Can Craft Beer Survive AB InBev? (The Answer is “Yes”)

June 25th, 2015 · General Beer News

There is a very interesting and informative article posted today over at Bloomberg Business. Titled “Can Craft Beer Survive AB AnBev”, the piece mostly focuses on Andy Goeler, CEO of craft beer for AB InBev’s Anheuser-Busch division. There is some good commentary on the Elysian deal in there, including quotes from Elysian founders Joe Bisacca and Dick Cantwell.

The article certainly gives some good insight into the CEO driving their strategy, and Goeler’s answer to Tony Magee’s allegations regarding pricing beer well-below market value is the type of response you’d expect from someone in his position:

Others say the company wants to do more than just befuddle beer fans—it wants to drive its craft rivals out of business. Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, Calif., says AB InBev is selling barrels of Goose Island for half what its free-spirited competitors charge for their products. “What they really want to do is disrupt this whole craft thing so they can go back to the business that they’d like to be in, which is making lighter beer with inexpensive ingredients,” he says.

Goeler finds such talk exasperating. “People say, ‘You guys are trying to put craft out of business,’?” he says. “Well, we’ve done more to get craft beer to more people than anyone in the industry.”

I really wish the author (Devin Leonard) had pressed harder on Goeler to elaborate on their position/strategy for that point in the story. I think that it is possibly the most important piece for consumers to understand in how it relates to driving AB InBev’s strategy. Like market leaders in many industries, I’m assuming that AB InBev would be happy to eliminate competition. Cutting prices to AB-owned craft beers in key markets is a good way to work towards that.

As for Cantwell’s departure from Elysian, there is some good commentary included in the piece. Here is a section discussing Cantwell’s reaction to the “peach pumpkin ale” debacle:

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. Elysian co-founder Cantwell went to a Super Bowl party and found the ad harder to shrug off. “We were watching the game over in my little living room,” says Steve Luke, a brewer at Elysian. “That commercial came on, and you could hear a pin drop afterwards. It was not good.” Soon after, Cantwell tendered his resignation. “I had already decided I would not be able to work with my former partners,” he says. “Seeing the ad solidified my unwillingness to ever work with Anheuser-Busch again. There’s a big difference between an independent craft brewery that makes its own decisions and an enormous company that has one arm devoted to what they consider to be craft beer. In the case of Anheuser-Busch, they are perfectly content to have the different arms of their company at war with each other.”

Goeler laments Cantwell’s departure, but he’s proud the former brewmaster is the only one of 217 Elysian employees who’s left because AB InBev bought the company. “Dick Cantwell wanted to be involved and just changed his mind,” Goeler says. “That’s fine. We have Joe and Dave, the other two partners that still want to be actively involved.” He says his mission is to preserve the successful, offbeat cultures of these breweries, which means keeping the leadership intact, if possible: “If they wanted to sell and run away, what am I going to do? Go run it myself?”

Check out the full article on Bloomberg:

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E9 Brewery Releasing Bottles of Saisons and a Sour Beer This Weekend

June 24th, 2015 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

Image from E9 Facebook page.

After book-ending the Sour Beer category at the 2015 Washington Beer Awards by taking gold and bronze medals for Raspberry Wild and Nefelibata, respectively, Tacoma’s E9 Brewery is planning to release some special beers in bottles this upcoming Saturday, June 27.

More info from E9:

The next round of bottles are finally ready to be released! They will beavailable this coming Saturday at the E9 restaurant/bar (next to the brewery) when doors open at 8AM. We will be releasing four new saisons and a barrel aged fruited sour. All five will be available on draft on the day of release for you to try.

About the beer:
Ferme Agrume (pronounced fair-may ah-groom) Numbers 1,2 and 3.
These are from a series of farmhouse saisons that pair unique citrus fruits and single varieties of dry-hops.

Ferme Agrume No.1: Tangelos and Citra Hops. (120 bottles available)

Ferme Agrume No.2: Homegrown Lemons and Limes and Sorachi Ace Hops. (120 bottles available)

Ferme Agrume No.3: Jamaican Ugli fruit and Mosaic Hops. (120 bottles available)

Le Pelerin (the Pilgrim): A farmhouse ale brewed with UK Pilgrim hops and fermented with our house blend of brett and sacc yeast. (96 bottles available)

Nectarberry (sour): A multi-year blended barrel aged ale that sat on Nectarberries for several months prior to bottling. (360 bottles available)

All of these are bottled-conditioned in 375mL cork/cage bottles. Hope to see you there!!

