Brouwer’s Cafe Celebrates 10th Anniversary This Weekend With 20 Special Beers

March 25th, 2015 · Events

What’s your favorite Brouwer’s memory? As we are coming up on Brouwer’s Cafe’s 10th anniversary this weekend, it’s fun to think back about the role that Brouwer’s has played in the Seattle beer scene. It is safe to say that many of us have enjoyed some amazing beer and had some great times there.

This weekend, Brouwer’s will again be pouring some amazing beers in celebration of their anniversary. They’ll have a special sour beer that they blended with New Belgium, and they’ll also pour an Imperial IPA that they brewed with Reuben’s Brews. In addition, they’ll be pulling some kegs out of the cellar for the event. They are planning to have a total of 20 very special beers pouring for your enjoyment. Keep reading below for more detail.

As for my favorite Brouwer’s memory, that is an easy one. The first date I had with my now wife, Jeanne, was going out to a Mariners game. When we were discussing where to go for a drink after the game, she nonchalantly suggested that we go to Brouwer’s. That’s about all I needed to hear….

Press Release:

Next up is our 10th Anniversary, on Saturday March 28th, a major milestone for us! It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years already, or just how much Seattle and the Craft Beer Industry has changed! What were you doing in 2005? What’s your first (or favorite!) Brouwers memory? We’d love to know!

In honor of this 10-year milestone we have two very special beers to share with you. New Belgium was kind enough to open up their “wood forest” and allow us to blend a sour beer.  We had a great time hanging out with Eric Salazar, on a sunny December day in Fort Collins, where we tasted close to 20 different fouders. We came up with a 50/50 fouder blend we think everyone will enjoy, but this is a draft only offering.

The second beer was brewed at one of our favorite Seattle Breweries, Reuben’s Brews. Adam, Mike and Thor were great hosts and allowed us to sit in on the brew, on a sunny Monday in early March. This IIPA, appropriately named Gobsmacked (a British slang term for astonished) is a blend of Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy Hops, and it will have your lips smacking.

We are also known for hiding beers in our cellar for a future, special day, and that day is upon us! So, we’ve been digging around looking for beers worthy of our 10th Anniversary, including as many past anniversary beers (from both Brouwers and Bottleworks) as we can find. Attached is the list of the 17 beers we’ve come up with thus far, but we are shooting to put a total of 20 on draft for this event. 10 for the 10thand 10 for the next 10 years!

Anchorage/Grass Roots Artic Soiree Saison

Allagash PNC Broken Elevator

Black Raven King Dandy

Hair of the Dog Matt ’10

HUB Copperworks Gin Barrel Aged A-bomb

HUB Oola Barrel Aged A-bomb

HUB Westland Barrel Aged A-bomb

Firestone Walker Hat Trick Sour

Firestone Walker PNC Buckwheat Stout

Fremont Old Bridgerider Brouwer’s 7th Anniversary 

Lost Abbey Bottlework’s XV

New Belgium Decenium Brouwer’s 10th  Anniversary Sour Ale

Reuben’s Brews Brouwer’s 10th Anniversary Gobsmacked IIPA

Russian River Bottleworks IX Deviation

Stone Bottleworks 13

The Bruery Bottleworks XII

Flyer’s Brouwer’s 8th Anniversary

Please come and raise a glass with us!

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Fremont Brewing Goes to Washington D.C. to Support the Small BREW Act

March 23rd, 2015 · Uncategorized

Sara Nelson of Fremont Brewing Company is headed to DC this week to support the Small BREW Act on behalf of the rest of our Washington craft breweries. Keep reading below to find out more about this effort to decrease the federal excise tax on beer for small breweries across the country.

Press Release:

SEATTLE — Fremont Brewing Company will join over 20 other craft breweries from across the country in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, March 25th to meet with members of Congress and advocate for the Small BREW Act (Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act), bipartisan legislation that would recalibrate the federal beer excise tax rate for America’s small brewers. This “Hill Climb” is being organized by the Brewer’s Association (BA), which promotes the interests of the craft beer brewers and enthusiasts.

