3 Sips for the First of the Month
by Erin James

Welcome back to Sip Northwest’s Bar Tab, our editor’s bi-weekly selection of what to drink in the Northwest now. This week, we pull a few selections from the current print edition to honor the first of the month (Bone Thugs, anyone?), from a crushable IPA for battling unfortunate weather to an expressive Pinot Noir. Come on in, belly up to the counter and order a digital drink on us.

Fort George Brewery The Optimist India Pale Ale | A positive reminder that the sun will come out tomorrow, Fort George tells craft beer drinkers everywhere to keep their chins up with this jovial, crushable can of undeniably Northwest IPA. Apollo, Mosaic and Centennial hops band together with a creamy yet judicious pale malt bill for a sipper as easy drinking and sunny as a 6.2 percent ABV IPA can be. A pale gold in the half-full glass, woodsy aromas of slightly dank sweet grass, pine and juicy citrus even out with toasty, buttered bread malts and a buoyant, hop-forward finish. Take that, Northwest spring weather!

Double Shovel Cider Co. AK Pear Blend Traditional Cyser | Amid active glaciers, ice fields and rugged mountains, Alaska is now home to its first micro-cidery, Anchorage-based Double Shovel. In this cyser — technically a variation of mead that is more often a blend of fermented honey and unfermented apple juice — the young cidery naturally ferments fresh-pressed Alaskan-grown apples and perry pears first, then adds honey to the equation for a secondary fermentation. The result is a coalescence of the seasons: spring blossoms and honey with the ripe, bruised tree fruit of fall. Aromas of earth and graham cracker follow the apple crisp (oats and spices included) flavors onto the lightly carbonated palate, sealing it with dry fruits, supple tannin and a lick of honey.

Maysara Winery & Momtazi Vineyard 2014 3 Degrees Pinot Noir | The three daughters of this family-owned and-operated McMinnville, Oregon, winery pull fruit directly from their biodynamic estate vineyard for all of their wines, even this zippy and earthy entry-level sipper. Fresh and expressive right off the bat, herbs and red fruits allow the wine to match with a variety of foods, like the Filipino pork belly bites recipe featured in this issue.

These tasting notes originally ran in the spring print edition of Sip Northwest magazine. For the full story and more like it, click here.

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