The Aslan Mirage

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Greetings! My name is Nanette and I’ve been with Aslan for just about a year now. Besides working in the front of the house, I’m stoked on adding some flavor to our blog and give some internal and external perspective to what it is we do around here.

The restaurant experience is not only determined by the food and the spirits but by the service. What I’ve learned time and time again is that most people won’t remember that their food came out a little late but they will remember that their server got them extra beer, asked them questions about their day and continuously came back to check in on them.

When I first started coming to Aslan as a patron, I remember my favorite thing about the place was the atmosphere. I honestly can’t recall how much I liked the food but I do remember how much I loved being around the people that went there and worked there. I was also in awe of community seating because it normalizes the concept of shared space. I remember how much my friends would gawk over the people that worked there because they were all so unique. Not only were they incredibly outgoing and witty but they’re also astonishingly beautiful.

After getting hired, I was so intimidated to join this highly-regarded group of people. But not long after I started working there, I started realizing that so many of the perceptions people have about Aslan are misled.

First of all, the people who work at Aslan have no idea how beautiful they are. Most all the people who have been working here from the get-go don’t believe me when I talk about how much people love them. They were hired not only because they love people but because the hiring staff found that they’d make a great fit into the family that is Aslan. Not to mention everyone busts their asses around here - this is not the place for people who drag their feet.

Another thing I’ve learned over time is that Aslan wasn’t created by trust fund babies. It was created from years and years of blood, sweat and tears. Of course loans were taken out but if there’s something you should know about start-ups, it’s that it takes a copious amount of money.

What feeds my pride of working here is knowing that everyone who works here isn’t doing it because we’re all making millions (we’re not), it’s because we all want to see this place succeed. The hiring process at Aslan is competitive for a reason - we’re a family. We work together, we play together, and some of us live together.

Second, the people who work in the front of the restaurant are only a reflection of the people who work in the back of the house. The reason that people can order as much food as they do is because it was prepped at the crack of dawn that morning. The reason so many people can order beer after beer is because it was brewed weeks to months in advance. Those people who prep the food, brew the beer, and run operations? Those people are who we have to thank for setting the stage.

When you have a company that has over eighty employees, it’s hard to picture all that goes on behind closed doors, or in our case - the glass behind the bar. But it’s important to spread the love because we’re all in this together. Much love to those who carry the operations of this place.

The purpose of this post isn’t to talk up Aslan because we’re in no way perfect and we have in no way “made it.” Just like any business, we have our areas to work on and it’s something that we’re constantly reviewing internally. But as someone who can freshly look at this place from the inside and outside, I’m confident when I say that this place has so many beautiful aspects and I’m stoked on the idea of sharing those aspects with whoever is interested.
 

NOW ON TAP! - Disco Lemonade

DISCO LEMONADE (BERLINER WEISSE)

4.5% ABV // 4 IBU // 1.042 OG

light body + effervescent + tart

This refreshingly sour wheat beer is brewed to style, which dates back to the Middle Ages and is often referred to as "The People’s Champagne." The tartness of this beer will bring out hints of lemon, while the generous amount of wheat will round out the body lending a remarkable similarity to lemonade. Enjoy as is or add a shot of Raspberry syrup for a twist!

HOPS:
Hallertau
MALT: Pilsner, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - Captain Planet IPA

CAPTAIN PLANET IPA

7.7% ABV // 65 IBU // 1.077 OG

medium body + bright citrus + smooth

This IPA is brewed in celebration of Earth Day and is also our official 2017 Bellingham Beer Week beer. It is hopped almost exclusively with Azacca, a bright, citrus-y hop that exudes flavors reminiscent of key limes. The light use of the ever pungent Mosaic hop variety shines through with its signature "dankness".

HOPS:
Azacca, Bravo, Cascade, El Dorado, Mosaic
MALT:
2-Row Pale, Oats, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - Irie Eyes (Red Ale)

IRIE EYES (RED ALE)

5.4% ABV // 50 IBU // 1.058 OG

medium body + strawberry notes + balanced

We brought this recipe out to celebrate the departure of our old brewhouse. As this was the very first beer we brewed back in March of 2013. It seemed fitting to say goodbye with the beer we said hello to the world with. Strong notes of strawberry jam and a light biscuity malt profile make this beer a classic northwest red ale.