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Holy Mountain Brewing to Release The Goat & Choir of the Sun in Bottles on Saturday

June 23rd, 2015 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

goat2Holy Mountain Brewing will be releasing two more beers in bottles this Saturday. Both saisons, The Goat and Choir of the Sun will be available when the doors open at noon on Saturday, June 27. Bottles went quickly at the last release the brewery did a couple of weekend ago, so be prepared.

Two new special beers will also be available on draught on Saturday to celebrate the occasion. Blackberry Table will be released as next in the line of Table Sours from the brewery, and a barrel-aged version of River of Ash , a dark farmhouse ale, will be pouring.

In addition to being available on Saturday at the brewery, a limited number of bottles of The Goat will go out to local retailers.

Check out the full press release for more info:

(Seattle, WA) Holy Mountain Brewing Company, located in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, is proud to announce the release of two new beers in bottles, including its first bottle available for distribution to retailers. The Goat and Choir of the Sun will both be released on Saturday, June 27th starting at 12pm at the Holy Mountain taproom located at 1421 Elliott Ave W in Seattle.

The Goat is a rustic brett saison. This batch was fermented in an oak foudre with several saison strains and brettanomyces, and allowed to age in the tank for three months. The Goat is brewed with barley, rye, oats, and wheat, and hopped heavily with European hops. The bottles were refermented with brettanomyces and allowed to condition for four months. 80 cases of The Goat were bottled, and it will be available both at the taproom and in limited distribution to local accounts.

Choir of the Sun is a saison which was fermented in an oak puncheon with several saisons strains and allowed to age with brettanomyces for six months. 39 cases of Choir of the Sun were bottled, and it will only be available at the Holy Mountain taproom.

Bottle limits of 1 case per person of The Goat and 6 bottles per person of Choir of the Sun. $15 each.

Two special new beers will be tapped to celebrate the occasion. Blackberry Table, a Table Sour which was aged in oak barrels with a wild culture, then racked into an oak wine puncheon on top of blackberries and allowed to age with additional brettanomyces. Holy Mountain’s Table Sours are intended to be easy­drinking, moderate alcohol sours drawing inspiration from the German berliner­weisse tradition of lacto and brett fermentations. In addition to Blackberry Table, Barrel Aged River of Ash will make its debut, a dark farmhouse ale fermented in a mix of third use bourbon and wine barrels with cherries. A single bourbon barrel of the beer was transferred into a wine barrel and allowed to age 5 months with brett.

The Holy Mountain Brewing Company taproom is located at 1421 Elliott Ave W in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood. Featuring 12 taps of Holy Mountain’s ales and lagers, the taproom is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 3­9, Friday 3­10, Saturday 12­10, and Sunday 12­9. The taproom is closed Tuesdays. Food trucks every Saturday. 21+ except to pick up growlers, no pets.

The taproom has parking on the west side of the building, which can be accessed from the alley off of W Galer St under the Magnolia overpass, or W Lee St, next to the Dog Lounge. There is also access from Elliott Ave, including ADA access. Outside food is welcome.

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Seattle International Beer Fest is Approaching – Get Free Beer

June 22nd, 2015 · Events

beerfest_mh60Now that the WA Brewers Festival is a wrap after the fun this past weekend, the next big festival of the year is quickly approaching. The Seattle International Beer Festival (SIB) will take place at the Seattle Center Fisher Lawn & Pavilion from Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 12. While most Seattle-area beer festivals focus on local beers, SIB brings in some great beers from all over the world, in addition to some of the best the NW has to offer. This year’s festival will feature at least 220 beers, both on draft and poured from bottles.

The best way to experience SIB might be to volunteer for a shift pouring beers. It’s easy and fun, and you’ll earn yourself free entry to the fest for your help. Check out the volunteer page on the website for more info and how to sign up.

There are always quite a few gems at this fest, and this year is no exception. You can check out the full list of beers here, and I’ll put up a target list in the week leading up to the fest. Be careful; many of these beers are high alcohol and will catch up to you. I highly suggest taking public transportation, which shouldn’t be an issue due to its central location.

Tickets are $25 online, or $30 at the gate (cash only) and include 10 beer tickets and a SIB glass. Or, you can get the “Big Deal” online, which for $45 includes 40 beer tickets total. You can revisit all weekend without an additional entry cost. Beers will “cost” you between 1 and 7 tickets, depending on how expensive the particular beer was for the organizers to procure. There will be many bottled beers available that cost upwards of $20 or even $30 per bottle, and SIB is a great chance to try those without throwing down $ for a whole bottle. There are always plenty of interesting beers available for 1 ticket, so you can stick to those if you prefer.

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Puyallup River Brewing, Reuben’s Brews & Fish Brewing Come Out on Top at 3rd Annual Washington Beer Awards

June 22nd, 2015 · Washington Breweries

The winners of this year’s Washington Beer Awards were announced at the Washington Brewers Festival this past weekend in Redmond, Washington. Cheers to all of the winners, and thanks to the organizers and judges for running another great competition this year.

