Optimism Brewing Set for Grand Opening December 5 in Capitol Hill

November 25th, 2015 · Washington Breweries

Optimism is ready to open with about 8 beers on tap December 5.

Grand. That is the word that comes to mind when you enter Optimism Brewing, located at the corner of Broadway and Union in Capitol Hill. In a neighborhood like Capitol Hill, where property values are through the roof, it is refreshing to find a project such as Optimism. Owners Gay Gilmore and Troy Hakala have taken a building that was slated to be torn down and converted into condos and turned it into the largest brewery tasting room in Seattle. With capacity for more than 400 customers, they are set to make a big splash in the Seattle brewing scene when they open for business on December 5. They recently tore the paper down from the windows of the brewery, and now when people walk by they stop and stare. The sheer size of the setting of it all in one gigantic room is unlike anything else in Seattle. My pictures certainly don’t do it justice.

It has been a long road for Gilmore and Hakala. They began looking for a space several years ago, and they started construction in March 2014. Because of strict code requirements that were difficult to implement solutions for in the older building, the brewery was under construction for almost two years. But, the hard work has paid off. Hakala says, “We built a place that we hope people will like to come to…we just wanted to do it the right way.” The 16,000 square foot space previously housed a car dealership, and the high ceilings and open interior mixes in the feel of a beer hall with the visible brewing setup right in the middle of everything. The character of the restored old building shines through.

After all the hard work they have put in, Gilmore and Hakala are excited to announce that the Grand Opening date for Optimism will be on Saturday, December 5. The brewery will then be open 4 days a week to start, from Thursday through Sunday. Days and hours will expand as they get their feet under them.

Optimism will shy away from using traditional style names to describe the beers to customers.

As for what you’ll find on tap at Optimism, the selection will change continuously. They plan to make a wide variety of styles driven by whatever customers want to drink. Hakala says, “As a homebrewer, I just wanted to brew every single style to learn about it and understand it. So, I don’t think there is anything we won’t do.” They have chosen a lineup of beers for the opening, but you want find style designations like you do at most breweries. Instead of using styles to describe a beer, they will be be using flavor descriptions to let customers know what they are ordering. Opening beers will include Gold (honey, lemon, refreshing; 4.5% ABV), One (toffee, English tea, hoppy; 5.3% ABV) and Before the Dawn (espresso, dried figs, dark chocolate; 7.7% ABV). They plan to have eight beers on tap for the opening, and they have room to expand to around 20 offerings on tap at once.

Hakala will be brewing on a 20-barrel system and they are starting out with eight 40-barrel fermenters and two 40-barrel bright tanks. Their capacity with the existing equipment would be 8,000 barrels or so if they maxed out their brewing, but they have also left room to expand their fermenter volume. Gilmore says their setup and capacity is a result of planning for the long term, but they will just focus on the brewery tasting room to begin with. She says, “We have a lot of capacity right now. We probably won’t be using it all during the first year when we are focused on draft for the tasting room, but (when they are ready to expand) we’ll be ready to go and we won’t be waiting for equipment or anything. It’s all about right here (in the tasting room) for the first year. You won’t be able to get the beer anywhere else.”

20-barrel brewing system with 40-barrel fermenters.

As many before him in the industry, Hakala is a longtime homebrewer who has wanted to open his own brewery for quite some time. He says, “I’ve always wanted to do a brewery. I grew up on the East Coast and loved beer, but for a long time you could mainly only get imported beers. Then Sam Adams came along and I thought that was the coolest thing in the world that Americans were making great beer. His (Samuel Adams/Boston Beer Company Co-Founder Jim Koch) story was kind of similar to that of Steve Jobs in the tech world, where he’s this bombastic, boisterous guy. I like that David vs. Goliath thing and I was infatuated with that idea. And, I just love beer. I always wanted to do the brewery, but it’s obviously expensive. I got into the tech world and did well there. When we sold our company I said, ‘Well, now I can do my brewery.’

Other things to know about Optimism Brewing:

