Hops spring eternal on a snowy day in Seattle

Local Breweries Announce Release of Spring Seasonals

When I awoke this morning, I discovered that it had snowed over night. Not unusual given the time of year, really. Not the fun kind of snow that keeps people home from work and kids home from school, but the kind of snow that is little more than a pain in the neck: the kind of snow that makes you dream of spring.

When I awoke this morning I also discovered a press release in my inbox from one of our local breweries announcing the release of their spring seasonal beer. This was the third such press release I received in the past three weeks. All three press releases are below.


On December 22nd Elysian Brewing announced the pending release of Bête Blanche, its spring seasonal offering. Then, on December 28th, I received an email announcing the release of Outburst Imperial IPA, the spring seasonal offering from Pyramid Breweries. Today, the Pike Brewery announces the release of its spring seasonal: Pike Double IPA.

On a cold, wintry day, I suppose this provides some hope.

Here’s the press release from Pike Brewing:

SEATTLE, WA – January 10, 2011 — The Pike Brewing Company celebrates the New Year with the early release of their Spring seasonal, Pike Double IPA.

Originally brewed to commemorate the 1st Annual Seattle Beer Week in May 2009, Pike Double IPA is a reflection of Washington State terroir. Our state is a veritable “hop nirvana”; we are the World’s second largest hop producer.

In 1991, Pike was among the first breweries in America to brew an India Pale Ale. Hopped at 60 IBUs, our IPA reflected the hopping levels of the 18th Century. At the time it was a palate shocker! In his book “300 Beers to Try Before You Die,” Roger Protz, the noted British beer writer, chose it as a classic example of the Northwest style.

When we introduced Pike Double IPA, it was our answer to the Northwest’s trend to test the limits at even higher levels of bitterness. At 80 International Bittering Units, it is hopped with Yakima Valley Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, and Cascade, and dry hopped with Washington Amarillo and Palisades. It delivers a rich bouquet of herbal flowers followed by the dry, crisp, evergreen and citrus character of humulus lupulus (hops) on the palate. This hop elixir is balanced with a smooth, biscuity, earthy malt flavor from a variety of five different malts.

Technical Details:
OG = original gravity = 1.076
TG = terminal gravity = 1.016
Alc./Vol 8%
Target IBUs 80

Like other Pike beers our Double IPA is food-friendly with just the right balance of floral hop and biscuity malt. It is unfiltered to preserve all the wonderful hop character and aroma.

Here’s the press release from Pyramid Breweries:


SEATTLE, WA – December 28, 2010 – Pyramid Breweries welcomes Outburst Imperial IPA as its new spring seasonal. After debuting in early 2010 as the second offering in Pyramid’s limited-availability, draft-only Ignition Series, this dry-hopped IPA is poised to introduce itself to a wider geography of better-beer drinkers.

A crafty combination of four different hops along with a dose of dry-hopping powers Outburst to 80 IBU strong. Its bold profile offers an aroma reminiscent of the Northwest hop fields at harvest time, along with spicy overtones of fresh citrus. Seeking a harmonious balance to the hop overload, four different specialty malts are blended to create a distinctive deep amber hue, and sweet caramel and roasty flavors.

“Brewed with an astonishing four pounds of hops per barrel, Outburst is a fantastic beer,” said Simon Pesch, Head Brewer at Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley. ”This recipe has been fine tuned for years, and after several refinements and a great launch as part of our Ignition Series, many more hopheads can enjoy the bold taste and complex balance of Outburst this spring.”

Outburst will be available from February – March, leading the charge for Pyramid’s 2011 seasonal line-up, including: Curve Ball® Blonde Ale, summer; Juggernaut® Red Ale, fall; and, Snow Cap® Winter Warmer, winter. Outburst is available on draft, in 12oz and 22oz bottles, 6-packs, 12-packs, and as the seasonal guest in the Winter Variety 12-pack – alongside of Haywire® Hefeweizen , Apricot™ Ale, and ThunderHead® IPA.

Availability: February – March
Style: Imperial IPA
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Caramel, and Carared
Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Centennial, and Simcoe
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 80

Pyramid invites one-and-all to celebrate the launch of Outburst at the Alehouse launch parties: January 18 in Berkeley, CA and January 20 in Seattle, WA.  For additional party details, and to RSVP, please visit Pyramid’s Facebook page and locate information under the Events tab.

Here’s the press release from Elysian Brewing:

Press Release – December 22, 2010 — Elysian releases new spring seasonal.

Elysian’s deceptive and delicious new spring seasonal will be hitting shelves February 1, 2011. If you’ve visited the Elysian pubs over the years, you may have tried “The Bitch,” but this is the first time she will make her way to retail shelves.

BÊTE BLANCHE Belgian-style Tripel is extremely drinkable, blonde and somewhat treacherous. Brewed from Pale malt with Belgian candy sugar in the boil. Bittering with German Northern Brewer and finished with Styrian Goldings hops: fermented with Belgian Ale yeas. 7.5% ABV.

THE NAME: A twist on the French expression “Bête Noire,” Bête Blanche means white beast.

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