The big winners were Puyallup River Brewing (Small Brewery of the Year), Reuben’s Brews (Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year) and Fish Brewing Company (Large Brewery of the Year).

A press release follows, along with the list of winning beers by category.

Press Release:

Seattle, WA, June 20, 2015: Specialty Competitions LLC is proud to release the results of the third annual Washington Beer Awards®. Seventy Washington breweries received recognition of gold, silver, and bronze medals in 45 award category groupings.

The results for this Washington-only professional beer competition were announced on June 20th at the Washington Brewers Festival at Marymoor Park in Redmond where some of Washington’s best brewers received medals for their award winning beers.

The judging for the Washington Beer Awards was held on May 30th at Elliott Bay Public House & Brewery in Lake City. The panels of trained judges had to evaluate 716 beers from 107 breweries spanning over 100 unique styles from the Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines for technical and stylistic excellence.

The competition was held with the endorsement of the Washington Beer Commission as a way to celebrate Washington’s growing brewing culture and recognize excellence in the craft. All of Washington’s craft breweries were invited to submit entries to the competition held in a similar format to other craft beer competitions like the Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup®.

Three special awards, the Small, Mid-Sized and Large Breweries of the Year, were presented to breweries who won numerous medals in many categories. Puyallup River Brewing took home the Small Brewery of the Year by placing well in three categories. Reuben’s Brews won the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year with a fist-full of medals, including three golds. The Large Brewery of the Year was won by Fish Brewing Company with four medals including three golds.

A few special awards were also providing recognizing some unique Washington brewing excellence. Big Block Brewing’s “Raspberry Blonde” was selected as the Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer for showcasing locally harvested raspberries. Airways Brewing won a special award in the “Pro-Am” category for their Berliner Weisse that was developed by a Washington homebrewer and scaled up for commercial production.

More information on the competition and the complete list of results can be found at Watch for Washington’s award winning beers marked at your local craft beer bars and beer stores and get ready for the Washington Beer Awards to return in 2016 where new winners will be decided!

Full List of Winning Beers:
European Pale Lagers:
Gold: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Golden Export
Silver: Icicle Brewing Company – Crosscut Pilsner
Bronze: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Helles

European Amber & Dark Lagers:
Gold: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Rauchbier
Silver: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Dunkel
Bronze: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Marzen

Strong Lagers:
Gold: Naked City Brewery & Taphouse – Rauch City
Silver: River City Brewing – Congratulator Doppelbock
Bronze: Ram Restaurant & Brewery – Maibock

American Lagers:
Gold: Fish Brewing Company – Premium Lager
Silver: Airways Brewing – Pre Flight Pilsner
Bronze: Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. – 1897 Pale Lager

German Hybrid Beers:
Gold: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Kolsch
Silver: Standard Brewing – Kolsch
Bronze: Heathen Brewing – Absolution

German Wheat & Rye Beers:
Gold: Fish Brewing Company – Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen
Silver: Stoup Brewing – Stoup Hefeweizen
Bronze: Loowit Brewing Company – Der Couvensteiner Dunkelweizen

Other Wheat & Rye Beers:
Gold: Fremont Brewing – Wandering Wheat
Silver: Fish Brewing Company – Whistling Pig Hefeweizen
Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Rainy Rye IPA

American Light Ales:
Gold: Redhook Brewery – No Equal
Silver: Reuben’s Brews – Cream Ale
Bronze: Ram Restaurant & Brewery – Blonde

Session Beers:
Gold: Aslan Brewing Company – Blueprint
Silver: Black Raven Brewing Co. – Redfeather Session IPA
Bronze: Airways Brewing – PSA – Summer Ale

Gold: No-Li Brewhouse – Spin Cycle Red Ale
Silver: Loowit Brewing Company – Extrabeerestrial ESB
Bronze: Elliot Bay Brewing Company – Organic Alembic Pale

English Ales:
Gold: Fish Brewing Company – Organic IPA
Silver: Flyers Restaurant & Brewery – Barnstormer Brown Ale
Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – English Pale

British Strong Ales:
Gold: Populuxe Brewing – Old Oddvars
Silver: Silver City Brewery – Old Scrooge
Bronze: Strong Arm Brewing – Cincinnatus Strong Ale

Scottish Ales:
Gold: Paradise Creek Brewery – Scottish Stovepipe
Silver: Old Rock Brewery – Misery Whip Scotch Ale
Bronze: Geaux Brewing – Wee Y’at?