HOPS:
Bravo, Cascade, Chinook, Citra
MALT:
C-120, Carafa, Carahell, English Pale Ale

NOW ON TAP! - Maiden Voyage (Pale Ale)

MAIDEN VOYAGE (PALE ALE)

5.2% ABV // 36 IBU // 1.050 OG

medium body + floral + dry

Fresh crushed flowers, lightly fruity with a mineral-like bitterness that finishes soft, but dry. Highly approachable and sessionable, a brew of this ilk can be enjoyed by casual and craft beer lovers alike. This is the first beer produced on our new brewhouse, and is aptly named to signify the first of many voyages on our newly christened brewing vessel.

HOPS:
Ahtanum, Bravo, Chinook, Palisade
MALT:
2 Row Pale, Oats, Un-malted Wheat, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - Horizon Lines

HORIZON LINES (CALIFORNIA COMMON)

5.5% ABV // 33 IBU // 1.054 OG

medium body + malty + crisp

Our rendition of an American classic is brewed without Northern Brewer hops, a bit blasphemous, but we think it passes just fine. We sourced Copeland barley, grown and malted in Skagit Valley to help showcase our region's fertility. This moderately malty beer has an assertive bitterness that is supported with layers of caramel and toasted malt flavors.

HOPS:
Cascade, Palisade
MALT:
Carafa, Caramunich, Copeland Pale, C-120, Vienna, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - 10 LB Hammer (Double IPA)

10 LB HAMMER (DOUBLE IPA)

8.3% ABV // 32 IBU // 1.082 OG

big body + tropical + smooth

Ripe, tropical, and insanely smooth. This double IPA was made with Copeland malt, grown and malted in Skagit Valley, giving the body of this beer a cereal like sweetness reminiscent of Cap'n Crunch. While the judicious use of Chinook and Simcoe and Azacca hops lend abundant aromas and flavors of strawberries.

HOPS:
Azacca, Bravo, Chinook, Simcoe
MALT:
Copeland Pale, Oats, Unmalted Wheat, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - Cosmic Dreams IPA

COSMIC DREAMS (IPA)

5.6% ABV // 84 IBU // 1.058 OG

medium body + ripe citrus + vibrant

Fresh squeezed grapefruit is at the core of this beer, from the nose through the finish. Large quantities of Citra hops sprinkled with Cascade, El Dorado, and Mosaic create waves of intense and pungent grapefruit notes. The heavy handed use of Oats in the mash creates a lush, silky mouth feel. This beer will grab your attention and keep it.

HOPS:
Cascade, Citra, El Dorado, Mosaic
MALT:
Maris Otter, Oats

NOW ON TAP! - Classic Light Lager

CLASSIC LIGHT LAGER

4.2% ABV // 8 IBU // 1.036 OG

light body + malt forward + crisp

This is your classic, easy drinking light lager beer — light in flavor, alcohol, and calories. While it may be an American macro brewery standard, it’s better when brewed in small batches without corn and rice. Pours a very pale gold with a rocky white head. For a great taste that won’t fill you up and never let you down, reach for a Classic Light Lager.

HOPS:
Saaz
MALT:
Pilsner

NOW ON TAP! - Megathrust Triple IPA

MEGATHRUST (TRIPLE IPA)

9.99% ABV // 57 IBU // 1.100 OG

big body + mango, pineapple, & melon notes + tropical

For the third year in a row we bring you Megathrust, an over-the-top IPA, named for the largest potential earthquake set to hit the Pacific Northwest. This version is decidedly the best rendition to date. Its smooth mouth feel is complemented by eruptions of tropical fruit and well placed bitterness. Made with 100% malt, hopped at 5 lbs/barrel.

HOPS:
Azacca, Bravo, Mosaic, Simcoe
MALT:
2-Row Pale, Wheat

Toil and Trouble: Aslan's Strange Brews

We put Andy Beer, our Warehouse Manager, Beer Scholar, and Soda Master, to the task of creating two very strange brews for Port Townsend's Strange Brewfest.

What he and brewer Conor Dawson came up with is two of the weirdest, most complex infusions to ever come from Aslan. And they'll only be available at the festival, making them some of the most exclusive beers we've ever created, too.

If you've ever wanted to know what "coffee shop angst" tastes like in beer form, check out the descriptions below and come find us at the fest.

Bitter Angry Ginger

6.4% ABV

Spiced IPA infused with Juniper Berries, Coriander, Ginger, Hot Peppers, and Citrus Fruit

Citrus Bomb, Aromatic, Who put a Gin Gimlet in my Beer?

