With 2015 thankfully in the rear-view mirror, we have all of 2016 to look forward to. And of course here at Beer Hunting we have one thing on our minds: What new local beers are on the horizon? To find out, we checked in with a few of our favorite breweries in Seattle to see what we can expect to come out in the next month or three.
Fremont Brewing founder Matt Lincecum says his brewery is working on two new IPAs right now, both utilizing a top-secret hop (so top-secret he can’t even tell me its name) and both of which he is excited about: a Triple IPA set to debut for Hop Mob (more info below) and an IPA called Dark Heron, which will be adorned with superhero art.
In addition to these new beers, Fremont also recently expanded to a new 80,000-square-foot location currently under construction off Leary Way in Ballard. When it is completely up and running, Lincecum says, the original Fremont location will be used for more experimenting and playing around with new and unique recipes.
Just up the road from the Fremont facility is the Schilling Cider tap house. Onsite they have been experimenting with a nitro coffee cider they’ve named Grumpy Bear that’s 20 percent cold-brew coffee—a single-origin Guatemalan dark roast. The creamy cider, which will be available in cans this spring, is made with more than a thousand pounds of coffee per 600-gallon batch.
The cider is big, popping with flavor, its body almost like a Guinness’s but with more nose-tickling carbonation. The subtle sweetness is pleasant and the overall complexity impressive. In addition to the coffee cider, Schilling is also working on a few other concoctions, including a lemongrass-agave cider for summer.
Keeping with the nitro theme, Georgetown Brewery has recently put a nitro brown ale on tap in its South Seattle tasting room. And, says co-founder Manny Chao, “Bodhizafa is kind of our new big-deal IPA for 2016.” It’s a subtler IPA, lighter and less bitter than their signature Lucille IPA.
Ballard’s Stoup Brewery is having a tap-room release on January 19 for its new Hey MarsAle, brewed in conjunction with the January release of the new album from Seattle orchestral-pop outfit Hey Marseilles. The beer is said to be a “classic” and “malt-forward” amber that brings “beer harmony.”
Finally, dozens of breweries will participate in Hop Mob this year, including Reuben’s Brews, Tacoma Brewing, Populuxe, and Cloudburst. The event is exclusively for Triple IPAs, a huge, hoppy, and often malty style of beer. After the Brouwer’s Cafe kickoff on Feb. 4, the event will travel all over the state, from Kirkland’s Flatstick Pub to Seattle’s The Bergschrund to Leavenworth’s Der Hinterhof. For a complete list of events, check out wahopmob.com.
Jake Uitti delivers the latest in beer and brew culture every other week. If you know something he should know, e-mail email@example.com.