By Nate Johnson
Amidst the bleakness of winter there is brightness on the horizon as The Olympic Tavern, 2326 N. Main St., hosts several upcoming events that should help rouse beer-drinkers from the seasonal doldrums.
The first of these takes place Thursday as they celebrate Bell’s Brewery’s Hopslam’s return to local taps.
Since 2006, this double IPA has been one of the most enjoyed and sought-after offerings from the popular Michigan brewery.
Weighing in at a solid 10 percent ABV and 70 IBU, filled with malt and honey, and of course generously hopped, this is a beer that will not last long. The Olympic will be tapping their keg at 11 a.m. and once it is gone Hopslam will not be seen again for another year.
Fortunately there are several other excellent choices on tap including another of Bell’s knockouts, their Smitten Ale.
One week later, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., one of the area’s newest breweries will be represented as Freeport’s Generations Brewing Co. and brewmaster Steven Winter will pay a visit to shake hands, kiss babies and introduce locals to some of their beers, including their Wintergreen IPA and Pretzel City Amber.
The fun continues into March as Escondido, California’s Stone Brewing Co. will be the Olympic’s brewery of the month.
Consistently ranked as one of the country’s best craft breweries, Stone’s excellent line will be featured through March, kicked off by a special cask tapping of their GoTo IPA, double dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, March 6 at 4 p.m. Any fan of the west-coast style, especially excellent IPAs, will want to visit early and often.
For those less beer-inclined, or those just in need of a change, the spring session of the Olympic’s twice-a-year Whiskeyfest will take place March 7. The $25 admission ($30 at the door) will satisfy your urge for (more than) a wee nip with samples of over 25 Scotch and Irish whiskies, a whiskey-inspired appetizer buffet and the opportunity to order any of the bottles tasted that day for delivery at the restaurant the next week.