Irish Red Ales:
Gold: Menace Brewing – Self-Titled
Silver: Whitewall Brewing Company – Sassy Lassie
Bronze: Kulshan Brewing Company – Red Cap

Robust Porters:
Gold: Reuben’s Brews – Robust Porter
Silver: Skookum Brewery – Skookum Porter
Bronze: Flyers Restaurant & Brewery – Pacemaker Porter

Other Porters:
Gold: Harmon Brewing Co. – Puget Sound Porter
Silver: Big Al Brewing – Big Al Smoked Porter
Bronze: Schooner Exact Brewing Co. – King Street Brown

British Stouts:
Gold: Seapine Brewing Company – Sea Witch Milk Stout
Silver: Elliot Bay Brewing Company – Organic No Doubt Stout
Bronze: Dick’s Brewing Co. – Dick’s Cream Stout

Irish Stouts:
Gold: Reuben’s Brews – Foreign Export Stout
Silver: Paradise Creek Brewery – Invective Stout
Bronze: Outlander Brewing – Jamaican Stout

American-Style Stouts:
Gold: Top Rung Brewing Company – My Dog Scout Stout
Silver: Harmon Brewing Co. – Stryker Stout
Bronze: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Hooligan Stout

Imperial Stouts:
Gold: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Imperial Stout
Silver: Fremont Brewing – Dark Star
Bronze: Silver City Brewery – Imperial Stout

American-Style Pale Ales:
Gold: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Stash Box III
Silver: Fremont Brewing – Universale Pale Ale
Bronze: Northwest Brewing Company – Road Trip Pale Ale

American-Style Strong Pale Ales:
Gold: Icicle Brewing Company – Bootjack IPA
Silver: Stoup Brewing – Stoup Citra IPA
Bronze: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Epiphany Pale

Belgo-American & International Ales:
Gold: Sound Brewery – Ursus Spelaeus
Silver: Aslan Brewing Company – FIFA
Bronze: Fremont Brewing – Summer Ale

American Amber Ales:
Gold: Twelve String Brewing Co. – Crescendo Series Valley Red
Silver: Skookum Brewery – Ambers Hot Friend
Bronze: Populuxe Brewing – Citra Red

American Brown and Black Ales:
Gold: Reuben’s Brews – Black Imperial IPA
Silver: English Setter Brewing – Field Point Brown
Bronze: Standard Brewing – Cascadian Dark Ale

American-Style India Pale Ales:
Gold: Kulshan Brewing Company – Bastard Kat
Silver: Big House Brewing/Mill Creek Brewpub – Inmate I.P.A.
Bronze: Big Time Brewing Co.  – Citra Smash

Imperial or Double India Pale Ales:
Gold: Bale Breaker Brewing – Bottomcutter IIPA
Silver: Backwoods Brewing Company – Double Cutt
Bronze: Standard Brewing – Imperial IPA

Imperial or Double Red Ales:
Gold: Ice Harbor Brewing – Ice Harbor Imperial Red
Silver: Elysian Brewing Company – Men’s Room Black
Bronze: Dick’s Brewing Co. – Dick’s Imperial Red

Gold: Icicle Brewing Company – The Decline
Silver: TripleHorn Brewing Co. – BYGG VIN 2014
Bronze: Three Magnets Brewing – Barley Wine

Belgian-Style Wits:
Gold: Aslan Brewing Company – Witbier
Silver: Issaquah Brewhouse – White Frog
Bronze: Northwest Brewing Company – Blood Orange Wit

Belgian Ales:
Gold: Sound Brewery – Bombshell
Silver: Bainbridge Island Brewing – Bainbridge Blonde
Bronze: Wander Brewing – Wanderale Belgian Blond

Abbey-Inspired Ales:
Gold: Sound Brewery – Dubbel Entendre
Silver: TripleHorn Brewing Co. – Stupid Monk-Ee
Bronze: Silver City Brewery – Liquid Sunshine

Belgian Strong Ales:
Gold: Kulshan Brewing Company – Hop Howdy
Silver: Odin Brewing Co. – Equinox
Bronze: Silver City Brewery – Giant Made Of Shadows

Farmhouse Ales:
Gold: Holy Mountain Brewing Company – The Ox
Silver: Puyallup River Brewing – Paradise Blonde Saison
Bronze: Big Al Brewing – Time Capsule September ’14

American-Style Brett Beers:
Gold: Propolis Brewing – Beltane
Silver: Propolis Brewing – Gardin
Bronze: Urban Family Brewing Co. – Fancy Sauce: Brennan

Sour Beers:
Gold: E9 Brewery – Raspberry Wild
Silver: Elysian Brewing Company – Zoot Suit Riot Cherry Sour
Bronze: E9 Brewery – Nefelibata

