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Summer of Beer Seattle, WA Stefan M. Kaiser


Introduction I’m an architecture student at Syracuse University and spent the summer of 2012 interning at Elemental Architecture/Design in Seattle, WA. I lived with two friends (Jed Bradley and Robert Matlock) in the University of Washington District and had the privelege to learn about homebrewing from my roommates. In the beginning I helped bottle and by the end of the summer I brewed my own recipe. As a design student I enjoyed the opportunity to label the five artisan beverages we made. This is a showcase of some graphic design coupled with some interesting facts I learned about beer and brewing culture in the Northwest. I hope you enjoy! - Stefan

-- brewery -- brewpub

Beer in the Northwest In the early 1980s, you could count the number of American microbreweries on two hands, and two of them were in Washington: Redhook Ale Brewery in Ballard (now in Woodinville) and Grant’s Brewery Pub in Yakima (now closed). Since that time, a craft beer revolution has swept across the nation; these days, you can find craft beer in every city and backwater burg in the country. But a new generation of Northwest brewers now leads the second wave of the revolution, creating the most refreshing and satisfying beers in the world, rekindling our international reputation as craft beer pioneers. From crisp, light, delicately balanced pilsners to robust, rich, chocolaty imperial stouts, Washington’s 150-plus breweries continue to raise the bar. By official definition, a microbrewery produces less than 465,000 gallons of beer per year. Around here, we simply think of a microbrewery as one of our local breweries producing delicious beers. Even the largest local microbreweries, such as Redhook in Woodinville, produce a minuscule amount of beer compared to the nationally recognized brands. The smallest microbreweries (often referred to as nanobreweries) operate out of studio-size spaces, selling beer one-half gallon at a time. Some microbreweries produce beer exclusively for their own pubs. Some beers that are wildly popular around Seattle, such as Manny’s Pale Ale, are unknown in distant lands like Portland, Oregon. While they come in all shapes and sizes, microbreweries make the good stuff. - Kendall Jones, Shannon Borg and Seattle Magazine Staff, 2011 & 2012

Doctor Robert’s Barleywine : Medicinal Tonic Varietal Description: “Even though it has a funny name, a Barleywine is very much a beer, albeit a very

strong and often intense beer. Lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic. Expect anything from an amber to dark brown colored beer, with aromas ranging from intense fruits to intense hops. Body is typically thick, alcohol will definitely be perceived, and flavors can range from dominant fruits to palate smacking, resiny hops.” This beer tastes very similar to the description: malty, syrupy, bittersweet with the presence of alcohol. This is the first barleywine I’ve tried until I went to the brewery tour at Mac and Jacks and sampled their seasonal CU-Later Barleywine. Bottle Date: 4/4/12 ABV: 9.7

Jedediah’s Own Apricot Ale Varietal Description: “With American Pale Ales, expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters

and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent. American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced.” This beers main ingredient that differentiates it from other Pale Ales is the additional one pound of apricot puree. This was the perfect beer for a hot summer in Seattle. Bottle Date: 6/11/12 ABV: 6.1

Doctor Robert’s La Saison des Pommes Varietal Description: “Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be

consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there’s been a massive revival; especially in the US.“ “This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.” Bottle date: 7/6/12 ABV: 5

Doctor Robert’s Ex #2: Cherry Hibiscus Ale Varietal Description: Same as Apricot Ale - American Pale Ale This recipe is very similar to the Apricot Ale but instead uses pureed Bing and Ranier cherries and hibiscus flower for aroma. Bottle date: 8/05/12 ABV: 5

Stefan’s Oatmeal Stout Varietal Description: “These are generally medium to full bodied stouts that have an unreal smoothness

to them from the addition of oats to the mash. The oats not only add a lot of smoothness to the mouth feel but give a touch of sweetness that is unlike any other type of stout. Both levels of roasted flavor and hop character will vary.” My goal with this beer, being my first recipe, was that the beer would be drinkable. I am pleasantly surprised that the finished product is not only drinkable but also enjoyable. Its dark, chocolatey, coffee tasting with a little more hops than is typical for this variety. Bottle date: 8/14/12 ABV: 5.5



Pliny the Elder Russian River Brewing Co. I was first made aware of Pliny the Elder (and his more elusive son Pliny the Younger) by the resident Hop King roommate Jed. After just a quick Google search I understood just how widespread the concensus is on this beer: its world-class. For my 22nd birthday I received a few beers to try and this was one of them. I will not pretend that I can pick out exactly how or why it is so good but I very much appreciated the well balanced taste. I think even people who dont like IPA’s can enjoy this beer.



Duchesse de Bourgnone Brouwerij Verhaeghe Until this summer I had never even heard of ‘sour’ beer. An empty bottle of Duchesse is on the Wall of Fame in my apartment, perched above the kitchen cabinets. When I asked about it Robert obligingly explained some of the history of beer from East Flanders and the nature of sour beer. It all sounded very intriguing so I went out to QFC (which has a great beer selection) and picked up a bottle. Its delicious! The beer is a Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

*All varietal descriptions from

Summer of Beer  

A graphic design journal for the homebrew made during the Summer of 2012 in Seattle, WA