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It’s That Time of Year Again – What Are You Getting Dad for Father’s Day?

Attention: Father’s Day is right around the corner! With everyone graduating this time of year, dads tend to go largely ignored… but maybe there’s a reason for that? Dads are usually easier to please.

Yes, there are always those outliers, but most dads don’t want a big deal made of the occasion; because of this, many people have trouble buying gifts for their husbands and fathers. Here’s the good news: We’re here to help you find the perfect thing, and the icing on the cake is that you’ll probably enjoy it, too.

Idea #1: A night out with friends at Easy Monkey

When you’re trying to figure out what the dads on your list might enjoy the most, you could always do a barbecue at home… Or you could let Dad relax away from any and all responsibilities, like tending the grill and making sure everything is cooked to perfection. But how? Gift Dad a night out at Easy Monkey with friends and/or family! (By the way, this is a perfect idea for Dad’s birthday and Christmas, too! Or, you know… a Thursday.)

What’s better than a night on the town with friends? Well, if your dad likes being around people in a social setting, not much, but if you’re shopping for a dad who isn’t much of a social butterfly, maybe you should consider our next idea.

Idea #2: A night out alone at Easy Monkey

If your dad prefers drinking his adult beverage without the familiar sounds of family conversation, maybe you should take him out for a one-on-one night at Easy Monkey. A night out spending quality time with one or two loved ones can work wonders for relationships and relaxation for everyone involved. Plus, if you come on one of the nights we have live music, you’ll get to enjoy that as well, whether it’s your focus or just in the background while you have deep, meaningful conversations.

(Note: This is also a fantastic idea for when Dad’s celebrating a promotion or his son winning, losing, or simply finishing playing a softball game.)

Idea #3: A night in with a movie and a growler from Easy Monkey

If you really want to treat Dad to a special night of his own choosing, let him pick his favorite on-tap beer and fill a growler to take home so you can take it home to enjoy a movie or a game night with a chosen group of friends. Take it up a notch with more than one growler – that way, Dad will be able to enjoy different kinds of beers, just as you would at the tap house.

(Tip: This is a fun way to mark the weekend or blow off steam after a long, stressful week at work.)

Idea #4: An Easy Monkey Gift Card!

If you can’t convince Dad to go out or decide on a growler, a gift card may be your best choice; with a gift card, Dad can choose when to go, who he wants to join him, and he can try anything he wants – beer, wine, food, or a combination of any and all of the above! Whatever he picks, he will certainly have a good time. Celebrate Dad the right way this year; don’t get him a tie.

 

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hops

That beer you’re drinking right now – it’s tasty, right? Well, that’s thanks in part to the hops used in the brewing and fermentation processes. But what do you care, as long as you love the beer you’re with, right? What if those hops were replaced with herbs and spices – maybe you’d care then, right? So maybe you can understand why it was so remarkable when brewers stopped using herbs and spices (then referred to as “gruit,” which sounds more like something you might be concerned enough to ask your doctor about) to brew beer, and replaced it with hops. Ahh, the hops… It’s kind of like scotch drinkers saying, “Ahh, the peat!” But wait – what’s a “hop” anyway? They’re more interesting than you might realize.

What You Didn’t Know You Always Wanted to Know About Hops

Hops are flowers herbal flowers; they come from the humulus lupulus plant and its perennial vines that can grow as much as 30 feet long. Hops are sometimes used as an herbal treatment for – maybe you could’ve guessed this – restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia; it’s even been shown to have a sedative effect on animals. Someone alert the press! Is this really a news flash? Probably not that part, but did you know that hops also have antibacterial properties? Here are some other things you might not know about hops:

  • As of 2012, Germany and the U.S. are top two producers of hops worldwide, and the United States alone produces more hops every year than the next seven highest producing countries combined!
  • Hops grows in moist temperate climates, in many of the same or similar areas as potatoes. It used to be that Germany grew the most hops in the world, but as of 2015, the Yakima Valley area (located just a bit southeast of Seattle) has edged them out to be the world’s largest producer of this key ingredient.
  • Oddly enough, Ireland (which grows a lot of potatoes) didn’t start growing hops until relatively late in the hops game, but by the mid-1700s, the country produced about 500 tons annually. If you’re from the Seattle area, you’ll know that potatoes grow well here, too – and lucky for us, the Washington soil and climate are both great for growing hops.
  • Don’t let your dog drink your beer – not only is it generally not advisable to give pets alcohol, hops are toxic to dogs. It just means that much more for you, right?
  • Hops come from the same plant family as cannabis; they look, feel, smell, and taste pretty similar, thanks to the terpenes in each.