Fruit Beers:
Gold: Puyallup River Brewing – Pineapple Paradise Saison
Silver: Big Block Brewing – Raspberry Blonde
Bronze: Ten Pin Brewing Co. – Sunny Day

Vegetable Beers:
Gold: Wingman Brewers – Cucumber Brett
Silver: Hi-Fi Brewing – Pump Up The Volume
Bronze: Elysian Brewing Company – The Great Pumpkin

Coffee & Chocolate Beers:
Gold: Two Beers Brewing – Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale
Silver: Puyallup River Brewing – Mud Mt Milk Stout
Bronze: Icicle Brewing Company – Dark Persuasion

Herb & Spice Beers:
Gold: Epic Ales – Hope
Silver: Brickyard Brewing – Southwestern Hatch Green Chili Blonde
Bronze: Propolis Brewing – Fennel

Specialty Beers:
Gold: Naked City Brewery & Taphouse – Smoking Gun
Silver: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Only The Tip
Bronze: Issaquah Brewhouse – Little Frog

Wood & Barrel Aged Beers:
Gold: Strong Arm Brewing – Magnus Whiskey Barrel Aged Oatmeal Milk Chocolate Espresso Stout
Silver: Boundary Bay Brewery – Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Bronze: Old Rock Brewery – El Charro Oaked Agave Amber

Wood & Barrel Aged Strong Beers:
Gold: Schooner Exact Brewing Co. – 2015 Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter
Silver: Heathen Brewing – Bourbon Barrel Aged Epitaph
Bronze: Fremont Brewing – Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star

Wood & Barrel Aged Sour Beers:
Gold: Anacortes Brewery – Broken Link Sour
Silver: Holy Mountain Brewing Company – The Third Nail
Bronze: Bainbridge Island Brewing – Viognier Barrel Blonde

Washington Pro-Am Awards:
Gold: Airways Brewing and Mark Emiley – Berliner Weisse
Silver: Reuben’s Brews and Louis Strouger – Marzen

Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer: Big Block Brewing – Raspberry Blonde
Small Brewery of the Year: Puyallup River Brewing
Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year (Sponsored by Washington Hop Growers): Reuben’s Brews
Large Brewery of the Year (Sponsored by Briess Malt and Ingredients): Fish Brewing Company

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Perihelion Brewery Looks to Become First-Ever Brewery on Beacon Hill

June 15th, 2015 · Washington Breweries

Owner Les McAuliffe.

Those of you that live in Ballard might not believe it, but there are actually still a few Seattle neighborhoods that do not have a single brewery, yet. My home of Beacon Hill is one of those neighborhoods. Relief is in site, though, as Perihelion Brewery is coming to Beacon Hill later this year.

Located at 2800 16th Ave S, the brewery will boast a prime location across the street from the Hilltop Red Apple grocery store and the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. Owner Les McAuliffe will be the Head Brewer, and Hunter Jaworski will be his hard-working Assistant Brewer. They took possession of the key to the space a little less than a month ago, and they are currently hard at work ripping out the old infrastructure from what was most recently a dentist office.

McAuliffe is a long-time Beacon Hill resident and a former contractor, and he’s excited for Perihelion to become a part of the neighborhood. McAuliffe says, “I’m excited to finally be doing what I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. But, to do it here, it just couldn’t be better. It’s really exciting. Having lived here for so many years and seeing the changes, it’s just huge to be a part of what’s going on.”

The name “Perihelion” refers to the point in a planet’s orbit when it is closest to the sun. McAuliffe, who is a long-time homebrewer of 20+ years, has made a homebrew by the same name for many years. The brewery & pub space will be compact, with about 1,100 to 1,200 sq ft of usable area. They will be brewing on a 7bbl system with 3 fermenters, to start, which will help keep multiple styles flowing for patrons to choose from. McAuliffe explains, “One of the things that I think is exciting when you go into a brewery is to have a big selection. So, my thought is that even in this small space, I’d like to have 10 taps. 5 of those might be our standards, while the others might be more experimental type stuff. I think that variety is important.”

Les McAuliffe & Hunter Jaworski.

Les McAuliffe & Hunter Jaworski.

They understand that they’ll need to have some standard beers like an IPA to satisfy everyone’s hop cravings, but McAuliffe is really a fan of Belgian-style beers. He loves saisons, and according to Jaworski, McAuliffe also makes a great Belgian-style golden ale. They have both done a good deal of “research” at local breweries, and they know they need to make quality beers right out of the gate. McAuliffe says, “Hopefully, we can shake the bugs out pretty quickly. I’m keenly aware that for myself, as a drinker and a brewer, it only takes one bad beer to turn me off from a place.”