The Small BREW ACT would reduce by fifty percent the federal excise tax paid by small brewers on the sale of the first 60,000 barrels (from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel). The House version of the Small BREW Act, H.R. 232 is currently before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate version, S. 375, is under review in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sara Nelson, Co-Founder of Fremont Brewing, will meet with Representatives David Reichert, of WA Congressional District 8, Susan DelBene of WA Congressional District 1, and Rick Larsen of WA Congressional District 2. Nelson will also participate in a dinner for reporters of national media outlets that will be hosted by the BA and four other breweries including Deschutes, and Boston Beer Company. The purpose of this event is to educate members of the media about the Small BREW Act and discuss its importance to small brewers in advance of the Congressional meetings.

The Small BREW Act is a top priority for Washington’s small brewers and would directly and positively impact every brewery in our state. Nationally, the bill would save small brewers $65 million a year and, according to a recent study would create over 5,200 jobs in the first 12 to 18 months after passage and generate approximately $157 million in economic activity in the first year.

“Small breweries create jobs, drive beer innovation, and provide neighborhood space for community building,” said Nelson. “I’m going to D.C. to ask Congress to support the Small BREW Act and help us invest even more in our local economy. If it passes, we’d use the savings to hire two more people and buy another fermenter.”

The Small BREW Act is strongly supported by the Washington Brewers Guild. H.R. 232 already has 29 co-sponsors, including Washington Representatives, Jim McDermott, Susan DelBene, and Rick Larsen. S. 375 has 24 co-sponsors including WA Senator Maria Cantwell.

After founding Fremont Brewing with her husband, Matt Lincecum, and working in local politics for many years, Sara Nelson is now Manager of Special Operations at Fremont Brewing, which includes government relations, economic development, and environmental policy.

Founded in 2008, Fremont Brewing Company is a family-owned craft brewery located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.

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Craft Brewer Share of U.S. Market Reaches Double Digits for First Time

March 16th, 2015 · General Beer News

BAGood news from the Brewers Association. With 11% volume of the U.S. beer market, craft brewers continued to make strides in 2014.

It makes me just a bit sad that Elysian’s sales volume very well may be included in these totals for 2014, but under AB ownership they won’t qualify as a “Craft Brewer” under the BA’s guidelines in future years (see definition at bottom).

Press Release:

Boulder, COMarch 16, 2015—The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, today released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. For the first-time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace.

In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in volume2 and a 22 percent increase in retail dollar value3.  Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share.

“With the total beer market up only 0.5 percent in 2014, craft brewers are key in keeping the overall industry innovative and growing. This steady growth shows that craft brewing is part of a profound shift in American beer culture—a shift that will help craft brewers achieve their ambitious goal of 20 percent market share by 2020,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Small and independent brewers are deepening their connection to local beer lovers while continuing to create excitement and attract even more appreciators.”

Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2014 grew 19 percent, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brew pubs, craft brewers provided 115,469 jobs, an increase of almost 5,000 from the previous year.

“These small businesses are one of the bright spots in both our economy and culture. Craft brewers are serving their local communities, brewing up jobs and boosting tourism,” added Watson. “Craft brewers are creating high quality, differentiated beers; new brewers that match this standard will be welcomed in the market with open arms.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on March 31. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Portland, Oregon from April 14-17. The full 2014 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2015 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.

1 An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

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Holy Mountain Brewing Teams Up With E9 Brewery for 1st Collaboration Beer

March 12th, 2015 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

Five of Swords IPA, a collaboration beer between Holy Mountain Brewing & E9 Brewery, will be available starting this Friday at the Holy Mountain taproom and then Tuesday, 3/17 at E9 in Tacoma.

Press Release:

Holy Mountain Brewing Company, located in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, is proud to announce our first collaboration. Five of Swords IPA was brewed with our good friends Shane Johns and Donovan Stewart of E Nine Brewery in Tacoma, Wa. While E Nine is well known for its world class barrel aged sours and farmhouse beers, they also quietly crank out some of the best hoppy beers in the state. Brewed at Holy Mountain in late February, this beer represents Holy Mountain’s first IPA.

