Pike Brewing will host its Annual Old Bawdy Vertical Tasting this Sunday, January 30, 2011. This is a unique opportunity to sample rare, archived vintages of Pike Brewing’s Old Bawdy Barleywine. Taste 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and the 2010 vintages side by side.
Unlike most other types of beers, barleywines often improve with age. An aged barleywine can gain additional complexity and luscious smoothness. Barleywines aren’t shy to show their malty sweetness, that can be enhanced by oxidation. Oxidation occurs slowly over years through the pores of the wooden barrels in which they are stored. This gives aged barleywine some of its color changes and complex caramel notes, not unlike a fine sherry. How the barleywines are stored in terms of barrel and temperature are just two of the factors that influence how a barleywine ages. The most important factor is the quality of the barleywine.
American style barleywines have a more assertive hop profile than their European cousins. Pike Brewers tweak the recipe each year to match the availability of the best hops and malt, so some years the style varies. At last year’s vertical tasting, I found the hop and malt balance variance between years to be one of the most fascinating elements of the tasting.
The story behind Pike Brewing and their Old Bawdy has it own fascinating story as well. The special part of this tasting is the interaction with Pike Brewing owners Charles and RoseAnn Finkel and head brewer Drew Cluley. They will tell you the differences between the Every year, Pike Brewery recognizes Seattle’s infamous “bawdy houses” with their release of the Old Bawdy Barleywine every December. Pike Brewery Company was launched in the old La Salle Hotel, the last bawdy house in Seattle. It was the enterprising women of early Seattle, such as “naughty” Nellie Curtis, and their industrious customers that formed this city. Raise a glass to toast the sensual pleasures of a glass of aged barleywine in recognition of bawdy house pleasures.
Reserve your spot by calling Tara at 206.812-6604. Advance tickets are $20, $25 tickets will be available the day of the tasting, on a space available basis. The Finkels are huge supporters of the Washington beer industry and the fans of Washington beer. Washington Beer Lovers (WABL) members and Pike Club members can purchase tickets for only $15 (passport required).