grey Blonde Kombucha Sour // Seattle, WA // 5.5% ABV 12 IBU

Color: Transparent canary yellow

Smell: Earl Grey tea, yeast sourness, fruity fermentation

Taste: Over brewed tea, citrus tartness, yeast funk, but a refreshing finish. 

Overall: A lovely nose and a mellow palate considering the prolific amount of flavor that lightly dances on the tongue. However, they seem to try too much with the name and the packed-in ingredients. Keep it simple with an Earl Grey Sour and nobody would have noticed a difference. And to be honest, a kombucha sour feels like a hispter gimmick. That being said, it is still a great late summer brew and worth a try.

Ecliptic Capella Porter

Ecliptic Brewing // Capella Porter // Portland, OR // 5.2% ABV 39 IBU

Gold medal winner at the World Beer Cup 2016, Gold medal winner at the Oregon Beer Awards

Ecliptic always has phenomenal brews. I'm usually pretty good at spotting a beer on the draft list that I want immediately. But I had to go taster tray on this one. But the ale that beat out all other was the Capella. 

Color: Dark chocolate brown

Smell: Roasted coffee, dry hops, molasses 

Taste: Unbelievably balanced with dark, rich flavors of coffee and chocolate to the bright and bitter hops. Like drinking a black cold brew... but you know, alcoholic. 

Overall: Incredibly drinkable even in the May sunshine. The cold brew of the craft beer world. 

Brouwer's Sour Fest

As apart of Seattle Beer Week, Brouwer's Cafe threw the annual Sour Fest, with a tap take over of sours from all over the country. Even with the massive size of the beer hall (over 60 taps), Sour Fest always draws a big crowd. So I decided to go in the afternoon after the fest, as almost all the sours were still tapped, to avoid the rush. The mellow environment of the bar in the afternoon was perfect for trying out an abundance of the sour beers.
All the sours I tried somehow all tied back to memories of childhood: picking wild berries, the smell of a horse barn, harvest season. It was comforting and representative of the power of our senses. I was transported to the tart flavors of spring, the aroma of flowers blooming, the dirtiness of playing outside in the sun. And even with the varying types of brewing, they all manged to being back warm memories.  

Below are my favorite of the Pacific Northwest sours. Cheers!

 

Ecliptic Brewing // Syrah BBl-Aged Ultra Violet Blackberry Sour // Portland, OR // 7.5% ABV

Color: Auburn, deep orange

Smell: Pear, unripe fruit, fresh grass

Taste: For the high ABV, this is pleasantly rounded, possibly an effect of being aged in barrels. It's tart but never too sour. The profile ends in acidic, unripe blackberry. But the sour sensation lasts on the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat. 

Overall: Brings back memories of scavenging blackberry bushes in summer after all the plump, ripe ones have been picked. A little taste of childhood. 

 

Schooner Exact Brewing // Fram Boyz in the Hood Sour // Seattle, WA // 5% ABV

Color: Light pink head, tawny, magenta, soft peach. 

Smell: Sour, ripe red fruit

Taste: Not as sour as it smells! The beginning of the profile is sour and green, but the body is full and juicy, ending slightly tart and bitter. 

Overall: Sip after sip this framboise style sour leaves my mouth watering. It's satiating and sour, juicy and unripe, embodying the entirety of a raspberry bush. 

 

Pfriem Brewers // Peche Lambic Style Sour // Hood River, OR // 5.8% ABV

Color: Bright hazy, canary yellow

Smell: Farmhouse funk, manure, straw, cheese

Taste: Rustic and refreshing with a mellow body. The end of the profile is long lasting with just the right amount of peach and lemon citrus to create that fresh sensation without the puckering sourness. 

Overall: The drink of a farmer after a hard day working in the sun. The citrus bite is never overwhelming and the contrast between the smell and taste is incredible. It takes me back to working in a horse barn in the summer.