Five of Swords was brewed with copious amounts of Citra, Simcoe, and experimental hop HBC 342, which lends a melon character that blends with the other hops’ tropical fruit and citrus. Dry hopped with Citra and HBC 342, Five of Swords clocks in at a refreshing 6% ABV and 60 IBU.

The collaboration beer will be released at Holy Mountain’s taproom in Interbay beginning at 3pm on Friday March 13th, and will continue in Tacoma at E Nine on Tuesday, March 17th. The Holy Mountain tapping on 3/13 will feature a rare appearance from one of the last kegs of Rhubarb Sour from E Nine Brewery. The E Nine tapping will feature five Holy Mountain beers, including Lager Beer a hoppy golden lager, Ceremony a farmhouse pale ale fermented with Brett, The Goat an oak fermented rustic brett saison, and River of Ash a dark farmhouse ale fermented in barrels with cherries.

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’s newly expanded hours run 6 days a week starting 03/11. 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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Pine Box Celebrates Three Years on March 21 With Special Beers

March 11th, 2015 · Events

HMWe have more than our share of great beer bars in Seattle. The Pine Box, located on Pine & Melrose in Capitol Hill, is one of the best. Since opening in 2012, they have been rotating as good of a selection of beer through their taps as any other bar in the city. The atmosphere is tough to beat as well. Set in an old funeral home, it features a beautiful, big, open room that manages to give the feel of a grand beer hall & at the same time be a comfortable place to pull a stool up at the bar for a few. It has certainly become one of my favorite bars in town, and I’m not alone. Pine Box has been included in Draft Magazine’s list of America’s Top 100 Beer Bars in all three years they have been eligible.

They know how to throw a good party at Pine Box, and their 3rd Anniversary party on March 21 will be no exception. The guys at Pine Box collaborated with Holy Mountain Brewing to make the special 3rd Nail anniversary beer. Not only will it be on draught, they will have bottles available starting at 11am.

Other beers on tap include:

3rd Nail by Holy Mountain (bottle sales start at 11am)
2nd Nail (by 10 Barrel)
Pinot barrel 2nd Nail w/brett
3 years of 1st Nail (by Fremont)
Last keg of Rusty Nail (8pm, by Fremont)
& many other rarities:
Avery, Bear Republic, Deschutes, E9, Firestone Walker, Lagunitas, Lost Abbey, New Belgium, Perennial, & more

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13th Annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival Comes to Brouwer’s Cafe March 14 & 15

March 7th, 2015 · Events

hard_liver_2015Let the craziness begin. Brouwer’s Cafe is known for throwing great festivals, and Hard Liver Barleywine Festival (March 14 & 15) is the most popular of them all. Now in its 13th year, Hard Liver is a gauntlet of around 50 barleywines on tap all at once. The preliminary list of beers is below.

For those that have not attended the festival previously, the doors open Saturday at 11am, and there will be a line of people waiting to get in. Tables will be hard to come by all day. If you don’t want to fight crowds, I highly suggest skipping Saturday and just visiting on Sunday or next week. You will most definitely miss out on some of the popular selections, but there will be plenty of great barleywines left pouring after Saturday.

