Our New Red IPA!

Every year we brew a Traverse Ale in honor of the Bellingham Traverse, which is an annual multi-sport event celebrating the life cycle of wild salmon and the natural and urban challenges of their journey.

Solo, tandem and relay teams challenge themselves and one another on a rugged course that highlights the City of Bellingham’s Parks, Greenways System, bike-friendly roads, and open water opportunities for recreation. So, we thought, why not challenge ourselves this year, too?

Traverse Pint GlassWe decided to forgo the heavier, maltier Traverse Ale recipes in our past and came up with a new recipe for this year’s Traverse Ale – a Red IPA that drinks like a summer beer with a little extra kick of hops!

Red IPA’s are still an emerging sub category of the more general beer style of IPA or India Pale Ale.  The exact definition of a Red IPA is still a bit ambiguous and open to interpretation, but, generally, it’s an American Red Ale (or American Amber Ale) style brewed at a higher strength and hopped like an IPA.

American Red Ales are traditionally a sweeter, hoppy beer with rich flavor; a style particularly popular here on the West Coast and especially way up here in the Pacific Northwest!

And since we’re known for our signature Northwest IPA, (or so says Sunset Magazine in their September 2013 issue! Have you seen it yet?!) which is one of our flagship beers, we wanted to bring some of that citrusy, hoppy goodness to our Traverse Ale / Red IPA.

This new Red IPA of ours has a generous amount of Pale 2-Row, Carafa and Cara Red malts that give this ale a big, malty body with a deep ruby red color. But, don’t be fooled! We add Columbus, Tradition, Centennial, Cascade and Willamette hops to provide a smooth, refreshing counterpart to all those malts.

This year’s Traverse Ale is a lighter bodied, yet heavily dry-hopped Red IPA with a distinct flavor and easy drinking quality. It’s on tap now, so come in, give it a try and tell us what you think!  Look for our commemorative stainless steel pint glasses with the Traverse logo on them too!  Coming soon!!

Beer…and Beer festivals

So, if you’ve been following the blog you’ll have been anxiously awaiting September 25th when our Traverse Ale was supposed to be released.  Well, we’ve got great news for you!  We were over eager and jumped the gun…we released our Traverse Ale on Friday, September 12th so we could revel in it’s rich, full body, lively hops, and deep red color just a little longer!  Come on in and try this great seasonal ale that will only be with us for a short time.  And don’t forget to check out the Bellingham Traverse (the actual race the beer was brewed in honor of) happening on Saturday, September 27th.

The Great Canadian Beer Festival took place last weekend in Victoria, B.C.  So, we went to Canada and spent September 5th and 6th with over 45 craft beer brewers and about 700 participants who come from all over the world to enjoy samples of internationally acclaimed craft beer.  One fun-filled participant sent our brewery photos she took at the event and proclaimed our booth the winners of the “spirit award!”

Boundary Bay Employees with Spriit!

Yesterday, we were representin’ at the WABL (Washington Association of Beer Lovers) Oktoberfest in Seattle.  The event was held in the Pyramid Alehouse parking lot and was the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest presented by the Washington Beer Commission.  The festival was packed with heartily enthusiastic supporters of both beer and Oktoberfest culture.  There were the usual faves…like the chicken dance (check out the video below from yesterday’s beer lovers!) which has become an Oktoberfest tradition, men in Lederhosen, and even an accordion jam session.  =)

I came across a group of soldiers who were due to be shipped out to Afghanistan soon (details were not forthcoming as it would, apparently, be a breach of confidential troop movements…boy did I feel dumb for asking!) and were using their last days in the United States drinking as much locally made Washington craft beer as possible.  But, I think my favorite part of the event was the loose interpretation of the keg toss that is also tradition at Oktoberfest events.  In the interest of safety and the lack of coordination in the severely inebriated, this festival opted to toss full cans of Rainier Beer toward a keg (sawed in half) and surrounded by a bed of nails.  I missed the exact details of the competition, but basically, you got 2 points if your can made it into the keg, 1 point if you stuck the can onto the bed of nails (hopefully spraying the crowd in the process) and 5 points if you could slice your can in half by landing it directly on the edge of the sawed off keg.

Check out our website for a slideshow of all the great pictures from the WABL Oktoberfest…and don’t miss this Washingon Beer Lovers Oktoberfest next year!

September at Boundary Bay

September is here already and rather than lament the ending of Summer, Boundary’s got lots of good news brewing to lure you into Fall. On September 22nd, we’ll release our Autumn favorite: Harvest Ale! It only comes once a year and is brewed in limited quantities so don’t miss this chance to taste this beautiful red-orange beer with rich malty flavors. This is a full bodied beer, which is perfect for our cool fall evenings. This autumn seasonal beer has only a distant connection to the German “Oktoberfest” style from which it gets its inspiration. Maltiness is the predominate flavor component of any true Oktoberfest style and also really stands out in our Harvest Ale. Just in case you love the Harvest Ale as much as we do, look for our limited edition Harvest Ale hoodies to add to your Boundary Bay wardrobe.

Speaking of Oktoberfest, join us in our own beer garden on September 25th for an Oktoberfest celebration Bellingham style! Yes, you read right…the Oktoberfest celebration is in September. Confusing as it is, we’re following tradition by holding the festival in late September just as it’s always been done in Bavaria. We’ll be tapping the beloved Firkin keg which is always a good show, and there will be a special Oktoberfest menu (with traditional favorites like Brats!) as well as our usual fare.

Last, but definitely not least, we’ll be tapping the Traverse Ale on September 25th as well. The Bellingham Traverse is a race that takes place on September 27th and celebrates the lifecycle of salmon, recognizing the natural and urban challenges fish face in their life-long journey. 5.5 mile run, 6 mile Mountain bike, 18 mile Road Ride, 3 mile Trail Run, 4 mile paddle, .5 mile Team Trek to the finish line at Boundary Bay Brewery. So, in celebration of all the hard work of the race participants, we’ve brewed a Traverse Ale that is a deep reddish-brown ale with medium to full body and a lively hop character. The hops make this beer particularly refreshing, especially for a darker style. The flavor is rich enough to stand on its own, but also goes extremely well with pastas and spicy food. This beer has a smooth refreshing finish, creating a perfect summer session beer to cool off with after a long “Traverse.” And, whether you participate in the Traverse itself or just enjoy the Traverse Ale, there will be souvenirs aplenty available at Boundary Bay: Traverse hoodies, t-shirts and pint glasses. Available for a limited time only.