Monday, March 28, 2011

First Batch Fermenting Away...

The first batch of Decompression is in the tank and fermenting away!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


As you may (or may not) know, this years Seattle Beer Week beer features Falconer's Flight hops from the good folks at HopUnion.  If you read Corey's description of the beer HERE you know a little about these very special hops.  To get the good word from HopUnion, click HERE...

Brewing commences...

 The gang from Seattle Beer Week is in the house and the brewing of Decompression is under way!!!

Waiting to Decompress...

Bags of specialty malt awaiting milling and transformation into Decompression Ale, the official beer of 2011 Seattle Beer Week.

Click HERE to read Head Brewer Corey Blodgett's take on the beer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seattle Beer Week Kickoff!

Seattle Beer Week OFFICIALLY kicks of tomorrow with the brewing of the first batch of this years commemorative beer: "Decompression."  You can read a little about it HERE.  Check back in a few days to see pics and get the lowdown on this sure to be tasty ale...

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Dinner Menu and Dessert Item...

Click HERE to check out our latest dinner offerings.  Click HERE to check out the new dessert.  Please also check out our new menu formats both online and in the pub.  Items are more clearly split out into Chefs List, Lunch, and Dinner.  Hope you like...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Evolution of a Beer Part II: What is in a Name?

Once an idea has been hatched; once a beer style has been chosen; once you have a recipe in mind; it is time to decide upon a name. Thinking up a good name for a new beer makes a marketing department salivate like it had just been served a perfectly cooked 16 ounce sirloin. But we here at Maritime Pacific do not have a marketing department, so it is up to a select few individuals to brainstorm ideas and choose a name.  We must come up with a name that will cause the same reaction in a beer consumer that we got from said marketing department.

Finding a good beer name is not as easy as it sounds. There are several factors that can give brewers massive headaches or can cause them to want to stick a pencil in their eye.  The first factor is we are an industry that has been strong and healthy for over 30 years now. And, you know what they say…There are no original ideas. Finding a name after 30 years of growth in an industry is difficult to say the least. Add to this fact, you a happy person with bottles of beer flying off the shelf only to wake one morning to find a “Cease and Desist” letter in your mailbox telling you to stop selling your beer because some other brewing company in who-knows-where has copyrighted the word “The.”

Of course once you have maneuvered through this river of taken names, now you must deal with the TTB because they must approve every beer name. There are obvious words that I will not get into here because George Carlin has done a perfect job listing them.  But there are other words, words such as “strong”, which cannot be used because of their connotation. Now imagine giving yourself a pat on the back because you think you have a clever name for you beer; one that has not been used before; and you have a perfect label made up only to hear back from the TTB telling you that the name you have chosen has not been approved because they do not like the use of the word “the.”

In addition to the TTB and the myriad of used names, there are a couple of factors to coming up with a beer name to which I was not accustomed. The first was the name had to be nautical or maritime in theme.  I was born in a small farming community in the Midwest. What do I know about all things nautical? The other factor was there were up to five people trying to come up with this nautically themed name.  For nine years prior to my arrival at Maritime Pacific, I created my own beer names. I worked solo.  Needless to say working in a group gave me massive headaches and I wanted to stick a pencil in my eye.

There was one thing that kept popping in my head as we all tried to come up with the perfect name. Do you remember the episode of the Simpson’s (yep…a cartoon reference) in which a group of writers were sitting in a conference room and are being asked by Krusty the Klown and some executives to come up with a name for a new character they wanted to introduce to the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon?  The main honcho tells the writers, “Something along the lines of Poochie, only not so stupid.” After Krusty and the honchos leave the room, the writers look at each other with one saying, “Soooo, Poochie okay with everybody?” All the writers agree and said meeting is over. Well…that is what this process felt like at times.

After three weeks, we as a group came up with a list of possible names, but none of them gave us that feeling. You know the feeling. Personally I was getting frustrated and desperate. It had never been so difficult to come up with a name for a beer before.  So I started asking everyone to help including: my beloved, my father-in-law, the pub staff, and that guy that was sitting next to me at the bar. You know that guy.  Anyway, it seemed hopeless. Our deadline to get the label done and approved by the TTB was quickly approaching. With one last attempt, I turned to Glen Falconer’s brother, Quentin, who served up a tasty morsel of information.  Glen was into SCUBA diving.  What a find! I turn this tasty morsel over to George, and by the next morning we had our name: Decompression.  It was the first name I had heard (that was not in use…Thank you very much Big Time for using Maelstrom!) that had it. There was no more discussion. We have our name.