The brewery will be kid-friendly, and there will be a small kitchen serving “elevated pub food”. With limited space, they’ll have to be creative to make the food prep side of the house work efficiently. McAuliffe has experience smoking salmon and pork shoulders, and he hopes to incorporate those into the menu.

In addition to pouring pints, Perihelion will become the first business on Beacon Hill where you can get a growler filled. They will also consider limited self-distribution of beer, especially to local businesses up on the hill.

While the indoor space may be a bit tight, the space they’ll have for a patio is pretty expansive. They have a big stretch of on the east side of the building where they’ll add patio seating. On that side of the building, they are also considering adding a glass garage door to their construction plans. McAuliffe says, “It would incorporate that space into the brewery and make it feel more open and together. That’s really important to us.”

The building itself is perfect for the feel of a neighborhood brewery. With so much new construction going on around the core of North Beacon Hill, no one would have been surprised to see the building get torn down. They lucked out that the owner of the building has no such intentions. McAuliffe explains, “There is a lot of money to be made in building 4 or 5 floors up. A lot of developers would just tear it down. But, this is a beautiful building and his (the owner’s) goal is to restore it.”

The location really is about as perfect as it gets for Beacon Hill. McAuliffe says, “Honestly, I could not think of a better place. I just couldn’t. Over the course of the past year, I’ve gotten cold feet…since we’ve been here demoing this place for just three weeks, I now have no doubt. My cold feet are gone. People are so supportive and excited about having this here. The interest spans all demographics in this neighborhood.”

McAuliffe and Jaworski hope to have beer pouring and the doors open by the end of October. You can keep track of their progress through their Twitter page at @Perihelionbeer.

Cheers to McAuliffe for bringing a brewery to a neighborhood that could really use one.


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Holy Mountain Brewing Limited Bottle Release Coming This Saturday

June 9th, 2015 · Press Release, Washington Breweries

Until now, the only beer that Holy Mountain Brewing Company has released in bottles is The Third Nail, which was a special release for the Pine Box’s 3rd anniversary. This weekend, the brewery will release two beers that have frequently been pouring at the taproom: Ceremony and Silent Sun.

The bottles will be available when the brewery opens on Saturday, June 13 at 12pm. Both beers will be released in 750ml bottles, with the price being $15 for Silent Sun and $12 for Ceremony. The limit is 6 bottles per person, and there will be about 300 bottles total of each beer available.

To celebrate the occasion, the taproom will also be pouring Apricot Table, the first in a series of American Table Sours. This batch of Apricot Table was aged in oak barrels with a wild culture, then racked into an oak wine puncheon on top of apricots and allowed to age with additional brettanomyces. Holy Mountain’s Table Sours are intended to be easy­ drinking, moderate alcohol sours drawing inspiration from the German Berliner Weisse tradition of lacto and brett fermentations.

Personally, I’m quite excited to see Ceremony in bottles. It has become my go-to beer when visiting the Holy Mountain taproom. This assertively-hopped farmhouse pale ale is fermented 100% with brettanomyces and weighs in at 6% ABV. It’s fruity, a bit funky and nice and dry. Perfect for a sunny afternoon.

More details on the release:

(Seattle, WA) Holy Mountain Brewing Company, located in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, is proud to announce the first release in bottles of two beers. Ceremony and Silent Sun will both be released as taproom -only limited bottlings available Saturday, June 13th starting at 12pm at the Holy Mountain taproom located at 1421 Elliott Ave W in Seattle.

Silent Sun is a barrel fermented and aged Gose dry hopped with Hallertau Blanc. Brewed with wheat and pilsner malts, as well as coriander and salt, this Gose was fermented entirely with lactobacillus and brettanomyces in oak puncheons. It’s was also refermented in the bottle with two strains of brett. Ceremony is a farmhouse pale ale brewed with oats, 100% brettanomyces fermented, and hopped with Goldings and Citra. It is also refermented in the bottle with brett.

The total bottle count for both releases is approximately 300 bottles each, and both will only be available at the Holy Mountain taproom. Bottle limits of 6 bottles per beer per person. A special new beer will be tapped to celebrate the occasion. Apricot Table, the first in a series of American Table Sours that will be released starting this summer. This batch of Apricot Table was aged in oak barrels with a wild culture, then racked into an oak wine puncheon on top of apricots and allowed to age with additional brettanomyces. Holy Mountain’s Table Sours are intended to be easy­drinking, moderate alcohol sours drawing inspiration from the German berliner-­weisse tradition of lacto and brett fermentations.

Das Brat Wagen will be on hand Saturday the 13th serving up Bratwurst sausages.

