Seattle, WA - In a few short days we will be rid of January and its rain, cold, and threats of snow. This isn’t to say that it’s not been a ‘treat’. On the contrary for the beer enthusiast at large it’s given us such enjoyable moments as Belgianfest, Latona Pub’s Winter Beer Series releases by Big Time and Naked City, and this weekend Pike’s Annual Old Bawdy Barley Wine vertical tasting.
To the acolyte this is the another year to avoid reaching into that cellar to see if you should’ve waited one more year to crack that prized bottle open. It's also another year to see the maturity of one of the most unappreciated, style of ales out there, the barley wine.
Starting at 1:00 p.m. PST you are encouraged yet again to partake five year’s worth of Old Bawdy, starting with the oldest from 2006 before you complete your journey on 2010.
Those of you that saw that year (2006) designation might be wondering why someone would serve up a beer that is over 5 years old. The truth is, beer does age the minute it leaves the brewery and rests on a shelf or in a keg, the beer is still continuously aging. Some beers like your light lagers or low alcohol ales (mostly ambers, porters, stouts, and blondes, or even ipas) are best consumed fresh if not no later than a few weeks. Others such as the barley wine can be allowed to rest in one’s basement, provided you dismiss your expectations that the beer will maintain the same flavor (and possibly even aroma) that the beer first produce those many months prior.
Enter the vertical tasting, an opportunity for you the consumer to compare your memories of this (Old Bawdy) year’s with years gone past. Who knows, you might find that you prefer a five year old Barley Wine over this year’s.
For those of you who have continued questions regarding what a Barley Wine is read what the Brewer’s Association had to say …
British-style barley wines range from tawny copper to dark brown in color and have a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by the perception of low to medium bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may be minimal to medium. English type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. Caramel and some characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, may be considered positive. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperature
American style barley wines range from amber to deep copper-garnet in color and have a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by assertive bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor are at medium to very high levels. American type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Very low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. A caramel and/or toffee aroma and flavor are often part of the character. Characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, are not generally acceptable in American-style Barley Wine Ale, however if a low level of age-induced oxidation character harmonizes and enhances the overall experience this can be regarded favorably. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures
About Pike Old Bawdy Barleywine
Seattle's history of lusty beer dates to Pioneer days when the local population was made up primarily of men. Bawdy houses abounded and by the time naughty Nellie Curtis established the La Salle Hotel, this "city on the sound" reverberated with echoes of fun and frolic. The La Salle, where Pike Brewery was established in 1989, was the last of Seattle's infamous "bawdy houses." Pike's Old Bawdy Vertical Tasting is an annual toast to commemorate Nellie Curtis and her ladies of pleasure.
For those who have elected to continue reading we only have to say this, get your tickets before Sunday the 30th. After that time any tickets left will be on a first-come, first-served availability. Plus if you are a member of WABL (Washington Association of Beer Lovers) or The Pike Club, your RSVP by 1/29 will be rewarded with a $15 ticket cost (compared to $25 for non-members). For more information and to reserve your spot contact Tara at (206) 812-6604.
Sunday January 30th, 2011 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM PST $15 - $20 (Members) $25 for non-members.
Pike Old Bawdy Verical 2006 – 2010, The Museum Room at The Pike Pub
1415 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98101
Charles and Rose Ann Finkel founded the Pike Brewing Company in 1989 in the La Salle Hotel in the Pike Place Public Market. In 1996 they moved Pike to its current location on First Avenue between Pike and Union and opened the Pike Pub. The Pub features local, sustainable pub fare. Housed within the Pub is the Pike Microbrewery Museum.