The Friday Beer

Paul Gibson / For KPLU

Here in the Great Pacific Northwest the days are getting longer, the temperature is on the rise and we are finally starting to see some sun. We’re not out of the iffy spring weather yet but soon we’ll be grilling on the BBQ, lounging on beaches and looking for pubs that have outside seating.

A hefeweizen is a great summer time beer and the Widmer Hefeweizen is one worth trying.

Paul Gibson

Road trip! Nothing beats a road trip to get you out of a routine. Road trips present an opportunity to try new breweries, explore new pubs and meet new people. A recent trip to Bend, Ore provided just the change of scenery I needed. Out of lowland Seattle up into the high desert of Central Oregon. While in Bend I had the opportunity to visit Deschutes, Boneyard and 10 Barrel. Great beers and great people all around.

Pictured here is the 10 Barrel ISA. It's their India Session Ale. A bit lower on the alcohol and very drinkable with great citrusy aroma.

Paul Gibson

A few weeks ago we had a post about Russian River's Pliny the Elder and if you investigated the brewery you may have learned about their very limited release of Pliny the Younger. The Younger is a super hopped up version of an already hoppy beer.

Only a small amount of the Younger is brewed each year and it is yearned for by hop heads everywhere. But, it's a small batch brew and only a lucky few actually get a taste before it's all gone … and then people complain about not getting any. They kvetch that it never made it to their city or how the keg was finished in an hour.

Hence Big Time Brewery came up with its response to that unmet desire: The super hoppy Whiny the Complainer.

Paul Gibson

What's that? Pliny is on tap? Let's go get some! I'm sure those words have been spoken many, many times. Pliny the Elder is one of those beers that has taken on a cult-like following. People go crazy for it.

Over at Beeradovate, it rates a perfect 100.

Paul Gibson

2011 was a good year for beer drinkers. We saw a huge growth in new breweries, experimental ales and carefully crafted draft lists at bars and restaurants. I'm always on the lookout for something new to try but sometimes, during special occasions, you want to go with what you know. Stick with something you trust.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

In spirit of 11/11/11, last night I decided to pick up a bottle of Stone Brewing's latest release in their Vertical Epic series and crack it open at midnight.

Brewed with Anaheim Chilies, cinnamon sticks, and Belgian Flanders Golden Ale yeast (providing pretty intense clove and banana overtones), this beer is hard to categorize.

Paul Gibson

When I heard this particular version was cask conditioned and then delivered in a keg I was intrigued. I've liked the big bold hops I've had in previous Whoop Pass pours and this one did not disappoint.

Paul Gibson

For many, the month of October means falling leaves, ghosts and goblins and pumpkins on doorsteps. It also brings the release of a number of pumpkin beers.

A recent find here in Seattle was Big Time Brewing Company's Hopgoblin Pumpkin Ale.