A recount of the delightfully hoppy affair at the Parkway Tavern, showcasing the Northwest’s best IPAs and some unique BBQ
I’ve long had a love affair with the Parkway Tavern. I remember the humble beginnings of what would become one of the premier taprooms in the South Sound, before the glorious mahogany bar and zebra safari room, when you could count the taps on one hand and touch the low popcorn ceilings with the other. Hell, The Parkway provided the keg of Boundary Bay IPA for my wedding a few years back. But this is not a write up on the Parkway, we’ll save that for a long weekend when we can hit most of the menu and all of the taps. This is a thread about the glory that is the annual IPA fest. Love and Hoppiness.
The 6th annual IPA fest kicked off in a big way this Saturday with teeming throngs of hop heads waiting in line for their chance to challenge their taste buds with a relentless assault of IBUs and alcohol. The lineup was impressive this year, containing such notables as the Dogfishead 120 Minute IPA and Racer 5 Mach 10; the first will set you back a pretty penny at the rare store that carries it, and the latter is nearly impossible to find. These and more than 40 others were being poured at the bar and in a tent set up behind.
Equally important…okay, nearly as important is the huge BBQ trailer spewing meaty smoke for the neighboring retirement housing to salivate over. The evening’s fare consisted of Tri-Tip Steak, Pulled Pork and Chicken with SPAM sandwiches all served with grilled onions on a deli style roll. They complimented the IPAs, especially with the homemade jalepeno infused BBQ sauce that left your mouth sizzling for the next twenty minutes. There is also something to be said about the red-checkered paper serving trays, I think it makes all things BBQ’ed taste so much better.
Clearly everyone had a blast! Now, back to beers. The following were a few that stuck out (to Adam), below that is a more comprehensive list as well . Let us know if you agree, disagree or would like to grab one of these tasty delights to argue over… just beware, Derrick was an award winning beer reviewer!
Chuckanut British: light, front of the mouth flavor, watery after taste, an ipa for the non-ipa lover. Seriously, this was a tasty, light IPA and when I say the “ipa for the non-ipa lover” I honestly think that… too bad I love IPA. I was a little disappointed. I suppose the brew master has been taking too many long drives on Chuckanut Drive.
Double Mountain Molten Lava: Smokey, charcoal, amber with hops, complex flavor, easily drinkable. This might have been one of the most surprising drinks of the night. The smokey flavor was at the forefront of the flavor but it had such a smooth finish I could see sitting down with a few friends and a few more Double Mountain Molten Lavas.
Indica IPA: Citrusy, sweet and smooth. Did someone make a creamscicle IPA? I would have assumed it was just another beer, but it clearly wasn’t! What a great glass of beer. Sweet but not over the top, hoppy but well balanced with malt. I feel like it would be perfect for a sunny August afternoon. Oh, wait.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute: bold, thick, malty, syrupy, floral tones and smooth, coated whole mouth. I know, I said I love IPA’s but this is for novelty sake. I know I’m probably not hipster enough to drink a pint of this, but I couldn’t. One ounce was tasty, two ounces were tastebud stifling and any more was too much. I guess it’s time to go back to my tall boy of Rainier.
Port Townsend Grimace w/Lavender: light floral flavor, citrus and lavender tones, back of the tongue lingering. I was surprised by this lavender IPA. I had a chamomile ale at a tasting once and I thought I was going to lose my lunch… but this was delightful! This seemed to be a light version of the Indica IPA from Lost Coast Brewing.
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’: Secondary subtle sweet tone, hard candy, red bull-eske, soapy when warm. This was an odd beer. Try taking a Red Bull and a Killian’s Irish Red and mixing them… and then you’d get the Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’. You might also get a puddle of vomit.
Bear Republic Racer 5 Mach 10: light and hoppy. I like Bear Republic beers. Nestled in the heart of some of the best wine and food in California, Healdsburg is a fantastic place that I would live in a heart beat. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and the Mach 10 is another reason to add to that list. Time to pack my bags!
