Fish Brewing Company - Vicious Circle Amber Ale
- ABV: 5.0%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 40
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale Ale Malt, Munich, Aromatic, C75, C120, Honey Malt
- Hops: Herkules, Cascade
Presenting a rich, deep amber-red capped by a head of beige foam that laces nicely as it receds, Vicious Circle drew us in right away. We found a nice balance between malt and hops in the aroma; look for esters of red fruits to merge with bright floral and citric hop notes, all atop a base of toast, caramel, and a hint of toffee. The balance continues in the flavor where rich caramel, moderate toasty, and light nutty notes form a core structure with a touch of residual sweetness. We felt the hops easily counter with their bitterness without ever coming across as aggressive, while also offering mild citrus, floral, and spice notes. Many amber ales are brewed with a heavy skew towards the malt, but we like that the brewers at Fish gave equal billing to the hops – but what else should we expect from a Pacific NW brewery? Try pairing with chicken wings, a hearty stew, grilled meats & veggies, or a snack of cheeses including aged Cheddar, Double Gloucester, Port Salut, or Cotswold. Cheers!
When one thinks of the epicenters of the craft beer renaissance in America, the Pacific Northwest undoubtedly springs to mind immediately. The region is the source for the vast majority of hops produced in our country and has long been home to innovative brewers at the forefront of the push to expand our palates beyond the "macrobrews" that dominated America's beer culture for so long. Fish Brewing Company in Olympia, WA is one of those brewers. Founded in 1993 by Crayne & Mary Horton and a group of local investors, Fish Brewing Company began as a brewpub on Jefferson Street, with a 15-barrel brewing system. Just three short years later, demand had reached the point where it was time to grow. The brewpub was expanded and they acquired the historic Skoog Building across the street, a much larger facility able to accommodate a bottling line and allowing Fish to become a legitimate package brewery. With their brewing system relocated into the new building, their first 6-packs hit store shelves in 1997.
The succeeding years have seen a series of new business expansions. In 2001, Fish merged with Leavenworth Biers, a brewery specializing in German styles. Around 2004, they acquired Spire Mountain Cider, the oldest commercial craft cider producer in the country. And, in 2006, Fish upgraded their 15-bbl system to a new 40-bbl system, allowing much greater production capacity for their Fish Tale Ales and other brands. More recently, just last year, Fish jumped into the distilling industry with the acquisition of Grapeworks Distilling and their Vitis Spirits brand which specializes in grape-derived vodka and a line of very unique 80+ proof varietal grape spirits from Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. For more info about the brewery and related brands, their Jefferson Street brewpub, or their Taproom in Woodinville, call 360-943-6480 or visit www.fishbrewing.com.
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