In an article that appeared in the August 18, 2016 edition, the paper announced the results of a recent blind tasting panel of 20 American sour beers. Cascade Kriek was the only beer to receive four stars, an accomplishment the paper noted as “rarely achieved.” The panel described the beer as “Bright, lively, tart and distinctive, with beautifully balanced flavors of sour cherries and citrus.”
The panel gave high praise to Cascade overall, noting it as a brewery that has mastered consistency with its sour beers. This marked the second time the panel has singled out Cascade; its 2010 Kriek also earned four stars in a 2011 tasting.
“We are extremely grateful for this honor and to have lightning strike twice,” stated Cascade brewmaster Ron Gansberg. “This is a testament to our people, our brewing philosophy and our process, in which our staff takes great pride in making the best sour beers possible. To be held in such high regard by this esteemed panel is an honor and exemplifies the hard work and dedication put forth by the brewers and cellar staff at Cascade Brewing.”
Added Tim Larrance, vice president sales and marketing, “To receive this kind of reception and accolade by someone of Mr. Asimov’s stature, as well as his esteemed colleagues, is truly amazing. We have always felt that our beers were something special but to have it confirmed by the New York Times panel is a great endorsement and validation that we are doing something right.”
Noting that sour beers have become “a total sensation and craze,” the panel tasted 20 beers from the United States with the beer names concealed; the beers represented a selection generally available in good retail shops, restaurants and on the internet. The panel consisted of New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov; Matthew Pene, maître d’hôtel and beer director at Eleven Madison Park restaurant; Chase Rabenn, hospitality manager at a forthcoming restaurant for the residents of 432 Park Avenue; and New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant.
Cascade Kriek 2014 is a blend of red ales that were aged in oak wine barrels with cherries for up to 14 months. Intense flavors of both sour pie and Bing cherries are supported by the rich red ale base beer with a touch of oak and hints of wood spices.
Since news broke of the ranking, bottles of 2014 Kriek have been swiftly selling at Cascade Brewing’s two retail locations, the Barrel House and the Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub. Another four-dozen bottles will be made available for sale in-house this week, retailing for $24 apiece.
Cascade Brewing is distributed in 40 states as well as Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK and several countries in Europe. “The brewery already has a great network of wholesaler partners as well as retailers and consumers that continue to spread the good word about our brands,” explained Larrance. “We now look forward to bringing even more people into the world of Cascade Brewing sour beers.”
About Cascade Brewing
Cascade Brewing has been a pioneer in the sour beer renaissance since 2006 and is the proud innovator of the Northwest Sour Ale. Its award-winning sour ales feature a clean, lactic acid profile produced by a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria. The beers frequently rely on the use of fresh ingredients grown exclusively in the Pacific Northwest, including as cherries, apricots, berries and grapes. Its blending house currently holds more than 1,500 French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels, plus nine foudres.
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