The list:
Alesmith Old Numbskull ’14
Almanac Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine ’14
Anacortes Old Sebastes ’07
Amnesia 10th Anniversary BBL Barleyewine
Avery Hog Heaven ’14
Bainbridge Old Toe Jam ’13
Ballast Point Three Sheets BBl-Aged Barleywine
Big Sky Four Roses Old Bluehair ’12
Big Time Old Wooly ’14
Black Raven Old Birdbrain 2013
Deschutes Mirror Mirror ’09
Dogfish Head Olde School ’14
Double Mountain Off the Wagon Belgian Style ’14
Engine House #9 Barrel Aged Thunder Buddies ’13
Evil Twin Freudian Slip
Firestone-Walker §ucaba ’13
Gigantic Massive! ’14
Green Flash/Cigar City Candela Rye Barleywine
Heathen Reindeer Tears Barrel-Aged ‘14
High Water Old and in the Way ’14
Iron Fist Raisin’ a Fist ’14
Laguntias Olde GnarleyWine ’11
Laurelwood Santa’s Woody ’14
Lompoc Old Tavern Rat ’14
Lost Abbey Angel’s Share ’12
Mad Viking Pillage the Village
Midnight Sun Arctic Devil ’13
Midnight Sun Termination Dust Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgian ‘14
Mikkeller Big Worster Barleywine
Old School House Barelywine ’14
Pelican Stormwatcher’s Winterfest Barleywine ‘14
Perennial Vermilion Barleywine ’14
Pike Old Bawdy ’11
Reel Ales 102
Reuben’s Brews Auld Heritage ’15
Seven Seas BBL Old Wheelchair ’13
Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barleywine ’14
Silver City Old Scrooge
Sound Brewery Westland Aged Old Scoundrel ’14
Southern Tier Back Burner ’13
Telegraph Rhinoceros Hoppy Red Wine BBL Aged
To Øl Mine is Bigger than Yours’14
Triplehorn BBL Aged BYGGVIN ’14
Uinta Anniversary Barleywine

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Washington Cask Festival Approaching on March 28 – Get Tickets Now

March 6th, 2015 · Events, Washington Breweries

The Washington Cask Festival is quickly approaching, and tickets are likely to sell out for at least the day session. They are available online for $42.39 with service fees included.

Press release:

2015 WASHINGTON CASK BEER FESTIVAL

Saturday March 28, 2015  12-4pm & 6-10pm  Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

(Seattle, WA) March 6, 2015- Washington Brewers Guild will present its annual Washington Cask Beer Festival at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on Saturday, March 28. The event is known for its extensive beer lineup that focuses exclusively on cask-conditioned beer and this year is no exception.

While cask-conditioned beer is becoming more popular and available in recent years it is still quite a rare occasion to be able to sample more than 100 cask-conditioned beers in one place. From classic styles for purists that let the unadulterated flavors shine to more experimental beers that showcase unique ingredients and different conditioning techniques, all featured beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and expertly crafted by Washington Brewers Guild member breweries.

Here are some of the beers that will be pouring at this year’s Cask Festival. See the full beer list at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org/Events.html.

Favorite IPA’s             As always there is no shortage of IPA’s at the Cask Festival, including dry-hopped IPA’s (Rainy Daze Back Seat Driver IPA and Fish Double Dry-hopped IPA), Imperial IPA’s (Port Townsend Beast Mode Imperial IPA and Fremont Spring Imperial IPA) and an IPA with orange blossoms (Naked City Orange Blossom Special IPA) and a randallized lager version (Issaquah Brewhouse Contraband IPL #38).

Oatmeal Stout            Stout may be the second popular style at the Cask Festival and there will be quite many versions of Oatmeal Stout in particular this year, including Machine House Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout, Elliott Bay Vietnamese Coffee Stout, Elysian Dragonstooth and Boundary Bay’s classic Imperial Oatmeal Stout.         

Barrel Aging                Thanks to the growing number of distilleries in the area there are a wide variety of barrels available for aging beer these days. Try Schooner Exact Imperial Porter and Georgetown Tombourbon in bourbon barrels, Bainbridge Island Five-Masted Baltic Porter aged in a rum barrel, and McMenamin’s Paeter’s Porter and Bellevue Scotch Ale aged in whiskey barrels.

Brett Effect               Brettanomyces or Brett, is a type of “wild” yeast that imparts complex flavors, tartness and funkiness to beer and often used in making Belgian style beers. This year a few breweries incorporated in their cask creations including Black Raven’s Trickster Gone Wild, Big Al Time Capsule July ?’?14 Mango? Wild Ale and 7 Seas Rainbow in the Dark.