  • This is not a brewpub and they will not offer their own food; they want to focus on the beer. But, they have a loading area space in back where they plan to bring in rotating food trucks, and there are tons of take out food options around the brewery that you could bring in.
  • All beers must be purchased at the bar; no table service for purchasing (they will clear, though). I love this…it’s one of the things that makes Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle work so well in my opinion.
  • They will accept credit and debit cards only; no cash.
  • No tips allowed. Optimism says, “We believe our business should be responsible for our workers’ wages, not the whim of its customers. Nor should the people who serve our product end up making more than the ones who create it.” Cheers to that.
  • They have a ton of unisex bathrooms. It’s kind of an awesome setup…you’ll see.
  • When they serve a beer in a “pint”, it will be a true pint. They’ll use glassware that can hold up to 20oz in order to accommodate a proper head on top of the beer.
  • All of the servers at Optimism will be Cicerone Certified Beer Servers.
  • The tasting room will be kid-friendly, and they even have a play area back in a corner. Don’t want to hang out with the kids? No problem. The place is huge….you’ll find a spot far away from the play area.
  • They have a sensory analysis room for blind tasting where staff members and possibly the public will get to evaluate beers.
  • The brewery includes a laboratory where they will test their product and processes.
  •  They did a great job of using resources from the building. “All of the tables, benches, the bar top, and even our desks, are made from wood salvaged onsite. Our failing roof system was made of 14″ x 14″ x 40′ long old growth Douglas Fir. It was important to us that these trees stay in the building. Everything was milled and planed by hand on site, and assembled within the building.”
  • The brewery is literally right in the middle of the building and the tasting room surrounds it. You really feel like you are hanging out in the brewery.
  • Why did they call it Optimism? “Optimism is one of our core values. We want to promote optimism and celebrate optimists because they are the ones who improve the world. We can’t cure diseases, fix homelessness or create world peace, but we can make beer for those who are trying and we can use beer to help. Optimists are also more fun to be around.”
  • They will have room in the basement for barrels, and they plan to do sour beers, imperial stouts and other strong ales.
  • They were very close to ending up in the building where the Starbucks Reserve Roastery now sits.
  • Staff members will rotate around to different responsibilities. Someone who might primarily work in the taproom will also have a chance to assist in brewing, etc…

Cheers to the team at Optimism for making the brewery a reality after a long process.

Visit the Optimism Brewing website and Facebook page for up-to-date news on the opening and other items.

Corner of Broadway & Union.

The side of the tasting room facing Union. This is all sit down tables, with a kids area in the back. The courtyard where customers will access food trucks is off to the right of this pic.

The side of the tasting room facing Broadway. All bar-height seating. There is also a large standing room area with beer rail off to the right of this pic.

There will be room for about 20 total beers on tap at the expansive bar.

The steel “V”s and posts are new in order to bring the building up to current seismic code, but they blend in nicely with the old feel of the interior.

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Drinking for the Holidays: Thanksgiving Week Event Listing

November 24th, 2015 · Events

B-Bomb_webWhile most drinking establishments are closed on Thanksgiving, the days surrounding the holiday have plenty of special events to offer. The day before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest bar nights of the year, and while most people know Black Friday as a day to go shopping (or stay far away from shopping), many breweries & bars offer up special events featuring dark beers.

Below are just some of the events happening around town that you might want to check out. If you know of other events, feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday Events:

Holiday Gose Release at Reuben’s Brews: “Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’re debuting our new Holiday Gose. This cranberry-orange variation of our award-winning gose is fermented with our house lactobacillus culture and includes 10 lbs of fresh cranberries per barrel, sweet orange zest, a touch of coriander and a hint of sea salt. We’re releasing the Holiday Gose in 22oz bottles in the taproom beginning at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25! It will also be available on tap and for growler fills in the taproom. Bottles will be $7 each with a limit of two per person, per day.” Reuben’s is open from Noon to 9pm on Wednesday, closed on Thursday and then back to normal hours on Friday.

$1 Off Growler Fills at Two Doors Down: They are loading up the taps with beers from Boneyard, Old Schoolhouse, Flying Lion, Two Beers, Ghostfish, Fremont Orlison, Populuxe, Backwoods, Georgetown, Standard and more at Two Doors Down in Capitol Hill. They’ll be doing $1 off growler fills all day long.

$5 Growler Fills at Silver City: If you find yourself near the Silver City Brewery taproom in Bremerton on Wednesday, stop by for $5 growler fills. Some styles excluded. Open 2pm to 9:30pm.

Goose Island Bourbon County Tap-Out at Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood: “Chuck’s is thrilled to be the only location in Seattle to feature a pre-release BCBS tap-out as a little preview of what is to come! We will be tapping Standard, Coffee, Regal Rye, and Barleywine. Event starts at 4pm and ends promptly at 9pm.”

Slow Boat Tavern Opening: The new Slow Boat Tavern will officially open in Hillman City at 2pm on Wednesday. They’ll then be closed on Thanksgiving and open regular business hours for the foreseeable future after that. This place is going to rock. Many may recognize owner Ken Provost from his time managing Uber Tavern up on Aurora. I was able to visit the bar a couple of weeks ago, and it reminds me of a mix between Hooverville and Stumbling Monk, which are two fantastic bars. Check it out.

Friday Events:

Stout & Coffee Beer Fest at The Beer Junction: They will have 15+ stouts and coffee beers on tap to begin the fest. Drool-worthy list is here.

Fremont Brewing Bourbon Abominable (B-Bomb) Release:”B-Bomb will be on tap and available in 22oz bottles at 11am in our Urban Beer Garden. At 5pm, we will tap three B-Bomb infusions and rumor has it that the Yeti will be making an appearance once again.” B-Bomb weighs in at 14% ABV this year….careful!

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Release: Beer geeks don’t care who owns Goose Island when it comes to seeking out the coveted Bourbon County Stout. It’s worth the hype. Friday is the first day that retailers around town will be able to sell bottles. Many will sell out quickly. Others, like my local Red Apple market up here in Beacon Hill, will price it insanely enough that it will sit on shelves for a couple of weeks. Confirmed Friday releases include: Both Chuck’s Hop Shops, Beer Junction, Bottleworks and Total Wine. I’m assuming many others will have it on Friday, or soon after.