Varieties of Hops

There are different varieties of hops, each giving the brew different levels of bitter, zesty, citrus, earthy flavors. Hops also provides stability to the brew. Most IPA drinkers might know that their chosen adult beverage can be heavily hopped, but hops are used in many if not all beers; there are different methods of using them in the brewing process. IPAs, for example, are made with very strongly bitter, pungent hops; they’re used in American stouts to give the drink a unique aroma and flavor.

There are bitter hops, aroma hops, “noble” hops (Hallertau, Tettnanger, Saaz, and Spalt), and alpha hops. Like the different varieties of wine grapes, the different types of hops produce different tastes, smells, and looks; like wine, what matters more than anything is not which type of hops were used, but rather that you enjoy your beverage. If you drink local Seattle area beers or anything with hops grown in or around this general area, you are probably drinking something with one of the more popular varietals grown here, which are Willamette (typically used in ales, pale ales, and porters), Cascade (used most frequently in pale ales, these are the most widely used of all hops), Mt. Hood (which are used in ales, pale ales, and brown ales), Columbus/Tomahawk (which are used in stouts in addition to the other more common ales and pale ales), Zeus (which are key in the flavor of stouts and pale ales), Nugget (bitter beers such as stouts and barley wine have this as an ingredient), and Galena (which are used in porters, stouts, and ales) hops.

So come on in to Easy Monkey to discover which brew is your favorite today. Your favorite this week might not be on tap next week, so hurry in to try what we have available now. Whichever your favorite, it’ll be local, and it’ll be fantastic.

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Pairing Beers and Movies

Everyone has heard tips on which wine or beer goes best with which types of foods, but what if you skip the bar or restaurant and take it home to relax on your own couch with one of your favorite movies? We all know that Easy Monkey always has some great beers on tap, and you can enjoy them with a group of your favorite people in the bar – or you could fill a growler and drink it at home. Depending on which beer you’ve chosen, you might choose a different type of movie; if you’re having a hard time deciding which movie pairs with which beer, here are some of our favorites that will make you want to fill your growler.

Big E Ales’ Summer Haze

Summer is right around the corner, so if you want something light, sweet, and filled with love, joy, and happiness, try Summer Haze, by Big E Ales, with “Mamma Mia.” It’s filled with great songs, carefree days, and love – plus, you’ll be able to taste the fresh squeezed oranges that you’d be able to smell if you were actually in Greece, where the movie is set. Fair warning, though: you might wake up with “Waterloo” stuck in your head, so there’s that.

Salish Sea Brewing Co.’s Prior Porter

Looking for something a little darker than that? Look no further than the Prior Porter, with a slightly malty, crisp cola, kettle caramelization taste, we think the perfect movie to wash this down is “Shaun of the Dead,” the cult favorite Simon Pegg zombie apocalypse movie. It has a little light, sweet feel to it, not unlike the porter; both of these will become some of your regulars.

Two Beers’ Tipsy Toboggan

Known for its full flavored, dark, toasty, and warming qualities, this brew is a great pick if you want to fill a growler to take to a holiday celebration. We recommend pairing this with the National Lampoon classic “Christmas Vacation” for more than just the holiday theme – it’s heartwarming and filled with adventure, memories, characters, and makes you appreciate that there are families out there a whole lot crazier than yours.

Two Beers’ Pumpkin Spice

Speaking of holidays, Two Beers’ Pumpkin Spice will have you itching to watch “You’ve Got Mail,” visit New York City in the fall, and maybe even “send [someone] a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.” Both are festive, bright, clean, and refreshing. Need we say more?

Big E Ales’ Blackberry Ale

Maybe you’re more in the mood for something more dark and mysterious – something you need to try again to completely understand. Big E Ales’ Blackberry Ale pairs very well with the Brad Pitt – Ed Norton modern classic “Fight Club.” The ale is a deep, dark red color (kind of like the deep, dark secret in the movie) with a subtle hint of blackberry (plot twist!), and a smooth finish (we think you’ll want to try it again and again).

Come In for a Growler – Discover Your Favorite Combination!

What’s your favorite combination? Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, so tell us: which beers do you think go best with which movies? Come in to Easy Monkey to get a growler filled with your favorite beer to take home to watch with a movie, TV show, or the big game. Regardless of what type of thing you watch, alone or with friends, we hope you love your beer. We hope to see you soon!

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Beer: What a Way to Experience the World

Many people enjoy traveling to experience the world and so many of the different things in unique locations, but how do you really get to experience the reality of any culture? You could argue that one of the things people take most seriously is their food (and drink). Consider traditional American culture, for example – it’s almost cliché to say “American as apple pie” – which says something about America, doesn’t it? On a typical Sunday in the U.S., you might find any number of individuals at restaurants and bars enjoying a meal and a beer while watching football on the in-house TV, and again, that says something. As Americans, we enjoy our food and drink (some might say especially our drink).