Collaboration Beers              Washington brewers are known to embrace opportunities to collaborate with one another to share inspirations, techniques and good times. Brewers from Anacortes Brewery, Big Time Brewery and Diamond Knot Brewing got together to brew a collaboration beer, Broken Mirror, an Imperial Milk Stout with lactose and cocoa nibs. Each brewery will bring a different version to the Cask Festival; Anacortes version with peppers, Big Time with coffee and vanilla, and Diamond Knot with driedcherries macerated in Jamaican rum. Another collaboration beer not to be missed is United Red Ale Women’s Collaborative Brewby Hale’s Ales Brewery organized by the Pink Boot Society celebrating women in the beer industry.

This year’s Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a Cask Festival favorite and an ultimate collaboration beer was brewed at Postdoc Brewing, one of the newest members of the Washington beer industry. Herbert’s is a collaborative beer that’s brewed at a different host brewery each year in honor of a Northwest beer icon, Bert Grant. More than 20 Guild member brewers participated in the brewing session at Postdoc on February 24 to honor this long-running Cask Festival tradition. The beer will make its debut prior to the Cask Festival at the release party hosted by The Latona Pub (6423 Latona Ave NE, Seattle, www.3pubs.com) on Monday, March 23.

The Cask Festival will host two sessions; from noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm on Saturday, March 28 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Admission is $40 in advance or $45 at the door, if tickets are still available. This event may sell out so advance purchase is recommended. Separate tickets are required for each session. Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 sample tastes. Tickets are available online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org and at select ticket outlets. This is a 21-and-over-only event.

2015 Washington Cask Beer Festival

Participating Breweries

7 Seas Brewing- Gig Harbor

Life Jacket Session IPA (IPA)

Rainbow in the Dark (Imperial Stout)

 

American Brewing- Edmonds

Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)

Cabernet Stout (Stout)

 

Anacortes Brewery- Anacortes

Anacortes IPA (IPA)

Pale Ale (Pale Ale)

Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)

 

Bainbridge Island Brewing- Bainbridge Island

Grapefruit Kolsch (Kolsch)

Bainbridge Pale Ale Single Hop Series – ADHA 529 (Pale Ale)

Rum Barrel Five-Masted Baltic Porter (Porter)

 

Beardslee Public House- Bothell

Beardslee IPA (IPA)

 

Belluvue Brewing- Bellevue

Cask Conditioned Classic Scotch (Scotch Ale)

ESB (ESB)

 

Big Al Brewing- Seattle

Time Capsule ?July ?’?14 Mango? Wild Ale (American Wild Ale)

Hop Villain Whiskey? CDA (CDA)

 

Big Time Brewery- Seattle

Whiny the Complainer (Imperial IPA)

Breakfast Cereal  Killer (Imperial Stout)

Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)

 

Black Raven Brewing- Redmond

Trickster’s Gone Wild (100% Brett IPA)

Coco Jones (Porter)

“Alaskan Session” IPA (A blend of 2011 Barley wine and Wisdom Seeker)

 

Boundary Bay Brewery- Bellingham

Old Bounder (Barleywine)

Cedar Dust IPA (IPA)

Imperial Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

 

Der Blokken Brewery- Bremerton

Smoked Chocolate Rye (Rye)

TBD (Belgian Strong Ale)

 

Diamond Knot Brewing- Mukilteo

Apple Cinnamon ESB (ESB)

Slane’s Irish Red (Red Ale)

Broken Mirror (Imperial Milk Stout)\

 

Elliott Bay Brewing- Seattle & Burien

Vitamin Belma (Pale Ale)

Caber Tosser (Scotch Ale)

Vietnamese Coffee Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

 

Elysian Brewing- Seattle

Space Dust (IPA)

Dragonstooth (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Little Bitty Pretty One (Pale Ale)

 

Fish Brewing- Olympia

Sichuan Porter (Porter)

Vanilla Bean Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)

Double Dry-hoppe Classic IPA (IPA)

