As I was scrolling through the list, I came across a new brewery in Seattle called Laughing Buddha, which offers the intriguing Purple Yam Porter for winter. Clicking around, I discovered some ink on brewery, which apparently opened last summer:
The Purple Yam Porter is made with Asian purple yams and vanilla beans. They also do a brown ale made with pandan leaves and palm sugar.
What makes Laughing Buddha stand out is Chris and Joe's mission to focus on modern Asian-style beers, a wide range of styles incorporating Asian ingredients. After weather destroyed much of the hop crops in Slovenia and the Czech Republic and drought severely affected Australia's hop supply, a worldwide hop crisis hit in December 2007. Many small breweries had their supplies limited or were out-and-out denied. But since Laughing Buddha was brand-new, it wasn't beholden to hop-heavy styles.
Asian beer is synonymous with crisp, light lagers and pilsners, and Laughing Buddha pays homage to them with its Dragon King Lager. Brewed with rice amid the hops and malt, the beer has more flavor than a Japanese rice lager and more character than macro-brewed varieties. Like any lager, the Dragon King goes with everything as well as with nothing at all. The simplicity of this beer shows some talent, and the brewery's other beers show creativity and a food-friendly flavor profile that will soon have restaurants knocking in droves....
The mango purée added to Laughing Buddha's wheat beer, Mango Weizen, "is just enough to bring out the subtle mango and fruit notes that already come from the wheat after fermentation," Joe says. Brewed in the American wheat-beer style, their Mango Weizen is a rich gold with lively carbonation, bolder than German hefeweizens; it contains enough hops to keep it from finishing too sweet, achieving a Zen-like state between fruit and grain....
Made with ginger, galangal, and mandarin orange peel, Laughing Buddha's Ginger Pale Ale throws off the sweet scent of ginger immediately, but not the sharp scent you get from ginger ale or freshly grated ginger; it's subtle, more like the steam snaking off of a bowl of tom kha gai.
Anyone heard of this beer? Sounds interesting.