Currently there’s a lot of excitement coming from Seattle! The Seattle Seahawks are returning to the Super Bowl for the consecutive year. Plus, January is turning into a busy month for Seattle’s Elysian Brewing. This month features a few seasonal releases, some new, some returning along with a spotlight on a now year-round favorite, Loser Pale Ale.
Elysian will be releasing the latest in their Dick’s Pick series, Knock on Nelson Wood-Aged IPA that was featured during the Holiday Ale Festival last month. Returning for the winter season are Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout brewed with beans from Portland’s Stumptown Coffeeand Savant IPA, which are currently out in the marketplace.
Here are more details from the brewery on the new and returning seasonal beer releases.
Knock on Nelson Wood-Aged IPA Knock on Nelson, the latest in Elysian’s Dick’s Picks series of favorite old and new beers, has been a long time coming, and for us, like Admiral Nelson himself, it’s a real pioneer. Knock on Nelson is the first beer to be aged in one of the foeders we acquired a year or so ago and have since been prepping for eventual use in our fledgling sour program. Hold on a minute–Knock on Nelson is not a sour beer–it’s a wood-aged IPA–but it has undoubtedly picked up a bit of a tang due to its residence for several months in a wooden tank once used to age the Cabernet Sauvignon of a majorly venerable California winery which for the moment shall remain nameless. We certainly wouldn’t want you to blame them if you don’t like it (though we hope you will).
Like the beers that down the line will be coming from the foeders, Knock on Nelson is a blend. We started with a Nelson Sauvin-heavy IPA of fairly straightforward construction. Pale, Munich and Cara-Vienne malts went into the grist, and then lots of Nelson Sauvin was used to finish and dry hop, and after fermentation into the foeder it went. Then, after several months, as time took its toll and wrought changes on the beer–some soaking into the wood and some evaporating by the slow and inexorable process that is wood aging–we found that some topping up was required. After some taste trials we decided that about 10% Space Dust was just the ticket. The fierce Amarillo and Citra finish brightened up the aged IPA just a bit, combining Northwest citrus fruitiness with the more tropical passion fruit and mango notes of the New Zealand hops.
Knock on Nelson picked up a fair amount of wine character during its time in tanks previously used to age Cabernet, and after the scraping and reconditioning undertaken by cellarmaster Dan-o Beyer, there’s some wood character on display as well. It’s a richness beyond what most IPAs generally show, and the brightness of the hops remind you what element in this beer is boss. It’s already poured at the Portland Winter Beer Festival, but you can check it out in all the Elysian pubs and here and there wherever Elysian beers are distributed. Available: January 2015 on limited Draft only
Without knowing quite why, Savant IPA knows a lot. It knows that it’s built on Northwest 2-row malt, with touches of Munich, Cara-red and C-120 Crystal. It knows that it weighs in at around 6.3% alcohol by volume, that it’s bittered with Northwest Chinook and finished with fruit-juicy New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops. It knows that it’ll be back as the first Manic IPA from Elysian Brewing in the new year of 2015, available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft. It knows that 22 ounces is the same as a touch over 650 milliliters (and 13012 drops for anyone who’s counting), but what it mainly knows is that it’s a great beer.
6.3% ABV, 66 IBU Available: January – April on Draft and in 22oz bottles
Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout
In Seattle, beer and coffee are like siblings, jealously dividing the day. It’s a ticklish point as evening approaches, in fact, when the joys of the one give way to the other. And along with other more hard-bitten local industries, they compete for the attentions of a creative and often otherwise-distracted workforce, dividing the hip and tattooed into brewers and roasters, barkeeps and baristas.
Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout brings all that together, combining the talents of Elysian Brewing and Stumptown Coffee in a deliciously smooth, very Northwest beer. A complex bill of malts hold it all together–Northwest pale, C-15 and C-45 dextrine malts, Franco-Belges kiln coffee malt, Black, Roasted and Chocolate malts and flaked oats. Magnum hops add a touch of bitterness and milk sugar sweetens just a bit. Cold-infused Stumptown coffee provides an invigorating richness.
Split Shot will warm and sustain through spring’s cool evenings, and the combination of coffee and stout will definitely keep your attention.
5.6% ABV, 28 IBU Available: January – March on Draft and in 22oz bottles & 12oz Six-Packs
Loser Pale Ale
Loser remembers it all. At least the good parts. Loser remembers the days when you used to run into members of all the bands around town and in the clubs, catching each other’s shows. Loser’s lucky he survived himself, with all the slam dancing, stage diving and crowd surfing he used to do. Could have broken his neck. Got kicked out of clubs, but always seemed to weasel his way back in.
Seattle was the city back then, before Portland, before Brooklyn, before Oakland. Okay, after Minneapolis. Loser laughed when long stocking caps and Royal Stuart shirttails found their way into the New York Times style pages, when Nirvana was on Saturday Night Live and Teen Spirit blew their whole year’s ad budget on a single spot. When Kurt Cobain wore his “Corporate Magazines Suck” shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone, and when he updated it a while later, on another RS cover. Those were the days. So are these.
Loser is a 7% ABV pale ale, bittered with Sorachi Ace and Crystal hops from Washington and available in six-packs, classic 22-ounce bottles and on draft throughout Elysian’s distribution network.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.