 

Fremont Brewing- Seattle

First Nail w/ Maraschino Cherries (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Thin Mint Stout (Stout)

Spring Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)

 

Georgetown Brewing- Seattle

5 Point 5 (IPA)

Lisa’s Chocolate Stout (Stout)

Tombourbon (Belgian Brown Ale)

 

Hale’s Ales Brewery- Seattle

United Red Ale Women’s Collaborative Brew (Red Ale)

Theo Cocoa Nibs Nut Brown (Irish Style Nut Brown)

Supergoose IPA (IPA)

 

Harmon Brewing- Tacoma

EmotionALE Dark Ale (Dark Ale)

Dry Hopped Pt. Defiance IPA (IPA)

Berry Vanilla Cocoa Stryker Stout (Stout)

 

Hi-Fi Brewing- Redmond

Sitar (IPA)

Peanut Butter Wolf (Porter)

 

Issaquah Brewhouse- Issaquah

Contraband IPL #38 (IPL)

Sour Frog

 

Mac& Jack’s Brewing- Redmond

Mole Brown Recluse (Brown)

Ibis IPA (IPA)

Blackcat (Porter)

 

Machine House Brewery- Seattle

Stinging Nettle (Herbal English Ale)

Dark Mild (English Mild)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout)

 

Maritime Pacific Brewing- Seattle

Bosun’s Black (Porter)

Hop Surge Triple (IPA)

 

McMenamin’s Breweries- Seattle

Cairngorm’s Courage (Scotch Ale)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Paeter’s Porter (Porter)

 

Naked City Brewery- Seattle

Orange Blossom Special IPA (IPA)

Old No. 48 Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)

 

New Belgium Brewing- Seattle

TBD

TBD

 

North Sound Brewing- Mt. Vernon

Cheeky Monkey Vanilla Imperial Brown (Imperial Brown)

Hopsolute Mango (IPA)

 

Odin Brewing- Tukwila

Northern Darkness (Vanilla Baltic Porter)

Idun’s Garden (Raspberry Saison)

Midgard Serpent (IIPA)

 

Pike Brewing- Seattle

Pike Space Needle (IPA)

Pike IPA (IPA)

 

Port Townsend Brewing- Port Townsend

Beast Mode Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA)

Bourbon Oaked Strait Stout (Stout)

 

Postdoc Brewing- Redmond

Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale (Herbert’s)

Prereq Pale (Pale Ale)

 

Rainy Daze Brewing- Silverdale

Back Seat Driver IPA (IPA)

Barrel Aged Stu’s Stout on Cherries (Stout)

Sunrise Coffee Porter (Porter)

 

Ram Restaurant & Brewery- Seattle

Grapefruit IPA (IPA)

Palm Coconut Porter (Porter)

Azacca IPA (IPA)

 

Schooner Exact Brewing- Seattle

Hopvine (IPA)

3 Grid (IPA)

Barrel Aged Imperial Porter (Imperial Porter)

 

Scuttlebutt Brewing- Everett

Ming The Merciless (Imperial IPA)

Jarret’s Folly (Barrel Aged CDA)

 

Silver City Brewery- Silverdale & Bremerton

Fat Woody (Oaked Sctoch Ale)

Whoop Pass (Double IPA)

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout)

 

Triplehorn Brewing- Woodinville

Chocolate Thunder (Imperial Milk Stout)

Lapow (IPA)

Hoppy Town (IPA)

 

Two Beers Brewing- Seattle

Forester (Double IPA)

Basil Mint (Hard Cider)

 

West Seattle Brewing- Seattle

Beast Mode Dark Ale (Cascadian Dark Ale)

Road Rage Imperial Red (Red/IPA)

Triangle Tripel (Belgian Tripel)

 

WABL Beer* by Diamond Knot Brewing

Industrial Red dry-hopped w/ Chinook

*Available to WABL members only

 

WASHINGTON CASK BEER FESTIVAL

Saturday, March 28, 2015 Ÿ  12-4pm & 6-10pm Ÿ  Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

DATE

Saturday, March 28, 2015

 

HOURS
Session 1: Noon-4 pm

Session 2: 6-10 pm

Doors open 15 minutes before each session begins. Taps close 30 minutes before closing each session.

