Bad news from Pennsyltucky: six more weeks of winter. Wait, but does that mean six more weeks of winter in Pennsylvania, or everywhere? Growing up there, it never occurred to me to wonder in the news applied outside state lines. (What intellectually curious young minds they shape in the Keystone State!)

Whatever. Rodent-related superstitions aside, we know quite well the weather is going to suck here in Seattle until mid-April. To fortify against all those gray, cold days, I suggest Pike Brewing’s Old Bawdy barley wine. A Brit-term for very boozy beer, barley wine is like beer on steroids: more malt, more hops, more…just more. It has that stick-to-your-bones quality you get from Guinness only, well, more of it.

Now, Pike Brewing isn’t my favorite local brewery, or even a close second. But it is close to my office and it’s in the market, and everything is better for being in the market. Their barley wine is the best I’ve tasted but, True Confession: for all my love of beer, I’ve only tasted about three or four barley wines. Ever. So please hit me up if you know a better one.

Next Sunday the 8th, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Pike is holding a vertical tasting featuring the 2008 vintage along with the past five. I imagine there will be those wine tasting spittoons, but if you don’t see any, take heed: things could get seriously intense in there. Barley wine is a drink to work your way up to.

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