The Holy Mountain Brewing Company taproom is located at 1421 Elliott Ave W in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood. Featuring 12 taps of Holy Mountain’s ales and lagers, the taproom is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 3­-9, Friday 3­-10, Saturday 12­-10, and Sunday 12-­9. The taproom is closed Tuesdays. Food trucks every Saturday. 21+ except to pick up growlers, no pets.

The taproom has parking on the west side of the building, which can be accessed from the alley off of W Galer St under the Magnolia overpass, or W Lee St, next to the Dog Lounge. There is also access from Elliott Ave, including ADA access. Outside food is welcome.

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Two Beers Brewing & Seattle Cider Company to Open New Tasting Room This Weekend

June 9th, 2015 · Cider, Washington Breweries

From the opening party for their current tasting room back in 2011. Image from +Russ on Flickr.

Business is good for Two Beers Brewing & Seattle Cider Company.  The two businesses share a tasting room, called The Woods, which will re-open with double the amount of space for customers this Saturday, June 13 at 1pm. An in-house kitchen, run by the team behind Bread & Circuses, will also open later this year.

Things sure have come a long way for the founder & owner of both businesses, Joel VandenBrink. He started by operating Two Beers Brewing as a nanobrewery out of an ActivSpace up near Woodland Park Zoo back in 2008. It’s safe to say Two Beers doesn’t qualify as a nanobrewery these days. Cheers to Joel, and the rest of his crew, for continuing to grow.

More information from Two Beers:

SEATTLE (June 2, 2015) – Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company are thrilled to announce the grand opening their brand new tasting room, The Woods, scheduled for Saturday, June 13 at 1pm! The newest rendition of the shared tasting room – located right next door to the current one – is the result of six months of build out and anticipation, offering more than double the space, expanded draft, a myriad of games and more.

“This is the tasting room we’ve been dreaming of,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder and owner of Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company. “Our entire team has put in countless hours over the past six months making sure we created a destination, not just a tasting room. With more taps, games and soon, a full kitchen, we think we’ve created a space our fans, new and old, will love.”

More than doubling its space to 2,800 square feet, The Woods embodies its name with custom wood and ironwork throughout. Offering an expanded 24 taps and seating for 99 people, the new tasting room will also feature a range of bar games, including pool, darts, foseball and shuffleboard. Additional features include a raised dining area (available for private events), space for projection movies, a dedicated retail space and more. Outside, a permanent arbor will hold seating for 68 people, adorned with apple trees and hop vines from local farmers.

“Everything was custom built specifically for this space, right down to the shuffleboard table. The new tasting room really exemplifies our brands and our company, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone,” said VandenBrink.

Adding to an exciting list of new features, an in-house kitchen is slated for launch this fall. Occupied and run by the team from popular food truck Bread & Circuses, food will be available for purchase during normal tasting room hours, including delicious items such as Fritto Misto, Nori wrapped salmon bites, prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with chèvre and aged balsamic, slow braised oxtail risotto and more.

Attendees of The Woods grand opening party – taking place from 1-7pm on Saturday, June 13 at 4660 Ohio Ave S in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood – will enjoy $4-$6 pints of Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company’s year-round offerings, plus an amazing lineup of beers and ciders only available at the tasting room (see social media for full list). Bread & Circuses popular food truck will be on site from 3-7pm serving up delicious eats, available for purchase. Each attendee will receive a raffle ticket upon entry for a chance to win Two Beers Brewing  and Seattle Cider Company swag, with winners announced on Monday, June 15. Glassware, growlers, posters and apparel will also be available for purchase. Please note this is a 21+ event.

Hours for The Woods will remain the same, open Tuesday – Thursday from 3-9pm, Friday from 3-10pm, Saturday from 1-10pm and Sunday from 1-6pm. Occupying the space behind the tasting room is the new home of Seattle Cider Company, including 45,000 gallons worth of tank space, a new canning line and more. Two Beers Brewing takes over the former space, expanding its production and administrative offices, bringing the total footprint of the two companies to 22,000-square-feet.

For more information about Seattle Cider Company, Two Beers Brewing and The Woods tasting room, follow the brands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit their websites at and

Media interviews, tours, samples and photos available upon request. Please contact Caitlin Braam at

About Two Beers Brewing Co. Two Beers Brewing Co. began operations in a small Seattle basement in 2007 and today, produces twelve unique beers including five year-round, seven seasonal and a host of intricate infusions in its 4,800-square-foot SoDo brewery. Two Beers Brewing can be found in Seattle-area bars and restaurants, with tastings kegs and growler fill-ups available at their tasting room located at 4700 Ohio Ave. S. in SoDo, open weekly Tuesday – Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 1 – 6 p.m. Select brews can also be found in 22-ounce bottles and 12-ounce cans through the tasting room, as well as local retailers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. For more information, visit