Now we have our newest seasonal and its new name. From start to finish it almost took two months to come up with the idea, the style, and its name. I am exhausted and need a beer. Of course there could not be any other surprises in store for us that would make this new endeavor even better. Could there?

Corey Blodgett
Head Brewer & Blogger


If you like Reuben's and sliders, you're going to dig this one...

The "Reuben / Burger" slider is now available for your enjoyment.  We put sliced, grilled Pastrami on a fresh beef patty, topped it with aged Swiss cheese and fennel/rye sauerkraut, and sauced the whole thing with a spicy house-made Russian aioli. 


That little bundle of love is yours for just $3.25 (available all day...)


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Evolution of a Beer Part I: How a Beer is Born

Forget everything you have seen on television or heard through the grapevine whilst sipping on your favorite beer in regards to how a beer comes to fruition. It does not come from the mind of suits in a well-oiled marketing department hoping to come up with the next big thing.  And contrary to popular belief, a beer does not come merely from a good recipe. No. Like all good things, beer starts as an idea. It is either borne from a momentary flash of Zen inspiration or from eons of deep, deep thought.  In the case of our newest ale it was the rare combination of both months of deep thought followed by a lightning bolt of inspiration that brought on its evolution.

When I signed on as Head Brewer here at Maritime Pacific last April, George and I agreed that I could have one beer to “create.”  For my purposes, this was needed because if one does not stretch his or her muscles in recipe development they become a flabby mass of weak flesh.  I liken it to when Bugs Bunny tries to make a muscle and instead his arm becomes limp as a noodle.  (Yes if you know me, anything can be likened to a cartoon, usually Bugs Bunny.)  From the Brewery’s perspective, it is one more way to show our loyal customers we care.  And with many of the glitches of a newer and larger brewery hammered out, it was time for my mind to exercise after 15 months of slumber.

I dread exercise. I dread everything about it, which is funny considering I love to exercise my brain.  Most times, however, I just want to get straight into it, learn on the go.  Unfortunately in brewing, one cannot do work by trial and error because there is little to no margin for error.  For the creation of a good beer, preparations must be made.  There is no willy-nilly in brewing, just ample amounts of patience.  And so because I just could not throw myself into a brand new brew, my mind took over and did what it does best…Think.

What beer do I want to do? What yeast should I use? How do I want it to taste? What am I going to call it? How many questions can I ask before I get tired and need a pint?  All these things go running through my mind as if it were in a marathon. And I would just blurt out random questions, mostly at home at the dinner table, and my beloved and my friends would roll their eyes and begrudgingly answer my questions.  Of course, for all we knew, this beer would not be born until the fall at the earliest.  There was no timeline, just the knowledge that it was going to happen.  That is, until I received a letter from HopUnion announcing its plan to release a special hop pellet in honor of Glen Hay Falconer.

As you may or may not know, the Falconer Foundation gives out 3 scholarships to either Siebel Institute in Chicago or the American Brewers Guild. They created the Foundation and the scholarships in honor of Glen Falconer, a jovial and inspiring brewer who passed away in 2002. Jacob Leonard (now a brewer at Widmer) and I were honored to receive the Falconer Scholarship in 2007.  Since that time I have been a proud preacher of the work of the Foundation and it only made sense that I create a beer using that hop exclusively.  And I knew exactly the type of beer I wanted to create: an American Strong Ale.  The months of ceaseless thinking finally had the bolt of inspiration it needed.  Now I had to propose it to the man who calls the shots.

Before I could talk to George, I had to get all my ducks in a row as they say.  I gathered up all the information I could on the Foundation and the hop.  I put it all together in a small proposal and at the right moment I would give it to George to think about.  And like most things, I over-thought my strategy because after hearing what I had to say, George agreed to the beer saying it would be a nice fit to our new seasonal program.  All the work I did and all the stress I put myself under was unnecessary. It was just that easy. The beer had been born.

So many things go into making a good beer.  A good recipe must be formulated from notes on how the final product tastes. We as brewers must pick the right malts and the right hops to create a flavor profile that will make many different palettes happy.  Strong healthy yeast must be chosen to do all the work we are asking of it.  And a good name must be chosen.  Oh, jeez…The name.  How to pick the name?  That is a process all on its own.  We shall save that for another day.

Corey Blodgett
Head Brewer

Monday, March 7, 2011

Triple Cask Tuesdays Taking A Rest...

We're giving Triple Cask Tuesdays some time off.  That doesn't mean we won't be pouring special casks now and again, but the every other Tuesday program is officially on hiatus.  Please check back here for information on any special cask events, (or any special events for that matter.)