NW Peaks Brewery

Snowfield 2012

Snowfield Peak at sundown. Photo by MT Orr

The name. The mountain. With a name like Snowfield, we couldn’t resist naming our winter beer after it. Additionally, Snowfield is a mountain that takes more effort and time to climb. While it weighs in at a mere 8,347′ and Washington’s 90th highest peak, it stands 6,500′ above the Pyramid Lake trailhead with multiple ‘ups and downs’ and glaciers en route. The Pyramid Lake trailhead is right off hwy 20 just S of Diablo dam. While the trail is nothing to write home about, once into the Colonial basin views are truly spectacular with the whole N Cascades park within view and Snowfield a half day’s hard work from there. But we digress, we just loved that climb so much, just like the beer, that we could ramble on forever.

The Beer.This is our third season of the Snowfield. We used the same ingredients, but played with the ratios and yeast.  This winter, we pulled back on the crystal malts and hops (don’t worry there’s still plenty in there!) and increased the chocolate malts.  We also changed to a British yeast. The result is a malty and rich chocolately winter beer balanced by the ever-present centennial hop flavor. While not a heavy hitter in ABV for winter beers (6.5%) Snowfield 2012 is still a full bodied chocolaty beer, perfect to warm you up on a dark winter evening.

Malts: ESB, chocolate, honey, crystal. Hops: centennial. ABV: ~6.5%

Summit Pan of Eldorado et al. to the South. Equally stunning views to the N, W, and E. photo by K.C. Klein