About Seattle Cider Company

Not your standard cider. Seattle Cider Company is the city’s first cidery since prohibition, bringing true craft cider back to Seattle and across the country. Bridging the gap between wine and beer with flavorful, small-batch cider, Seattle Cider’s break the mold of overly sweet cider, bringing the natural flavors of Washington apples to the forefront. Naturally gluten free and made from a custom blend of fresh-pressed, locally-grown apples, Seattle Cider’s products are handcrafted with real ingredients and never from concentrate. Find Seattle Cider products in stores and on tap throughout Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, California, Idaho and Austin, Texas. Seattle Cider is also available on tap at The Woods tasting room, located at 4700 Ohio Ave. S. in SoDo, open weekly Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, visit, or follow Seattle Cider Company on FacebookTwitter (@seattleciderco) and Instagram (@seattleciderco).

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Explore South Sound Breweries With New Craft Crawl Program

June 4th, 2015 · Washington Breweries

Whether you are looking to explore some of the newer breweries in South Sound, or visit some old favorites, the South Sound Craft Crawl gives you a bit of a map for exploring what the region has to offer. Grab a map at any of the participating breweries listed below, or at

Press Release:

The South Sound Craft Crawl, an ongoing self-guided beer tour, debuts just in time for the U.S. Open, showing visitors and locals alike all that our exciting craft beer community has to offer.

From Tacoma to Olympia, 15 artisanal breweries set the course for a tasty tour starting June 5. Pack your thirst and head on over is the message Travel Tacoma + Pierce County is sharing with visitors.

What exactly is the Craft Crawl? It’s a map of participating South Sound breweries that will stamp a special “Craft Crawler’s Course” passport when you visit each brewery. Collect nine stamps and redeem for a souvenir pint glass. Prizes may be picked up at the Tacoma and Olympia visitor information centers, in addition to each brewery, including:

3 Magnets Brewing, Olympia
7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
Engine House No. 9, Tacoma
Fish Brewing Co., Olympia
Harmon and Harmon Tap Room, Tacoma
Lake Tapps Brewing Co. at the Riverside, Sumner
Narrows Brewing, Tacoma
Odd Otter Brewing Co., Tacoma
Pacific Brewing & Malting Co., Tacoma
Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse, Puyallup
Tacoma Brewing Co., Tacoma
Top Rung Brewing, Lacey
Wet Coast Brewing Co., Gig Harbor
Wingman Brewers, Tacoma

“We anticipate the Craft Crawl will get bigger, as it catches on, and with more breweries opening in the area,” said Ken Thoburn, an owner of Wingman Brewers. “This is not only an opportunity to raise awareness of the innovative brewers in our region, but a way to bring together community, from the craft beer enthusiast to the general beer-loving public.”

Brewers, tourism leaders and community supporters joined together to fill a need in the South Sound beer community, Thoburn said. Program sponsors include Travel Tacoma + Pierce County, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater Visitor + Convention Bureau and JayRay Ads and PR.

Thoburn worked closely with JayRay on branding, content and graphic design, consulting other destinations that run successful craft beer tours including the Bend Ale Trail and Spokane’s Inland Northwest Ale Trail.

Visit a brewery to get a copy of the South Sound Craft Crawl map and passport, or download at Many hotels and local bars will also have the brochure available. Need a lift? Schedule a personal driver and create a customized brewery tour experience with Lifestyle Valet.

Keep watch for the official website to launch later this summer.

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About Travel Tacoma: The official destination marketing organization for Tacoma and Pierce County, Wash.
Accredited by Destination Marketing Association International. For more information visit

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Washington Brewers Festival Approaching on June 19 to 21 – Volunteers Still Needed

June 3rd, 2015 · Events, Washington Breweries

The 2015 Washington Brewers Festival is just over a couple of weeks away. Featuring more than 400 different beers from 105 Washington breweries, this is the biggest local beer fest of the year. Taking place at Marymoor Park over Father’s Day weekend, tickets are currently available online and at select local breweries & retailers (see the website for a list).

If you want to get in for free, you should consider volunteering for a shift at the festival. As of a week ago, they had quite a few volunteer openings left. Check out the openings on the website, where you will also find contact info.

The full list of breweries is available on the event website, and a list of beers should be available any day now.

The Festival kicks off on Friday, June 19, from 4pm to 9:30pm, with more than 90 of the breweries on hand. All 105 breweries will then be on-site pouring more than 400 locally brewed craft beers on Saturday from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. More than 20,000 attendees are expected for this Father‘s Day weekend celebration at the picturesque Marymoor Park venue. Although Washington Beer is definitely the star of the show, there will be great live music and local food trucks all weekend long as well!

Visit the website for more info.

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