March mountainBeers – Esmeralda Ale and Magic Brown
NWP growlers only (i.e. prefilled pallas to go; not on draft):
Normal Tap room/tasting hours are:
Kegs and other Beer to go Mon-Sat; call for appointment.
The name. The mountain. Magic is situated right off of Cacade pass (near Sahale), but it is just S and E from the pass rising above Trapper Lake. I climbed Magic Mtn on the front end of a week long trip, on the famous Ptarmigan Traverse – one of the most traveled alpine climbing traverses. The day trip to Cascade Pass is certainly one of the “must go to” areas of the N Cascades, with several options for continuing the trip, including over to Magic and it’s environs.
The beer. Magic Brown fits the schizophrenic March Seattle weather perfectly. It is dark and malty for the cold/wet, but it’s body is light enough that it will be great on a warmer day as well. Unlike the typical “brown,” we built this brown up to have some more residual malt character by adding some extra munich, caramunich, and other specialty malts, but keeping the overall alcohol content and roast character down.
Malt: ESB, Special B, Crystal, muncih, caramunich, carafa 2, flaked. Hops: Apollo, golding. British ale yeast.
The name. The mountain. Esmeralda is located in the Teanaway River drainage just S of Ingalls peak and SW of Mt Stuart – one of our favorite areas. It’s on the other side of the Teanaway River from its beastly neighbors and is a much easier approach/climb than that of it’s neighbors. The “class 2″ trek to the summit offers some great views of the massive Mt Stuart and the Stuart range and is part of a great loop for a day hike.
The story of two experiences. Because of its popularity from past renditions, we bring Esmeralda Ale back for another late winter mountainBeer. Of course it is always fun (or not) to remember the comedy of errors that was our first batch brewed on our current system (Esmeralda Ale), while now we have everything dialed in.
The Beer. Esmeralda is one of our ‘adjunct’ beers for March. The adjuncts in Esmeralda are corn and molasses that create a unique character. The corn provides a nice sweetness and smoothness and complements the molasses notes. Esmeralda was fermented with an English ale yeast adding a smooth fruity flavor on top. With very little few hop notes, the slight grain sweetness and dark sugar properties are uniquely featured.
Malts: ESB, munich, corn, special B, biscuit, carafa 2. Hops: Apollo and Goldings. Fermented with British Ale yeast. OG/TG 1.058/1.016 ~5.5% ABV
The Name. The mountain. Early Morning Spire is set in a magical location of the Eldorado, Inspiration, and Mcallister glaciers. It is actually situated slightly off the glaciers in Marble cirque. Early Morning Spire offers great rock climbing in a remote place, so remote that it is best to take 3-4 days to climb (the approach is via Eldorado – nearly summiting – over a col into the marble cirque). While it has great rock routes, Early Morning spire can be done as a scramble, although getting from the glacier to solid rock might be treacherous depending on conditions. The name derives itself from a group that had to bivy near the summit (cold, unprepared), which caused them to summit just after first light.
The Espresso. We made this an espresso stout so what better name than Early Morning Espresso Stout – two of our favorite beverages made into one. We collaborated with one of our great customers – Seattle Coffee Works (Ballard Coffee Works) who puts out one of the finest products in the Seattle area. In the end, we chose to use their Emerald City toddy – delicious by itself - to accentuate the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
The Beer. Early Morning Espresso Stout was brewed to feature the coffee from Seattle coffee works. The base beer has a mild roast character, low body, and slight sweetness to support the espresso. The espresso flavor is at the forefront and brings in minimal acidity and coffee astringency. Instead, the cold toddy really adds to the flavor and aroma of the beer without contributing any harshness or excessive acidity. The result is a 5% ABV smooth, light bodied, light roasty stout with a great espresso flavor and aroma. Watch out, there will be a lot more caffeine in a pint than other versions, making it a great choice to have at first light.
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