Who would have thought that a beer lover should scour the local library website for classes concerning beer? Even better than classes, how about free beer tastings?? Certainly not this beer guy. Nevertheless there it was plain as day, a 2 hour beer presentation at the library with Josh King, the head brewer from neighboring Sockeye. Last week, the evening kicked off at the Cole library location with a light, conversational, basics of beer overview where we were able to put hands on the raw ingredients that go into natures best beverage and ask questions about styles, brewing, the micro-brew industry… really questions ran the gambit and it was incredibly insightful.
For example, as a huge Lager fan myself, I was always curious about why it’s almost impossible to find a local lager. The answer surprised me, but now that I know is perfectly obvious. It all comes down to timing and turn-around. A lager is going to have to sit for an additional week (or two) over a typical ale. When micro-breweries are trying to produce in volume to maximize their production and profit… having equipment tied up for an extra week or more poses a real problem when you have a very finite amount of space.
After our initial introduction to Sockeye things really kicked into high gear. A quick walk across the parking lot brought our merry band to the brewery and a private room with an array of tables, pitchers, and empty pint glasses. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to ascertain that the evening was about to get magical. Josh, and the helpful Sockeye staff proceeded to introduce us to their six primary beers; Galena Gold (smooth, crisp, easy drinking), Whoolybugger Wheat (heffe style), Angels Perch Amber (malty ale with hints of nut & chocolate), Powerhouse Porter (dark but not too rich, hints of coffee and chocolate), Hell Diver Pale Ale (I’d classify this as an IPA personally, very hoppy), & the Dagger Falls IPA.
Once we were all settled, Josh offered a brief introduction to each which was followed by the presentation of the pitchers. The idea being that we would each pour approximately 4oz samples into the waiting pint glass. An impressive amount of restraint was shown and everyone was more than covered on the initial pour… my issue however arises in sending a perfectly good partial pitcher back to be discarded. I simply can’t allow that to happen, and neither could a few others. The result of course was that 4oz pours quickly doubled or tripled as pitches needed to be put down before the next beer came out.
I’ve of course been to Sockeye on a number of occasion and have always enjoyed having a few beers there. They are well established and do what they do well. But prior to that evening I didn’t really know much about Sockeye.
As a general rule, Sockeye beers run on the hoppy side, beer lovers who haven’t yet acquired a fierce love of hops will do great up to the Hell Diver I’d say. Bottom line, if you are a lover of beer, always keep your feelers open for great brew related events in Boise, even at the Boise Public Library!