What other events did I miss? Leave a comment.


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Diamond Knot Brewing to Serve Dinner to Homeless on Thanksgiving at Two Locations

November 23rd, 2015 · Washington Breweries

Cheers to Diamond Knot for embracing the spirit of Thanksgiving. They will be opening up at both the Mukilteo flagship location and the brewpub in Mountlake Terrace to serve dinner to the homeless this Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks to the staff of Diamond Knot for volunteering their time to give back to the community.

Press Release:

The staff at Diamond Knot is giving back, not only with their time, but with dinner this Thanksgiving. Both Diamond Knot locations are preparing and serving an early dinner for those in need this holiday season.
“I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of our staff,” said Andy Eason, DK’s VP of Retail. “We have more staff volunteering than we know what to do with, but this just goes to show that being able to provide Thanksgiving dinner is in line with everything we stand for. It shows what’s important to our company as a whole.”
The Brewery & Alehouse, DK’s flagship location on the Mukilteo waterfront, is opening its doors to Esther’s Place, a day center for homeless women and children in Snohomish County.
“The ladies of Esther’s Place are so very excited to be able to have a meal with their families for Thanksgiving,” said Laurie Hardie, Esther’s Place’s director. “One of the things we always say is we don’t feed them, we eat with them and Diamond Knot is providing a wonderful opportunity for not only the ladies and their families, but for the volunteers to sit with the ladies and have a wonderful holiday dinner.”
Since opening in January, Esther’s Place has helped 30 women get off the streets.  The housing crisis in Snohomish is what the organization struggles with every day they are in operation. The organization, which is an arm of the Hoff Foundation, offers a place for women and children to come to have a meal and just relax for a little while.
The Brewpub @ MLT, located in Mountlake Terrace, is opening its doors to the community’s homeless through several organizations. There are up to 100 dinners available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with staff on hand to offer a full turkey dinner, complete with the fixings. Diamond Knot is asking homeless shelters in the Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace area to encourage their visitors to enjoy Thanksgiving with the staff.
Shelter directors in need of information should contact Sherry Jennings, DK’s Dir. of Sales & Marketing at sherry@diamondknot.com. to coordinate dinners at the Brewpub.
“The staff jumped on this opportunity to give back without blinking,” Eason said. “They have collected toiletries and other items, and are looking forward to sharing the holiday with people in the community.”

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McMenamins Turns Focus to Transforming Historic Tacoma Elks Lodge

November 17th, 2015 · General Beer News

Now that McMenamins has opened their new Anderson School complex in Bothell, they are focused on securing funding for another large project in Washington. McMenamins has been looking at rehabbing the historic Elks Lodge in Tacoma since buying the property back in 2009, and they are now actively looking for investors to help raise the final 30% ($8M – $10M) of the overall project costs.

If all goes according to plan, renovation is expected to begin in spring of 2016 with a target opening date of summer of 2017.

McMenamins has had a tough time finding investors for the Tacoma project in the past, but they remain excited and committed to making it a reality. So, if you have a few million dollars lying around, why not give the McMenamins a call? Tacoma would thank you.

Press Release

Portland, Ore, and Tacoma, Wash., Nov. 17, 2015 – McMenamins today announced it will begin seeking outside investment for its newest project, the $25-plus million redevelopment of the historic Elks Lodge in Tacoma. The renovation is the second for brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin that will accept outside investors. It follows on the heels of the Oct. 15 opening of the successfully co-funded and transformed Anderson School, McMenamins newest lodging and entertainment destination in Bothell, Wash.

When complete, the Tacoma Elks Lodge will feature approximately 46 hotel rooms with private baths; a ballroom for live music, events, weddings and meetings; three restaurants; small bars; a McMenamins brewery; an outdoor café and patio along the elaborate Spanish Steps; and gardens that will provide the restaurants with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

“This long-anticipated project will transform a beloved historic building into a family-friendly brewpub and hotel with distinctive art, live music and entertainment options. With the expansion of Link light rail, this will be another stop that connects our museum/university district with the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “A revitalized Elks Lodge will be a regional destination. We look forward to working with the McMenamins to help fulfill the vision of an entertainment and dining district that benefits Tacoma residents and visitors to our great city.”

The Tacoma Elks Lodge was built in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build ornate buildings. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, in the second Renaissance Revival style. Adjacent to the building is a stairway called the “Spanish Steps” that winds up the hillside adjacent to the building. These steps, modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, were rehabilitated in 2011 by a grant from WSDOT and the Federal Highway Transportation Enhancements program.

Investment Details
McMenamins has formed Elks Temple Properties LLC to raise approximately 30 percent of project costs, a total of up to $8 – $10 million. The company is now seeking minimum investments of $150,000 from accredited investors. Accredited investors are defined as individuals with $1 million or more in net worth and greater than $200,000 in annual income, or qualified banks, partnerships, corporations, nonprofits and trusts. Those interested can visit www.ElksTempleProperties.com to learn more and register for investor information seminars.

