Friday, November 21, 2014

Deep Thaw Winter Warmer

Yes, we just touted our Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout a couple of days ago, but it's already time for the release of our Deep Thaw Winter Warmer.  Winter Warmer beers used to be released for the Christmas/Chanukah season, but as with everything that someone is selling, someone keeps pushing the envelope and pretty soon someone will be releasing a winter warmer on the Fourth of July.  But for now, we are holding the line to releasing it in time for Thanksgiving.  It will make an appearance in the Tap Room tonight and will be available for delivery to your favorite beer spot early next week.  In anticipation, here is the description with a side of tasting notes.

Deep Thaw Winter Warmer – It will remind you of sitting in front of a fire on a cold, snowing night. It will make you think of Grandma in the kitchen cooking gingersnaps. The middle of winter. Deep Thaw is one of those ales that will warm you from tongue to your toes. Taking your first sniff and sip of Deep Thaw, you’ll be serenaded by the malty undertones of a caramel sweetness quickly balanced by a slight hop bitterness. When it’s all said and done, you’ll find the finish to be clean and silky smooth. Sweet, subtle, and smooth are just a few ways to describe Deep Thaw Winter Warmer.
I.B.U. – 39 / A.B.V. – 8.3% 

Tasting Notes:
Appearance: beautiful chestnut brown with a beige head. 

Aroma: sweet caramel, spicy rye, fresh baked bread, raisin like fruitiness, herbal hops  

Flavor: spicy rye, herbal hops balance sweet caramel and bready malts. Finishing bitterness is slightly resinous. Fruitiness is subtle throughout. 

Mouthfeel: medium full. 

Overall: rich malty flavors and a warming alcoholic strength take center stage. Spicy rye malt and herbal/resinous hops add complexity and balance. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout

Cold weather brings lots of things - frozen windshields, fewer chances to be outside, sometimes cabin fever - but it also brings skiing, boarding, cyclocross bike racing, inviting fireplaces AND the release of some damn fine winter beers. For us, that includes our Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout and our Deep Thaw Winter Warmer. First up, Midnight Marmot.

We just started pouring it in the Tap Room and it is is showing up at fine establishments all over our region starting this week. Keep an eye out for this delicious little creature. Here is the description:

Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout

What do you expect from a great stout? A rich, full-bodied beer with espresso and chocolate tones filling your glass. What do you expect from the Midnight Marmot? A mysterious presence of strength. What happens when you combine these things? A normal stout is transformed into a powerful elixir full of extraordinary flavors. A normal stout has the hops and alcohol amped up to fuel the exploits of a crime-fighting superhero for our modern age. In short, even though it’s pint sized, it packs a punch you won’t soon forget. Look for the Imperial Stout on a draft handle in fine establishments. Look for the Midnight Marmot in the dark shadows. One you will find; one you will not. 32” tall. 59 IBU. 8.6% ABV.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

AB Inbev Buys 10 Barrel Brewing

Every once in a while, the landscape shifts in an industry.  Hybrid cars and Tesla's success indicate a shift that we will see play out over a long period of time in the car industry.  Obviously PC and smartphones have created tectonic shifts in the technology industry that have been playing out over the last three decades.  And this week, we heard about another one of those shifts - not the first indication and far from the last, but the beer giant, AB Inbev, the owner of Budweiser beer (among many, many more), purchased a relatively small, boutique brand in Bend, Oregon called 10 Barrel Brewing.

A few commentators have likened this to the Death Star annexing Luke Skywalker's home planet - that it can't end well and it might well be blown up before it's all over - but I think it shows that AB Inbev just took a really smart step in the vein of "if you can't beat them, join them."  And I don't think it's "if you can't beat them, subvert them" either; I think it's more, along the lines of "the train is pulling out of the station, let's get on and see where it goes."  I'm not an industry expert and can't quote the numbers, but I do know that craft beer continues to pull in customers and that the mainstay brands of prior generations are continuing to lose market share.  Along the way there have been some tone-deaf responses, like one of the Coors family basically saying, "I don't understand why people want to drink beer with all that flavor instead of good old fashioned beer like we've been making for a couple of generations."  On the other hand, Coors was also the creator of that well known microbrew imitator, Blue Moon.

Similarly, the Bud crew has taken some odd steps and I think fundamentally missed the ethos behind the small, local brewery movement at times.  One example, for years the local Budweiser distributors were functionally blocked from carrying the local brands, but that has changed and is changing.  Clearly their investment in Redhook and Widmer showed their interest and opened up their network to craft beers.  I think that the purchase of 10 Barrel is another, and different, step that indicates a long-term shift in the industry that will play out over many years to come.  The small, local brewery isn't going away, but then again, neither is the 800 pound gorilla brewery.  It will be an interesting dance to watch.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Midnight Marmot

Today is the day - It's the public release of Midnight Marmot Day at the brewery.  Oh sure, we started pouring it last Thursday at the Tap Room, the same day we put it in kegs, but TODAY is the day it goes to the distributor which means that anytime immediately after it is possible for it to start showing up in your favorite bar, restaurant, watering hole, dive, foodery or whatever.

Ask for it by name.  Drink your fair share before it's gone.  And look for the helping hand of the Midnight Marmot in the dark streets of Spokane.

Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout - What do you expect from a great stout?  A rich, full-bodied beer with espresso and chocolate tones filling your glass.  What do you expect from the Midnight Marmot?  A mysterious presence of strength.

What happens when you combine these things?  A normal stout is transformed into a powerful elixir full of extraordinary flavors.  A normal stout that has the hops and alcohol amped up to fuel the exploits of a crime-fighting superhero for our modern age.  In short, even though it’s pint sized, it packs a punch you won’t soon forget.  Look for the Imperial Stout on a draft handle in fine establishments.  Look for the Midnight Marmot in the dark shadows.  One you will find; one you will not.  32” tall.  59 IBU.  8.6% ABV.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back From The Dead And Bigger Than Ever

In the 80's, when many craft beer drinkers were being born, I was in high school.  This meant that Def Leppard and the Scorpions were part of my life, but it also meant that The Clash and the Smiths were part of my life.  And jean jackets.  I don't know why they were such a thing, but where I lived you had to have several jean jackets to be cool and, if you wanted to be very mature and identify with college kids instead of the fellow idiots in the hallways of your high school, you put buttons on your jean jacket.  It was like a very, very tame version of the jackets that the punk rockers were wearing in NYC and London.  Or at least we thought it might reflect well on us.  I don't know.  High school was confusing then. 

Anyway, I had a button with a ghoulish looking Elvis face and the saying "Back from the Dead and Bigger than Ever" on it.  I thought it was funny.  Or cool.  Or that girls would like it.  Not sure any of that is true now, but like I said, it was a confusing time.  Although now that I think about it, at least one girl liked it, although I think she was also confused at that time, but anyway, I digress.

The point is that River City Brewing is a buzzing hive of activity and has been all of 2014, but this blog died a sad and quiet death.  Too many things happening, not enough people to cover everything and other forms of social media starting taking up a bunch of time.  I mean, who looks at blogs in 2014?  That's so 2004, isn't it?  We need to spend more time facebooking cute pictures of baby animals, tweeting snarky asides and drunk snapchatting our anatomy.  We just didn't have time for all these words that no one was going to read anyway.

But guess what?  I like the words and I miss them.  So I am going to do a few more of them.  At least once in a while.  Maybe.  Sometimes. 

We'll see.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beer Beer Beer

It's gonna be a hot, hot, hot week.  The only cure is beer, beer, beer.  (Please take note, this is not actual medical advice.  Or even good advice.  It may in fact be a bad idea, but nonetheless, that's what WE are going to do to combat the heat.). 

And if you are looking for a place to drink beer, there are lots of places with good, cold, refreshing, life-affirming beer.  And if you happen to be looking for some places that are pouring single-batch, hand-crafted, love-infused beers from River City Brewing, there here are some places to check out:

Elkins Resort (Priest River)
Central Food
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Greenbriar Inn (CdA)
Italia Trattoria
Left Bank Wine Bar
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
The Lantern Tap House
Ripples on the River
Bon Bon
Denny’s at Geiger
Pacific Avenue Pizza
The Onion (downtown)

The Lantern Tap House
Famous Eds
Mackenzie River Pizza (57th)
The Hub
Webster’s Saloon
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
219 Lounge (Sandpoint)
Beardmore Bistro (Priest River)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

The Lantern Tap House
Bardenay Restaurant (CdA)
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Linnies Thai Cuisine
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Sunset Café (Cle Elum)
Uncle Sam’s Saloon (Kennewick)

Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
Steelhead Bar and Grille
The Hub
The Shop

Wild Dawgs
Browne’s Tavern
Sapphire Lounge
JJ’s Grill
A-1 Smokeshop
Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
The Basement
The Moscow Alehouse
Bricks and Barley (Sandpoint)
Crickets (Sandpoint)
McClain’s Pizzeria
Mid Columbia (Kennewick)
Paragon Brewing
Waddell’s Brewpub and Grill
Waddell’s Neighborhood Grill
Fieldhouse Pizza Pub

Browne’s Tavern
Chan’s Dragon Inn
A-1 Smokeshop
DogHouse (Walla Walla)
Fox Bear Public House (Kennewick)
Pilgrims Natural Market (CdA)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Total Wine & More (Valley)
Capones (CdA)
Growler Guys (Richland)
Roosters Landing (Clarkston)
The Moscow Alehouse
Vintage Vines
Wrangler Bar and Grill (Lewiston)

South Perry Pizza
Black Diamond
Growler Guys (Richland)
Steelhead Bar and Grille
The Lantern Tap House
Rocket Natural Market

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MORE Riverkeeper IPA

You can find River City Brewing beer a lot of places these - around 80 or more - in Eastern Washington and North Idaho at any given time, but among those is the list of places you can find the Riverkeeper IPA, which serves the dual purpose of being a damn fine IPA and helping the Spokane River and Watershed.  Here is where you should be drinking it now:

Steelhead Bar and Grille-Downtown
JB’s Foods and Bottleworks-North side
JJ’s Grill and Brewhouse-Indian Trail
The Rocket Market-South Hill
MacKenzie River Pizza-South Hill
Flying Goat-North side
Bon Bon-Garland

-Spokane Valley-
Boomers Classic Rock Bar and Grill-Valley
Black Diamond-Valley

Baxter’s on Cedar-Sandpoint

Zentropa Pizzeria-Cheney

Beer Shoppe-Yakima

Iron Horse Brewery-Ellensburg