Separate tickets required for each session

 

LOCATION
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA  98109

ADMISSION      

$40 advance tickets or $45 at the door, if still available. Admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and up to 25 sample tastes.

Must be 21 years old or older and have a valid ID to be admitted.

Designated driver admission is $5 and available at the door only.

Tickets are on sale online at www.washingtonbrewersguild.org. This event may sell out so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

BEERS
Washington Cask Beer Festival is a major highlight of the Pacific Northwest beer festival scene. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to sample from over 100 mostly exclusive or limited release cask-conditioned beers from 40+ Washington breweries. To stay true to the tradition of cask-conditioned beer the Festival requires brewers to naturally condition the beer in a firkin or other vessels without artificially introducing CO2. All beers will be poured by gravity or via a beer engine and the result is smooth ale with a thick creamy head that brings out subtle, nuanced flavors.

HERBERT’S LEGENDARY CASK FEST ALE

Also serving is Herbert’s Legendary Cask Festival Ale, a special cask beer brewed collectively by the Washington brewers in memory of Bert Grant, a legendary Washington beer icon. This year’s Herbert’s will be brewed at Postdoc Brewing, a brand new brewery in Redmond in collaboration with other Guild member breweries. Herbert’s will be available at the Cask Festival as well as select pubs prior to the event. Herbert’s release party is scheduled for Monday, March 23 at The Latona Pub before the beer makes its appearance at the Cask Festival on March 28.

FOOD
There will be a few snack options available for purchase that are perfect accompaniments to a wide array of cask-conditioned beers; Dante’s Inferno Dogs (assortment of hot dogs), Brave Horse Tavern (house-made pretzels and accompanying sauces), and Mt. Townsend Creamery (assortment of artisan cheeses).

BENEFICIARY
Washington Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build a community of Washington State brewers, advance their common interests through the legislative process and promote the quality and value of their beers.

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Road Trip: Weekend of Portland Beer Exploration

March 4th, 2015 · Beer Travels, Oregon Breweries

Bailey'sYou don’t have to twist my arm very hard to convince me to take a trip down to Portland to drink beer & eat good food. So, when Travel Portland invited me down to check out what is going on in their beer scene this winter, I didn’t hesitate for long. After all, one of my favorite things about living in Seattle is that it is so close to Portland. Having visited Portland at least once a year for the past 10 years that I’ve lived in the NW, I’ve hit quite a few worthy spots down there over the years. On this trip, I focused mostly on at least relatively newer places, including Base Camp Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, Ex Novo Brewing and Fat Head’s Brewery. With the beautiful weather we had on Saturday, I have to admit it was difficult to not just go sit on the sunny patio at Apex for most of the day.

Travel Portland recently partnered with Base Camp Brewing Company to spearhead their #PDXNOW campaign, which is part of the greater “Portland is Happening Now” winter tourism campaign (you’ve probably seen the commercials). Base Camp approached Travel Portland about the project, and then they recruited 9 other breweries to join them. Together, they produced 10 unique #PDXNOW beers that have been featured at the breweries for about the past month after debuting at a festival in January. Base Camp’s Bridge Builder Bock was a collaboration with Coalition Brewing brewed for the campaign, and it was one of my favorite beers of the weekend.

Now, the disclaimer: Travel Portland covered my stay at the lovely Hotel Monaco (my favorite place in PDX, even when it’s not free) & subsidized my expenses for beer & food at times throughout the trip. That said, please don’t misconstrue that for them buying a good review on this Portland trip. That’s really just not necessary.