About Elks Temple Properties LLC

Elks Temple Properties LLC owns and is renovating the Tacoma Elks Lodge site in downtown Tacoma, Wash. Architectural plans have been designed, permits obtained and the property is ready for renovation.

The developed property will be leased by the Company to McMenamin’s Brew Pubs, Inc., (a Washington wholly owned subsidiary of McMenamins, Inc.), which will operate the Elks Lodge as a 46-room hotel with restaurants, small bars, a brewery, event/meeting space and gardens.

This is a restricted, private placement of securities and units will not be publicly traded. The Elks Temple offering is not available to residents of New York State. Actual results may differ, perhaps materially, from those projected in the forward-looking statements included in this announcement. The securities offered have not been registered under federal or state securities laws in reliance on an exemption provided under Rule 506(c) of the Security Exchange Regulation D.

For additional information, and to register for investor information seminars, please visit www.ElksTempleProperties.com.

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Big Changes for Downtown Bellevue Beer Drinkers: 2 Longtime Favorites Close

November 13th, 2015 · General Beer News, Washington Breweries

Image from Rock Bottom Facebook page.

I worked in an office in the Bel-Red corridor of Bellevue for about seven years when I first moved to Seattle over ten years ago. For a good amount of that time, there were minimal options for good beer over that way. The Pumphouse was probably my favorite laid-back spot to grab a beer after work, but Tap House Grill and Rock Bottom Brewery Bellevue, both centrally located in the same office building downtown in the Bellevue Galleria, were always good options. For those who worked directly in downtown Bellevue, these were the two go-to spots for good beer.

All of a sudden, things look starkly different. Both the Tap House Grill and Rock Bottom locations in downtown Bellevue have suddenly closed in the past two weeks. Rock Bottom’s last day of operation was on October 30, while Tap House had their last day on November 7, with no notice at all until the following day. Rock Bottom had been open in that location since 1999, while Tap House opened in 2002.

Loyal customers are weighing in on their Facebook pages with comments of dismay that they have closed, and many are wondering if there is something bigger in the plans here. The Bellevue Galleria was bought by a Washington D.C.-based real estate company in October 2013, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The building itself did not seem to make efficient use of the prime location, and a demolition and new construction could certainly be on the way.

There are more options around Bellevue these days, including Bellevue Brewing, Geaux Brewing and the new Resonate Brewery & Pizzeria, which are all located outside of downtown Bellevue. There are still some solid spots for beer downtown, including Lot No. 3Black Bottle. And, don’t forget The Pumphouse, which is just outside of downtown. There may be others in downtown Bellevue, but I don’t exactly frequent the area these days. But, the loss of Tap House and Rock Bottom seems like a big one to anyone who works or lives near the downtown core. While I didn’t necessarily love the corporate feel of either place, they were always solid spots for a pint, given the other choices around that area. Back when Brian Young was the brewer at Rock Bottom (he’s now at Hellbent), I especially enjoyed grabbing beers there.

For now, downtown Bellevue beer drinkers will have to make due with what they’ve got. Or, head out to one of the breweries mentioned above. But, with the pace at which things change around this area, I would assume more beer-centric establishments will want to target the area for development in the near future.

Cheers to Tap House and Rock Bottom for bringing a lot of beery joy to Bellevue beer drinkers for quite a long time.

The downtown Seattle locations of both businesses are still open.

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Winter is Coming – Seasonal Beer Releases Hit Shelves

November 12th, 2015 · Beer Releases

Winter is coming. If you watch Game of Thrones, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you probably just love seasonal winter beer releases if you are reading this.

While the first official day of winter isn’t actually until December 22, seasonal beers started hitting shelves over a month ago in some cases. They are really starting to show up in widespread volume in the past week or so, though. I love this time of year. The change in weather really does make me want to drink maltier, more complex beers.

While winter seasonals can really be any style, a traditional “winter warmer” here in the Northwest typically features malt over hops, often with a darker, sweeter flavor profile. But, in the hop-crazed times we live in these days, many winter seasonals feature the hops just as much as the malts, often in a complex profile that is more interesting than your average IPA.

I’ve had several seasonal winter releases show up in my fridge lately. A few of them are detailed below. In addition to these, there are seemingly endless examples from local breweries.  A few of my favorites include Big Al Winter Warmer, Fremont Bonfire, Schooner Exact Hoppy Holidays and Silver City Old Scrooge. In case you missed it, a great place to try a bunch of winter seasonals from Washington breweries at once is the upcoming Winter Beer Fest.

Winter Seasonals (With descriptions from the breweries):

Redhook Winterhook – “Winterhook is the perfect beer to keep warm during cold months after shoveling snow, shredding some powder,  or playing hooky to can catch the game. Since it was first brewed, Redhook’s Winterhook has changed slightly each year to celebrate the season and keep everyone on their toes. After all, no one likes getting the same gift twice. The 30th version of Winterhook brewed for this year offers a rich caramel body that balances a big malt backbone with the aggressively dry hopped brew, making this year’s winter ale slightly naughty and very nice.”