Here’s a mostly complete list with some brief notes on those we remember having (in bold):
2 Beers Evolutionary IPA. Seattle, WA. ABV 6.2%, IBU 70
7 Seas Rude Parrot. Gig Harbor, WA. ABV 5.85%, IBU 75
Airways Sky Hag. Kent, WA ABV 7.8%, IBU 99
American Breakaway. Edmonds, WA ABV 7.2%, IBU 90
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’. Boonville, CA ABV 7%, IBU 80 - secondary subtle sweet tone, hard candy, red bull-eske, when warm soapy
Bear Republic Racer 5 Mach 10. Healsdburg, CA ABV 9.2% IBU 100+ light and hoppy
Beer Valley Delta 9. Ontario, OR - Sharp nose, a bit skunky; flavorful and crisp, a touch herbal, a surprise.
Boulder Hoopla. Boulder, CO ABV 5.7%
Chuckanut British. Bellingham, WA. ABV 4.5%, IBU 45 - light, front of the mouth flavor, watery after taste, an ipa for the non-ipa lover; more of an amber or pale, very malty. A new brewery in the ‘Ham, they have some ground to make up if they plan on catching Boundary Bay.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute. Milton, DE. ABV 15-20%, IBU 120 - bold, thick, malty, syrupy, floral tones and smooth, coated whole mouth
Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial. Lyons, CO ABV 10%, IBU 100 - syrupy, malty, residual vomit taste, acidic ending
Fishtale Cask Colypso Dry Hop. Olympia, WA. ABV 6.7%, IBU 42
Firestone Walker Union Jack. Paso Robles, CA. ABV 7.5%, IBU 72
Flyer’s Afterburner. Oak Harbor, WA. ABV 7.5%
Fremont Interurban. Seattle, WA. ABV 7.5%
Green Flash West Coast. San Diego, CA. ABV 7%, IBU 95
Harmon Oak Aged Pt. Defiance. Tacoma, WA. ABV 6.1%, IBU 70
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. Petaluma, CA. ABV 8% - light, slightly bitter
Laughing Dog IPA. Sandpoint, ID. - hoppy, clean, dry, super carbonated
Left Coast Hop Juice Double. San Clemente, CA. ABV 9.7% - thick malts don’t mask the high alcohol, hops are citrusy and prevalent, but this is definitely a malt bomb.
Mac ‘n’ Jack’s Two Tun. Redmond, WA. ABV 6.9%, IBU 70 - malty, clear, light, similar to African amber, commercial
Mad River Steelhead Double. Blue Lake, CA. ABV 8.6% - boring, malty, carbonated and forgettable
Midnight Sun Sockeye Red. Anchorage, AK. ABV 5.7%, IBU 70
Mt. Shasta Mountain High. Weed, CA. ABV 7%, IBU 62
Naked City Hoptrocity. Seattle, WA. ABV 9%
Oakshire Watershed. Eugene, OR. ABV 7.1%, IBU 75
Port Brewing Wipeout. San Marcos, CA. ABV 7%
Port Townsend Grimace w/Lavendar. Pt. Townsend, WA. ABV 6.3% - light floral flavor, citrus and lavender tones, back of the tongue lingering
Snoqualmie Plant 1 Powerhouse Double. Snoqualmie, WA. ABV 7.5%
Southern Oregon Nice Rack. Medford, OR. ABV 5.5%
Stone Ruination. Escondido, CA. ABV 6.7%, IBU 100+ - syrupy, not too hoppy, bitter but mid floral nose,
Widmer Nelson Imperial. Portland, OR. ABV 8.6%, IBU 70 - one dimensional, grapefruity, bitter finish
Boneyard RPM. Bend, OR. ABV 7.5%
Caldera. Ashland, OR. ABV 6.1%, IBU 94
Double Mountain Molten Lava. Hood River, OR. ABV 9%, IBU 95 - smokey charole, amber with hops, complex flavor, easily drinkable
Everybody’s Country Boy. White Salmon, WA. ABV 6.2%, IBU 80
Fearless Mjolnir. Estacada, OR. ABV 6.9%, IBU 103
Avery IPA. Boulder, CO. ABV 6.5%, IBU 69 - A fantastic brewery that got a bit lost here amongst the über IPAs.