Friday, December 12, 2014

Washington Student Cycling League

As we covered a couple of posts ago, the brewery is pleased to support a Spokane-based cycling team - River City Red Cycling.  As a team, we race bikes, but we do this as a way of a) having fun riding bikes, b) having fun drinking beer and talking about bikes and bike racing, and c) trying to be good ambassadors for cycling in many ways - racing, training, commuting, transportation, fun, exercise and a way to burn calories so we can drink beer.

More towards our ambassador side, we are pleased to be starting an association with the Washington Student Cycling League.  Here is their raison d'etre:
The Washington Student Cycling League is a holistic mountain bike program for students grade 6-12. We are a non-profit organization that partners with schools and community organizations to provide inclusive cycling opportunities to all students across the state.
Our mission is to promote youth development, confidence, leadership, health and public stewardship through mountain biking and positive outdoor experience and to create a foundation for lifelong cycling enjoyment.
Two of our team members, Brad Hamby (2014 Team MVP) and Travis Coleman (2013 & 2014 Team "Big Dog"), just got licensed as coaches with the WSCL and will be working with others to start and develop an east-side team that will, in part, have the opportunity to go over to race in some west-side races.  The riders and sponsors of River City Red Cycling (Desautel Hege Communications, M & L Supply Company, Powers Stromberg Pension Consulting, Pulmonary Specialists, Tailwind Physical Therapy, The Bike Hub, and Voltric Electric, along with River City Brewing) are committed to helping youth cycling in our area and a significant portion of our team funds will be spent on these efforts.

If you know of a girl or boy in the 6th through 12th grad that would be interested, please let us know or keep an eye on this space for more information as plans develop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spokane Gets on Another List

Recently local activist, arts supporter, Spokane supporter, writer, man-about-town Luke Baumgarten wrote a piece for the Inlander called "Screw Big Cities" (http://www.inlander.com/spokane/screw-big-cities/Content?oid=2385811).  And while he used a naughty word in his title, he makes a good point (as he always does).  The gist of it is that big cities have art experiences, but they also come with congestion, expense and stasis.  On the other hand, Spokane offers a great quality of life, an accessible art scene and it is a place that you can have an impact if you are willing to work at it.

What's nice is that Luke is a relatively young person saying these things, rather than a paid spokesperson for an economic development organization.

I have been saying for a long time that one of our problems is that we as a city lack the self-confidence that some bigger, hipper cities seem to have in abundance.  It's well past time we look around and see that we live in a very cool, dynamic place that also happens to offer a reasonably priced really, truly excellent quality of life. 



And, it helps that other people are starting to look in from the outside and recognize that, to wit, showing up on a list of "Underrated Cities that Deserve Some Love" on The Chive website: http://thechive.com/2014/12/07/underrated-cities-that-deserve-some-love-10-hq-photos/.  Here is the description:

Eight hometown breweries, 36 bars, and Washington’s first craft liquor distillery, Spokane is definitely a place to add to your list. Surrounded by beautiful Washington forests, you can find yourself white water rafting, golfing, hiking, touring breweries, and taking the chairlift to the top of the mountains all in the same day. A beautiful spot with an awesome nightlife, and a heavy emphasis on local, craft alcoholic beverages, Spokane is totally worth a visit.

And it's hard to find two sources more different than Luke Baumgarten and The Chive saying a very similar thing - that Spokane is an awesome place.  We wholeheartedly agree and think you should too.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2015 River City Red Cycling Team

This communication below just went out to the existing team, but if you are interested in joining us for the 2015 season, e-mail me at gage at inlandnwbrewing period com.  We are particularly interested in supporting young riders (23 and under) and adding female riders, so we have reduced dues for these categories (only $8 to cover cost of t-shirt and pint).  Also, if you are interested in racing but haven't dipped your toe in that particular pool, feel free to come to the meeting and find out what we are about.

Front (or could you tell?)
Back! (You knew, didn't you?)

Dear River City Red Cycling Team: It’s time to get geared up for the 2015!  We are having a team meeting next week, Thursday, December 11 at 6 pm at the River City Brewing Tap Room to talk about the 2015 schedule and start the process of getting our shit together for the year.  If you have a friend or know someone that has shown an interest in getting started with racing, feel free to bring him OR HER along.

The preliminary schedule, put together by Brad (2014 Team MVP) with some input from Travis, is attached.  I want to get a bit more organized about some standing times for rides so we can plan around them a bit more.  Of course the weather, schedules, races, etc. will impact it as we go, but I think if we have a starting point it will help.  Nothing much is set in stone, but it’s a good starting place.  You will also see a couple of training camp dates and an MTB excursion to Seven Summits, so if that is of interest, get them on the calendar now whether you can make two days or all four.  Details to follow.

Also, we will be getting organized earlier for team kit and, NEW this year, team members will all get a pint glass and a team-only t-shirt.  Also new this year, we will be shutting down the e-mail group to just dues-paying members to enable us to talk about more about team strategy, recap race issues, etc. 

Brad and Travis are in Seattle right now (or on the way home) from a meeting about organizing a youth MTB group in Spokane, so our long-standing plan to support youth cycling is finally making some solid progress this year.  We have over $6,000 from prior dues and sponsorships to support this project, including helping getting some high school racers over to the west side for racing, so I’m very happy to see that finally coming together.  We are also interested in picking up more female racers, so please do some recruiting on this front if you know any potential candidates.

If you can’t make the meeting, please feel free to fill out the sign-up and release and drop it off anytime.  Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Tap Room next week and all of you on the road sometime in 2015.
Gage

Monday, November 24, 2014

Some Washington State Cyclocross Champions

River City Red Reppin'
Washington State Cyclocross Championships - Riverside State Park, 11/23/14 - from left, Frank Johnson - Second place, Cat 4, 55+; Beddome Allen - First Place, Cat 4; Brad Hamby, First Place, Cat 4 45+.

Very impressive results in a very tough sport on a very tough day.  Nice work gentlemen!

Frankieeeeeeeee!!!

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.