Ommegang Lovely, Dark and Deep – “Lovely, Dark and Deep, an oatmeal stout, is set to reach retail in early November…pours deep black with a tan, creamy mousse-like head. Aromas of roasted malt and coffee with cream, coupled with subtle notes of chocolate and dark fruit from Ommegang’s house yeast prevail. Flavors of rich chocolate milk, and coffee and cream are impeccably balanced with restrained sweetness and hints of roastiness. The finish is silky smooth with a medium to full body.”

Deschutes Jubelale – “Warm spiciness and tradition grace this bold winter ale. Intriguing, layered flavors unfold to reveal chicory, dried fruit and toffee notes with a hoppy kick to finish. The deep garnet color pairs perfectly with holiday celebrations.”

Sierra Nevada Celebration – “The start of Celebration season is a festive event. We can’t start brewing until the first fresh hops have arrived, but once they have the season is officially under way! First brewed in 1981, Celebration Ale is one of the earliest examples of an American-style IPA and one of the few hop-forward holiday beers. Famous for its intense citrus and pine aromas, Celebration is bold and intense, featuring Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops—honoring everything we have at Sierra Nevada.”

Hopworks Abominable Winter Ale – “This mythological beer emerges from the depths of our brewery every winter. Made with organic Northwest hops and organic malt, Abominable has a complex floral, spicy, and citrus hoppiness backed up by just the right amount of malt sweetness. Don’t turn your back on the beast!”

Alaskan Winter Ale – “Brewed in the style of an English Olde Ale, this ale balances the sweet heady aroma of spruce tips with the clean crisp finish of noble hops. Its malty richness is complemented by the warming sensation of alcohol.”

Disclaimer: All of the beers featured here were submitted by the breweries free of charge. That said, I would not feature them here if I did not deem them worthy.

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2015 Winter Beer Fest on December 4 & 5 – Beer List

November 10th, 2015 · Events, Washington Breweries

54 members of the Washington Brewers Guild will pour ~160 different winter seasonals and more at the upcoming 2015 Winter Beer Fest on December 4 & 5 in Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park.

Advanced tickets are $30 ($32.85 w/ fees), which includes ten 4-ounce beer tastes. If you are looking to taste more than ten offerings, you can buy more tickets inside (typically around $1-$2 each, but not specified for this event).

The full beer list is below, and visit the website for more details.

Full Beer List:
192 Brewing- Kenmore
Shticky Blonde Shtrong Ale (Strong Ale)
Nilla Stout (Stout)

7 Seas Brewing- Gig Harbor
7 Seas Winter Ale (Winter ale)
Balls Deep (Double IPA)

American Brewing- Edmonds
Fireside Farmhouse
Fall Harvest Sour (Biere de Garde)
Red Blooded American Imperial Red (Imperial Red)

Anacortes Brewery- Anacortes
Klosterbier (Dunkel Lager)
Noel Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
Old Sebastes Barley Wine (Barleywine)
India Pale Ale (IPA)

Aslan Brewing- Bellingham
542 Winter Ale (Imperial Alt)
Megathurst Triple IPA (Triple IPA)
Ginger Rye (Rye Pale Ale)
Batch 15 (IPA)

Bainbridge Island Brewing- Bainbridge Island
Wing Point Winter Ale (NW Winter Warmer)
2014 Old Toe Jam Barleywine (American Barleywine)

Bale Breaker Brewing- Yakima
High Camp Winter Warmer (Winter Warmer)
Bottomcutter IIPA (IIPA)
Topcutter IPA (IPA)

Beardslee Public House- Bothell
Timburrrrr Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
S.P.S. Sidewinder Peppermint Stout (Stout)
Sasquatch CDA (CDA)

Big Al Brewing- Seattle
Winter Warmer (Winter Warmer)
Civ’s Session IPA (IPA)

Big Time Brewery- Seattle
Mikul?s (Imperial Milk Stout)
Cosmic Inflation (Pale Ale)
Citra S.M.A.S.H (IPA)

Black Raven Brewing- Redmond
Splinters Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale)
Possum Claus Bourbon Pecan Porter (Porter)
Festivus Holiday Strong Pale
Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)

Boundary Bay Brewery- Bellingham
2014 CBD Whiskey Barrel Cabin Fever (Winter Warmer)
CBD Barrel Aged Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale)
Oatmeal Stout Randallized (Oatmeal Stout)

Chainline Brewing- Kirkland
Black Swan (CDA)
U-Bahn (Vienna Lager)

Counterbalance Brewing- Seattle
Kushetka (Russian Imperial Stout)
Bad Wolf (Dark Ale)
Tabletop Supernova (Winer seasonal Imperial IPA)

Der Blokken Brewery- Bremerton
Mexican Chocolate Stout (Stout)
Rat City Red Ale (Irish Red)
Great Glamis (Scotch Ale)

