Images via Beer Junction and Two Beers. Immature giggling over the "wood" joke courtesy of me.

Surely those new year's resolutions about drinking less have worn off by now? Here are two upcoming reasons for beer geeks to mark their calendars.

Beer Junction
Since the West Seattle beer store moved to a newer space (that's double the size), the bar area in the front boasts one of the most impressive tap selections in town. And that was before owner Morgan Herzog decided to devote 14 of his 20 taps to barrel-aged beers, starting Saturday. From January 19 to 26, the front bar will morph into Barrel Junction, a shrine to already-great beers aged on wood to give them even more complexity and flavor. Herzog says his ode to barrel aging will be an annual thing. He's particularly excited about the Deliverance from California-based brewery Lost Abbey (a blend of bourbon-barrel-aged Serpent’s Stout and brandy-barrel-aged Angels Share), a bourbon-aged Firestone Parabola imperial stout, Fremont Brewing's famed oak-aged Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout (infused with hazelnuts and smoked peppercorns), and Duo Brewing's scotch ale, aged in a rye whiskey barrel.

Stop in for a 10-ounce pour of any of these, or build a taster tray. And remember the shop is closed on Mondays.

Two Beers Brewing
For beer aficionados who have already stocked up on Fremont's B-Bomb, here's another uber-specialty brew to track down. The SoDo brewery is getting ready to release a new roster of specialty beers, the Alta Series. The series of four small-batch ales have alcohol levels that scale higher than 9 percent though founder Joel VandenBrink says the name “Alta” refers to the limits-pushing nature of these new creations. The first release is a Switchback Russian Imperial Stout; brace yourself for some multilayered flavors and a 12-percent alcohol level, the result of six months aging in brandy barrels, followed by four months spent in the company of Theo cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and bing cherries.

The Switchback gets released February 2 at Two Beers’ tasting room, The Woods.  Since the brewery only produced 1,000 wax-sealed 22-ounce bottles, it might behoove you to swing by, since area retailers must wait a week to start carrying the $13 bottles. Limit six per customer. Plus there’s a raffle for some larger bottles of the Switchback, and special aged and infused beers on tap that day as well.  The other three Alta releases are slated to happen in May, August, and November.


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