This concoction is an alternate version of a beer cocktail developed by Aslan's Warehouse Manager, Andrew Beer (a bitter and angry ginger). Originally, the cocktail was made with gin, muddled citrus, IPA, ginger ale, and garnished with a dash of hot sauce. To make the beer version we infused notable gin botanicals (juniper berries and coriander) with fresh ginger, citrus, and a modest amount of hot peppers into a tea, which we blended with Aslan's Batch 15 IPA and Ginger Rye Spiced Pale Ale. The result is a pronounced aromatic impression of juniper berry and coriander, loaded with citrus character, and mildly spiced by ginger and hot peppers. The flavor resonates the fresh citrus addition, showcases a proud zesty presence of juniper berries, and is complimented overall by the original hop additions of the base beers.  For fans of citrus forward IPAs, Moscow Mules, Gin Gimlets, or all three at the same time. 

Coffee and Cigarettes 

4.5% ABV 

notes of: cold coffee, ash, insomnia

We took our lightest and most impressionable beer, Aslan Lite, and infused it with coffee shop angst. Once a kind and simple beer, it now spouts off ridiculous, uninspired, and untested philosophy to anyone who will hear it. With the infusion of roast malt, peat malt and coffee, the aroma is of cold coffee and stale smoke. Like that of the long forgotten smoking sections of a 24/7 diner. Flavor wise, it begins with a clean, smooth, roasty bitterness quality, finishing with a similar acidic bite to a cold cup of coffee. It isn't as harsh as you might think. Cold, burnt coffee flavors and aromas mask over the original beer, leaving little evidence it even exists. 

What It Looks Like to Expand a Brewhouse

They're finally here! We just received several beautiful new tanks: three 60 bbl fermenters and a 30 bbl brewhouse (mash tun, lauter tun, boil kettle, whirlpool). This new system will double our capacity and make it possible for us to brew more beer more efficiently.

Our trusty 15 bbl system, which we've been using since we opened our brewpub doors, has found its new home at Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman. We're glad it's in good hands.

The expansion isn't over yet  we've got more coming. Stay tuned!

NOW ON TAP! - Double OG

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DOUBLE OG (STRONG PALE ALE)

6.4% ABV // 40 IBU // 1.064 OG

medium body + mandarin orange notes + hazy

A heady fruitiness dominates the overall impression of this beer with strong, enduring mandarin orange flavors. The primary hop varietal is Azacca, with a peppering of Mosaic and Simcoe in the whirlpool and dry hop. An assertive yet pleasant bitterness provides balance to the fruit-dominant character of this beer.

HOPS:
Azacca, Bravo, Mosaic, Simcoe
MALT:
2-Row Pale, Acidulated, Caramunich, Munich

NOW ON TAP! - Dunkleweizen

DUNKLEWEIZEN

5.5% ABV // 15 IBU // 1.058 OG

silky + chocolatey + smooth

A German style, Dunkelweizen, is a dark wheat ale (dunkel=dark, weizen=wheat). Wheat is the major component of the grain bill, contributing a silky mouthfeel and creamy head. A combination of Munich, caramel, and chocolate malts create a malt profile that is rich, nutty, and slightly sweet. Subtle chocolate and roasted notes make for a sessionable winter beer.

HOPS:
Jarrylo, Sterling
MALT:
Chocolate, C-60, Carafa, Munich, Pilsner, Wheat

ASLAN 2016: A Year in Review

Aslan’s second full year has been our biggest yet. We doubled our barrels produced, doubled the production capacity of our brewhouse, sold a record amount of pints, raised a record amount of funds for local non-profits, and held some ridiculously fun events. It’s been a jam-packed year for us and for the rest of the world, but there’s nothing better at the end of the day than bringing our community together to unwind around a pint or two. No matter what brought you here — the bison burger, a New Year’s Eve party, a Seahawks game, or just some good friends —  we’re so glad you spent a piece of your 2016 here. Here’s to a brand-new, promising year ahead.

NOW ON TAP! - NZ Wheat

NZ WHEAT

5.3% ABV // 25 IBU // 1.056 OG

medium body + stone fruit notes + unfiltered

This delicately hazy wheat beer gracefully weaves together the potent flavors of two distinct New Zealand hop varietals. Rich and complex in its array of apricot, peach, and pear flavors. The finish is long and intricate leaving an aftertaste reminiscent of fresh apricots.

HOPS:
Wakatu, Wai-iti
MALT:
Pilsner, Vienna, Wheat

NOW ON TAP! - Mosaic IPA

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MOSAIC IPA

5.4% ABV // 70 IBU // 1.058 OG

medium body + resiny + juicy

A two grain IPA made with 100% floor malt from Warminster, England, and the ever-pungent Mosaic hop sourced from Yakima, Washington. A wonderfully balanced body, copious hop resin, and a silky mouth feel all emulate fresh-squeezed hop character that screams.

HOPS:
Mosaic, Summit
MALT:
Marris Otter Pale, Munich, Wheat