Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 21, 2014 at 10:05am

BEER WEEKEND: Hops of March, Cask Beer Festival, Sunday Sampler ...

Harmon Brewery unleashes its Hops of March IPA to pair with your NCAA hoops viewing.

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SATURDAY, MARCH 22

Hop head. Sounds like a euphemism for a speed addict, no? Or a professional pogo stick stunt artist. Maybe a bunny-loving furry. Well, it's none of those things. Hops go in beer, and hop heads like 'em bitter. Meet some Saturday, March 22 when the Harmon Brewery releases its Hops of March. Ridding the wave of enthusiasm for our Tournament of Burgers, or more likely the March Madness college hoops tourney, Harmon brewmasters Jeff Carlson and Jesse Holder will, once again, release its Hops of March IPA. Every March, Harmon releases this hoppy IPA, but rotates the hops. This year, the hops varieties of Magnum, Amarillo, Rainier, Columbus and Horizon - M.A.R.C.H. - were brewed with five malted barleys to give this medium- to full-bodied IPA (8.2 percent ABV, 101 IBUs) a brown color similar to a basketball. Nothing but the bottom of the pint, baby! Drink it up at one of its four houses of beer.

7 Seas Brewing will unleash its new fancy glass growler made in Germany at 11 a.m. Saturday. Fresh Northwest Design in Gig Harbor decorated them, which are priced at $60 and come with a coupon for $2 off your next growler fill.

As opposed to most kegged beer, cask-conditioned ale is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and naturally carbonated by secondary fermentation inside the cask. It's a very traditional British method employed not widely used by American brewers. Those who make cask-conditioned beers in this state will gather Saturday at the Seattle Center for the Washington Cask Beer Festival, a fundraiser for the Washington Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization that helped squash the state's proposal to drastically raise beer excise tax last year. It's a huge affair, broken into two sessions: noon to 4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. The $40 admission fee includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 beer samples. Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the doors only.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23

Judging Saturday's beer calendar, you might want to bring it down a notch Sunday. Pint Defiance continues its popular Sunday Sampler series, this week offering tastings of low-ABV brews with flavor. From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., flights of four 4-ounce pours will be served for the cost of a normal pint.

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