Diamond Knot Brewing- Mukilteo
20th Anniversary Ale (2014)
Barrel Aged Industrial Ho!Ho! (Winter Ale)
Old Ale

Dick’s Brewing- Centralia
Cream Stout (Stout)
Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale (Brown)
Double Diamond (Winter Ale)

Elliott Bay Brewing- Burien
Chai Noäle (Spiced Winter Ale)
The Whisper (Dry-hopped Winter Ale)
Saint Nick’s Sour (Blended Sour Ale)

Elysian Brewing- Seattle
Bifrost (Winter Ale)
Scotterbrain (Pale Ale)
Dragonstooth (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Men’s Room Red Ale (Red Ale)

Fish Brewing- Olympia
Winterfish (Imperial IPA)
Bakke Hill Black Lager (Black Lager)
Spire Mountain Spiced Cider (Apple Cider)

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery- Seattle
Snow Shield Winter Warmer (Winter Warmer)
Cask-conditioned Chocolate Vanilla Stout (Stout)

Foggy Noggin Brewing- Bothell
Cranberry Frost (Strong Golden Ale)
Twice XMAS (Imperial Porter)
FnXmasTree (English IPA)

Fremont Brewing- Seattle
S’Mores Bonfire Ale
Dark Star with Raspberry & Cacao Nibs (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Bourbon Dark Star (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Bourbon Abominable (Winter Ale)
Coffee Cinnamon Bourbon Abominable (Winter Ale)
Interuban IPA (IPA)
Session Pale Ale (Pale Ale)

Geaux Brewing- Bellevue
Bayou (Belgian Strong Dark)
Vanilla Mint Chai Satchmo (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Ragin Cajun (Imperial IPA)

Georgetown Brewing- Seattle
Hansen Brothers (Imperial Black IPA)
Barrel Aged Choppers (Red Ale)

Ghostfish Brewing- Seattle
Watchstander Stout (American Stout)
Winter Warmer (Belgian Tripel)
Chocolate Mint Stout (Herb & Spice Beer)

Hale’s Ales Brewery- Seattle
Nitrogen Conditioned El Dazzle (Winter Stout)
Nitrogen Conditioned Supergoose IPA (IPA)
New Trick Barrel Aged Dopplebock (Dopplebock)
Barrel Aged Wheatwine (Wheatwine)- 1st & 2nd sessions only
Barrel Aged Akademik Black Ale- 3rd session only

Harmon Brewing- Tacoma
Steep & Deep Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
Oak Aged Stryker Stout (Stout)

Hellbent Brewing- Seattle
Winter Strong Ale (Imperial Red)
Moon Tower Stout (Stout)

Hi-Fi Brewing- Redmond
Peppermint Woofer (Porter)
Barrel-aged Woofer (Porter)

Icicle Brewing- Leavenworth
Dark Persuasion (German Chocolate Cake Ale)
Colchuck Raspberry Wheat (Wheat)
Khaos Kolsch (Kolsch)

Island Hoppin’ Brewery- Eastsound
Camano Coffee Porter (Porter)
Snowline Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
Rosario Hop Scotch (Amber)

Issaquah Brewhouse- Issaquah
Frosty Frog (Winter Ale)
7 Hop Cider (Hard Cider)

Lucky Envelope Brewing- Seattle
Winter Imperial Porter (Imperial Porter)

Mac & Jack’s Brewery- Redmond
Pumpkin Stout (Stout)
Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA)

McMenamin’s Breweries- Seattle
Barrel Aged Star Destroyer Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)
Kris Kringle

Naked City Brewery- Seattle
The Big Lebrewski (White Russian Imperial Stout)
Bing (Spiced Cherry Ale)

No-Li Brewhouse- Spokane
OMFG (Stout)
Barrel Aged Wrecking Ball (Imperial Stout)
Barrel Aged Winter Warmer (Winter Warmer)
Sloppy Donks
Barrel Aged Barley Wine (Barleywine)
Vanilla Chocolate Rise and Grind (Stout)

Odin Brewing- Tukwila
Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
Beer Nog (Spiced Belgian Ale)
Wildeornes #3 (Barrel Aged Belgian Strong)

Peddler Brewing- Seattle
Snow Beer’d (Winter Ale)
Dunkelweizen (Dunkelweizen)

Pike Brewing- Seattle
Pike Wood Aged Tandem
Pike Wood Aged Kilt Lifter (Scotch Ale)
Pike Old Bawdy (Barleywine)
Pike Auld Acquaintance (Winter Warmer)
Pike Derby Lager (Lager)

Port Townsend Brewing- Port Townsend
Winter Ale (Winter Ale)
Red Barchetta India Red Ale (India Red Ale)
Land’s End Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)

Postdoc Brewing- Redmond
Frau Perchta Winter Weizenbock (Weizenbock)
Alpha Factor IPA (IPA)

Rainy Daze Brewing- Silverdale
Winter Daze
Sunrise Coffee Porter (Porter)
Wrapper’s Delight (Winter Warmer)
Only The TIP (Double IPA)