Beer in Pop Culture and Media

On TV and in movies, Americans drink a lot of beer, from small production craft and home brews to those created in huge factories. We drink everything from stouts and lagers to pilsners and hefeweizens. Beers and ales vary around the world, many types of which we are fortunate enough to get to experience right here at Easy Monkey.

  • Chinese beers tend toward the nutty and hoppy pilsner style. If you want to try something like that, give Two Beers’ Pilchuck Pilsner a whirl; it’s got Saaz and Perle hops, plus a lightly sweet aroma and a touch of spiciness.
  • Want to experience Ireland? Try one of our dry, bittersweet stouts, like Two Beers’ Tipsy Toboggan, with its dark color and toasty flavor with hints of chocolate, orange, date, and plum; it pairs perfectly with cold winter evenings.
  • English ales are traditionally served warm and are carbonated naturally. Want to give this type a go? Try Hellbent’s Hop & Oats – Along with the usual malted barley, it’s brewed with oats to bring out the floral and citrus characteristics of the three types of hops (Mosaic, Simcoe, and Cascade) that are added during the fermentation process.
  • Peruvian and Mexican citizens enjoy cervezas – but what’s the difference between a “beer” and a “cerveza”? Generally speaking, they’re just two different words that mean basically the same thing, but cervezas made in Peru and Mexico (among other places) are light, crisp, and refreshing. If you’re in the mood for something like that, try Dirty Bucket’s Dirty Blonde, a refreshing golden ale that is light, smooth, and refreshing – perfect for spring and summer weather!

Visitors Wish They Could Find a Place Like Easy Monkey!

Visitors to Seattle’s Easy Monkey Taphouse can experience so many typical American beers (not to mention food), and in doing so, they’ll also be treated to a bit of American culture. Easy Monkey is one of those places that visitors and tourists wish they could find – it has a little bit of everything, with a welcoming, friendly atmosphere, great service.

So whether you want to experience Seattle’s twists on beers from different parts of the world or just taste great locally brewed beers, come on it, check out the variety of on-tap beers available here with a group of friends! We look forward to seeing you again and again.

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Creative Drinkers

Beer Unlocks Your Creativity!

Who hasn’t fantasized about working with a beer in hand? It seems that alcohol has some sort of magical quality about it – a power to release creativity, allowing those consuming it to produce quality work. Artists of all kinds, regardless of their medium of expression (and even those in business), use it to unlock and harness the power of their own creativity. Alcohol allows us to relax our minds just enough to let our true talents shine.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

But wait… Isn’t alcohol a depressant? That’s what we all learned in school, right? Well, it’s true that alcohol does in fact depress certain parts of the human brain, but when you’re trying to do something creative, something artistic, or solve some sort of quandary or find solutions to problems, that’s exactly what you need. Usually, we try to block out all extraneous stimuli that might distract us from the matter at hand; when you drink, however, some of that “unwanted” stuff pops up, and while your sober inclination might be to push that to the side, you’re not as able to do that under the influence of alcohol. In creative endeavors, that’s a benefit, because it’s just those things that help you think of things just a little bit differently, and you’re able to think of solutions you hadn’t before. Your inner consciousness and imagination take flight, and you’re able to think outside the box like you hadn’t been able to before.

Alcohol-Inspired Artists

Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize winning American author Ernest Hemingway famously said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” Plenty of writers have applied his advice – but it’s not just authors that benefit. Consider some of the many famous actors who have admitted to being drunk on set – Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter,” Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” and Brad Pitt and Ed Norton in “Fight Club” – where would pop culture be without some of those classic scenes? Maybe they’re born with talent, but maybe it’s the alcohol that brings it out of them.

How many people have you heard say, “I can’t draw,” “I’m not an artist,” or something similar? Maybe it’s not a natural talent too many people possess, but there’s something to be said for those art creation classes where everyone starts with a blank canvas and a glass of wine. Somehow, a room filled with non-artists can create unique, creative personal masterpieces. Maybe they’re not van Gogh – who was known as quite the drinker in his day, by the way – but the alcohol has a calming, grounding, relaxing effect, and suddenly people are willing to try things they haven’t before.

Economically Speaking, Beer May Help

In the 1950s, businessmen (as they were called back then) would have a beer or martini – or two or three – at lunch, and the American economy was doing great. It was a prosperous time. Now, in the 2010s, you might be fired for looking sideways at the beer and wine selection at lunch, and the economy isn’t exactly doing quite as well as it was back then. Could this be a coincidence? Maybe, but you might want to make sure. Come check out our selection of locally brewed beers and ales on tap right here at Easy Monkey.