image courtesy our Flickr page Who doesn't love beer? Whether it's a pitcher of an under-priced domestic or a pint of a local beer from the home brewer (turned professional Brewmaster). Which means you also recall the first time you 'over did it'. We’ve all done it at some point in our adult lives. Whether it’s six shots of Jager, one too many car bombs, or saying yes to the third pitcher of PBR, it happens.

Which is why you are smarter, more experienced, and most of all cautious. Which is the reason we are talking to the other you, the irresponsible, forgetful, you. The one that doesn't think mixing Tieton Cider, shots of Four Rose's Single Barrel, and a pint of Boneyard RPM IPA, is a big deal. The one who says that breakfast is best enjoyed at 4 AM, when you have come down from your last can of Red Bull.

Ladies and Gentlemen we present to you the Brouwer's Cafe Hard Liver Barleywine Fest. Featuring over 60 American-style & English-style Barleywines, the festival has been a mainstay for those that think wine is best at the end of a word with barley in front of it.

Ok genius, what the heck is a barleywine?

According to the Brewers Association an English-style Barleywine is ...

British-style barley wines range from tawny copper to dark brown in color. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. They have a full body and a high residual malty sweetness. Perception of hop bitterness is low to medium. English type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Hop aroma and flavor may be very low to medium. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and balanced with the high alcohol content. 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.

While the BA prefers to call an American-style (or as we call it a Barleywine) ...

American-style barley wine ales range from amber to deep red/copper-garnet in color. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. A caramel and/or toffee aroma and flavor are often part of the malt character and high residual malty sweetness. Hop bitterness is high. Hop aroma and flavor are at medium to very high levels. American type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Complexity of alcohols is evident. Fruity-ester characters are often high. Very low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. This is a full bodied beer. Characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, are not generally acceptable in American-style barleywine ales, however if a low level of age-induced oxidation character harmonizes and enhances the overall experience this can be regarded favorably.

With me so far? Good.

Saturday March 23rd, 2013 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM *or until the beers are gone, whichever comes first
Brouwer’s Cafe presents Hard Liver Barleywine Fest 2013
400 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103

This year Matt Bonney, Matt Vandenberghe, and Nat Pellman; are happy to announce a partial list of what's to come this Saturday March 23rd. Rather than simply list every beer that the ‘Cafe is anticipating I have elected to call out some specific beers that are worth trying.

image sourced from Brouwer's CafeAlaska

  • Alaskan Rough Trade Barleywine 2009 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Anchorage Deal with the Devil
  • Glacier Old Woody *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.

California

  • Anchor Old Foghorn 2012
  • Beachwood Annihilator 2012 *new entry
  • Black Diamond Dried up Old Geezer 2012
  • Firestone Walker Abacus 2011 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Firestone Walker Sucaba 2013 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Green Flash/Cigar City Candela Rye 2012
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2007 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2009 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2010 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine 2011(x2) *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Lost Abbey Angel’s Share 2012(Bourbon?) *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2011 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.

Oregon

  • Beer Valley Highway to Ale 2012
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead 2012 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • HOD Doggie Claws 2012 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Laurelwood Barrel Aged Old Reliable 2012
  • Lompoc Old Tavern Rat 2012 *highly recommended
  • Ninkasi Wheatwine 2012
  • Pelican Stormwatcher

Washington

  • Anacortes Old Sebastes 2012 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Big Al Ol #1 2012
  • Black Raven Old Birdbrain 2012
  • Boundary Bay Old Bounder 2012
  • Fremont Old Bridge Rider 2012
  • Naked City Old Proper 2013
  • Snipes Fifth World Apocalypse 2012

Montana / Colorado

  • Big Sky Old Bluehair 2012 *previous winning brewery at Hardliver Barleywine Fest.
  • Boulder Mortimer Barrel 2012
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian 2010
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian 2012

Ok so maybe my list is bigger than yours. But you should also know that this list is subject to change and also subject to addition. In fact if check back on Brouwer’s Cafe’s website you will find the latest draft list, when they update it.

Call in that designated driver favor, tell your friends that your actions will not be your own, because Hard Liver is coming and you can’t resist a good barleywine!

Cheers

About the photo’s author

Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.

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