Ram Restaurant & Brewery- Seattle
Ol’ Mallwalker
Imperial Rye PA (Rye)
Dawg Sled

Rooftop Brewing- Seattle
Rooftop 2015 Holiday Ale
Scotch, Scotch, Scotchity Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale)

Schooner Exact Brewing- Seattle
Hoppy the Woodsman
Barrel Aged Imperial Porter (Imperial Porter)
Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weisse)
Box-Car Hopper

Scuttlebutt Brewing- Everett
Barrel Aged 10 Below (Imperial Dunkelweiss)
KEXP Transistor IPA (IPA)

Silver City Brewery- Bremerton
Wonderland (Dark Winter Lager)
Old Scrooge (Christmas Ale)
Nutcracker (Belgian Style Holiday Ale)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Scrooge Christmas Ale*
Party like it’s Winter 2009! Featuring 2009 Imperial Stout & Old Scrooge*
*Available during first hour of each session only

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing- Snoqualmie
Avalanche (Winter Ale)
Plant 1 Powerhouse (IPA)

Sound Brewery- Poulsbo
Mayan Cave Bear (Belgian Imperial Stout)
Entendez Noel (Belgian-Style Pale Quadrupel)
Elijah Craig Barrel Aged Old Scoundrel Barleywine (Barleywine)

Two Beers Brewing- Seattle
Fall Line 2015 (Russian Imperial Stout)
Vanilla Bean and Cacao Nib Jive Espresso Stout (Stout)
Wonderland Trail IPA (IPA)
Oaked Maple Cider (Hard Cider)

Wet Coast Brewing- Gig Harbor
Holiday Jeer! (Winter Specialty Spice Beer)
Brass Rail Pale Ale (American Pale Ale)

Wingman Brewers- Tacoma
Stratofortress (Belgian Dark Strong)
Noel (Christmas Ale)

WABL Beer Java Lava Red Ale by Aslan Brewing **
**Available to WABL members only

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2015 Alaskan Smoked Porter Hits Shelves This Week

November 6th, 2015 · Beer Releases

alaskanspAlaskan Smoked Porter, which hits shelves this week, will always be one of my favorites. In addition to trying a fresh bottle, I highly suggest buying a bottle or two to throw in the cellar. It ages very well, and having a vertical tasting across several years is a fine way to spend an evening with friends (I have ’08 to ’15 I’m saving for a rainy day!).

Press Release:

Juneau, Alaska (November 4, 2015)- The limited edition 2015 vintage of Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Alaskan Smoked Porter officially releases this week on draft and in 22 oz bottles throughout the 17 states where Alaskan beer is sold.

“As far as we know, Alaskan Smoked Porter has no real end to its shelf life. We are still enjoying vintages from our cellar that date back to 1993, when we started leaving some yeast in the bottle for better aging,” explains Alaskan Brewing cofounder Geoff Larson.

The first release of this now vintage-dated beer was called “Alaskan Seasonal” in the late 1980s – a hearty winter seasonal brewed as a nod to the malting and brewing practices of the turn-of-the-century brewers in Alaska who had to malt their own barley using local alder wood for direct-fired heat. While the name officially changed to Alaskan Smoked Porter a couple of years later, the Alaskan Brew Crew still employs the same smokehouse used for the first batch those many years ago.

“Alder adds a traditional smoke character to our Porter that is true to the Alaskan landscape. Due to natural flavor changes in the wood and malt each year, no two vintages will taste the same when brewed, and they will not age in exactly the same way,” says Alaskan Brewing Plant Manager Curtis Holmes, “That’s what makes each year’s release so exciting for us.”

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Two Beers Brewing to Celebrate 8th Anniversary & Opening of New Tasting Room Kitchen With Special Beers

November 5th, 2015 · Events, Washington Breweries

TBBAnniversaryPosterIt has been almost 8 full years of fun for Two Beers Brewing. I still remember what I think was their launch party at Park Pub way back when. Joel and company have come a long way since then.

In addition to celebrating the brewery’s 8th anniversary from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, November 14, they will also be opening up their new taproom kitchen for the first time. The kitchen will be run by the people behind the popular Bread and Circuses Food Truck.

There will be 20+ beers on tap, including some special release, and there will be plenty of food to check out. Full details below.

Cheers to everyone at Two Beers!

Press Release:

