When Russian River stopped distributing in Washington State a few years ago, I read a number of articles where people were disappointed. I was one of those people as well! In particular, I remember reading reports that Russian River's much loved and well known Triple IPA would no longer be distributed in the state in it's brief, annual, run in February.
But I knew Washington beer could take over the mantle, and fill the hoppy void that was left from Pliny the Younger no longer being distributed in Washington every February. Washington beer could show people that we too could make great beer - and hop forward styles are our forte. So back in late 2013, I reached out to a few of my new found friends and colleagues in the brewing industry to see if they'd be interested in brewing a triple IPA every February. And the Washington Hop Mob was born!
That first year was a success. We managed to get 14 different breweries to brew big, hoppy, triple IPAs, and five bars poured them around Western Washington. Hop lovers seemed to enjoy these vast display of hops, and we had created an annual event.
But it was too much for me to continue to manage by myself, with the brewery growing and at that time still maintaining my original day job! Luckily, Kendall from the Washington Beer Blog agreed to take it over. And under his watch the Washington Hop Mob has become bigger than ever. Thank you Kendall! This year we'll see over 40 Washington breweries showcasing their triple IPAs, starting tonight (February 4th) at Brouwer's. Hooray for Washington Beer, I say!
I'm looking forward to this year's roadshow, and trying fellow Washington breweries creations. We're also excited at our brewery to release this year's Blimey That's Bitter! - which features 3 dry hops and 7lbs of hops per barrel this year. A keg has snuck out of the brewery for the Brouwer's event today, but our official release will be this Saturday where we'll feature a cask version, limited amounts of bottles to go, and a randal.
We'll also have two other big hoppy creations available this year. Hat-trick is a brand new triple IPA, coming in at 12% ABV and 90 IBUs, and features lots of Galaxy, Citra and Centennial Hops. We also brewed a fresh batch of Gobsmacked - Brouwer's 10th Anniversary Beer - which we'll have limited bottles available at the taproom on Saturday.
So I hope you can make it to one of these events, or our Blimey release, and while you're there I hope you enjoy one of the great bounties we have in this state - Washington Beer.