SEATTLE (November 5, 2015) – On Saturday, November 14, join Two Beers Brewing Company at its newly expanded tasting room – The Woods – as it celebrates eight exciting years in business! To mark the occasion, the growing brewery will be showcasing a tap list featuring more than 20 beers, including the release of its 2015 Alta Series Overhang Imperial Porter, offering a 12.4 ABV and 60 IBUs. The day also marks the long awaited grand opening of the tasting room’s new kitchen, run by the crew behind Bread & Circuses food truck, making for an anniversary party not to be missed.
“I say it every year, and every year I mean it – I’m amazed,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder of Two Beers Brewing Company. “We thought things might slow down in our eighth year, but boy, were we wrong. Between the new tasting room, the addition of a kitchen, amazing new beers and ongoing expansion, there’s never a dull moment around here. And that’s the way we like it.”
Attendees of the expanding brewery’s Eighth Anniversary Party – taking place from 1-7pm on Saturday, November 14 – will enjoy $4-$6 pints of Two Beers Brewing’s year-round offerings, plus an exciting selection of specialty brews. Tap list for the evening includes crowd favorites such as Wonderland Trail IPA, Fresh Hop IPA, Evo IPA, Grey Skies Dark Pale Ale, Jive Espresso Stout and more. Specialty beers are also aplenty with 2015 Alta Series Overhang Imperial Porter, 2014 Overhang Imperial Porter, Cinnamon Clove Infused Overhang, Rum Barrel Aged Overhang, Infused Wonderland, Cacao Vanilla Infused Jive Espresso Stout, Chocolate Lab Stout, 8th Anniversary Strong Ale and an experimental sour beer. Adding to the fun, a silent auction will be taking place throughout the afternoon, giving guests their chance at winning a slab of the live cut bar from our previous tasting room. All proceeds benefit Washington’s National Park Fund.
The grand opening of the kitchen on November 14 marks an exciting partnership between Two Beers Brewing Co and Bread & Circuses. Known for its popular food truck offering up “gastropub eats and upscale carnival treats,” Bread & Circuses’ first brick-and-mortar location will be located in the heart of The Woods tasting room, featuring reimagined versions of bar favorites, plated and shareable items, and a rotating menu changing with the season, led by Chef Robert Killam, formerly of Skillet Ballard. With a limited menu on opening day, guests are encouraged start off with a helping of Duck Fat Popcorn, Brussels Sprout Caesar, or Three Pepper Cider Wings to share. Mix and match, or move on to the main dish, choosing from anyone of the delicious entrees, including Mac and Beer CheeseCircus Burger featuring bacon, arugula, Three Pepper cider Aioli and fries; Veggie Fried Ravioli; or anyone one of the other mouth-watering options. Finish the night off with something sweet, choosing between Jive Espresso Stout Chocolate Torte, or Sourdough Doughnuts with pear jelly and foie gras mousse. Don’t worry – Bread & Circuses hasn’t forgotten about your furry friends. A special dog-friendly menu will be available, including items such as chicken with rice. For the full opening day menu and details on exciting food items to come, visit www.twobeersbrewery.com/breadandcircuses.
For more information about the upcoming anniversary party, be sure to follow Two Beers Brewing on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@twobeersbrewing), or visit www.twobeersbrewery.com.

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Learn to Homebrew Day Offers Demos Around Puget Sound This Saturday

November 3rd, 2015 · Homebrewing

ahaIf you are interested in learning how to homebrew, but you don’t know where to start, Learn to Homebrew Day is a great opportunity to learn about the hobby. This Saturday, November 7, homebrewers across the country will unite for AHA Learn to Homebrew Day. Learn to Homebrew Day was established in 1999 in order to expose non-brewers to the wonders of creating your own beer. Last year, there were 317 registered events for the day with 5,595 participants in 47 states and 4 countries.

You can search the event database to find out where you can stop by an event near you. There currently look to be eight registered events in the Puget Sound area, but more events may be registered by the end of the week.

Here are details for the events that are listed so far:

The Cellar Homebrew (Seattle): “The Cellar Homebrew will be having a brewing demonstration and will also be making wine. Drop by and feel free to ask questions about ANYTHING: beer, wine, mead, cider, cheese, sake, distillate, essential oil and kombucha!”

Mountain Homebrew & Wine Supply (Kirkland): “Please Join us for Learn to Homebrew Day! There will be Brewing Demonstrations. The team from PicoBrew will be here demonstrating the PicoBrew Zymatic and answering your questions.”

Micro Homebrew (Kenmore): “The American Homebrewers Association National Learn to Homebrew Day. We will have a number of brewers set up and brewing all kinds of batches. Extract, partial mash, brew in a bag, all grain, if you want to see how it works, stop by, take a look and ask questions!”

Brewhouse Provisions (Redmond): “Interested in learning to brew? Already brewing and looking to step up your game? We’ll be brewing and answering questions all day.”

Whidbey Island Homebrew Supply (Oak Harbor): “Come on out and learn to homebrew with us! Last year we had 7 brewers using their own equipment , brewing all day, and we hope to top that this year!! Hot Rock Pizza will be here with their hot oven on wheels, serving yummy brick fired pizza.”

Renton Area Homebrewers Club (Renton): “Interested newbies can get a hands on experience brewing a five gallon batch of “Heidi’s Wheat” at the RAH world headquarters.”

North Tacoma Brews (Tacoma): “Starting at 11:00AM I will be brewing two versions of a Märzen and welcome anyone who would like to learn more about home-brewing. As with every respectable brew day, pizza and beer will be on hand and a good time will be had. If you are interested, please drop me an RSVP.”

Brew Day Morning in Everett (Everett): “Call or email me if you want to learn brew in Everett.”

Those last two pretty much look like individuals offering to host a personalized brew session at their house. Pretty awesome of them, really.

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