One of the trickiest parts of any Portland trip is the travel. Amtrak & Bolt Bus are fantastic, stress-free ways to go, but we opted to drive this time due to work schedules. And, the best we could do was to leave Seattle at 4pm on Friday….so we knew we were likely in for a long trip with the evening rush hour. 4 hours later (takes 2 ½ hours w/out traffic) we rolled into Portland and headed straight to Aviary up on Alberta where we had reservations that we timed perfectly. The food we had was outstanding (Chanterelle ravioli with quince, celery root, smoked tapioca herb jus & crispy sage was a highlight), and I was happy to find Upright Engelberg Pils and Breakside IPA pouring. Breakside IPA has become one of my go-to IPAs in Seattle, and Engelberg Pils would certainly be a go-to for me, but we don’t see it on tap very often in Seattle. To end the night, we stopped by the always reliable Bailey’s Taproom. The convenient downtown location is just a couple of blocks away from Hotel Monaco, and we were welcomed by $5 imperial pints of one of the best IPAs in the country: Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack. What a great way to end the night.

Saturday morning started out with the best donuts in the NW at Blue Star. If you’ve never been, forget about the overrated monstrosities at Voodoo Doughnut and the ridiculous lines that go with them. Blue Star’s classic brioche doughnuts featuring toppings like Blueberry Bourbon Basil & Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib are truly outstanding. Dear Blue Star: thank you for not opening a Seattle location…I don’t need to eat donuts any more than I already do (Mighty-O has my needs covered).

Enough about donuts. We started the beer touring for the day by meeting with the PR Manager for Travel Portland to discuss the finer points of the city over beers and lunch at Base Camp Brewing. This is the 3rd time I’ve been to Base Camp, and I love the space. It’s a huge taproom, and they recently added a covered & heated outdoor tent. For food, they have two permanent (I think?) food trucks set up that allow you to order from inside the taproom, add it to your bill and then they bring you your food when it is ready. While Seattle breweries have embraced food trucks, I don’t think there is a setup quite like that up here, yet. I already mentioned that the Bridge Builder Bock was one of my favorite beers of the trip. They still had it available on tap, and you might still be able to find it in their unique 12oz aluminum bottles.

ExNovoNext, we got a ride over to Ex Novo Brewing, which is a non-profit brewery that opened in North Portland last summer. Check out this quality piece from Brewpublic for more detailed info on Ex Novo. Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny day, and the few picnic tables outside were already filled up with happy drinkers.  We grabbed a spot at the bar in their cavernous taproom featuring lots of wood; it reminded me a bit of being in a barn (in a good way…without any manure). They had just recently run out of their Gose made for #PDXNOW, so the wife and I split a taster flight featuring their IPA, Brah! Imperial IPA, Saison Lillis, an Engligh-style brown ale and a smoked helles lager. The beers were all pretty solid, but the smoked helles was the only one I could really get excited for having a full glass of. One of the best-named beers of the trip was certainly their Damon Stoutamire. I’ll look forward to catching more of their lineup in the future.

Our next destination was a 1.5 mile walk up to Ecliptic Brewing on the south end of N. Mississippi Ave, which John Harris opened towards the end of 2013. Harris has been a mainstay in the Oregon beer industry for a long time, first at McMenamin’s, then at Deschutes, where he created flagship beers like Mirror Pond and Black Butte Porter, and then a long stint at Full Sail Brewing’s Portland location. You’d expect nothing less than well-made, quality beers from a man with experience like Harris has, and that’s exactly what you’ll find. This was my 2nd visit to Ecliptic, and we focused on the standard lineup the first time through. For this visit, we did a sample flight of Downkriek Cosmic Storm Belgian Sour (#PDXNOW beer), Izar Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Rataban Oud Bruin, Capella Porter and Phobos Single Hop Red Ale. We quite enjoyed all of the beers, but the Izar was the star of the lineup for me. It’s deceptively smooth for a 9.5% ABV beer, and it is full of hop flavor with a candy-like sweetness and Belgian yeast flavors. It finishes with a warming alcohol note and a moderate bitterness to balance.

FatHeadsFor our last brewery stop of the day, we hiked it 2 1/2 miles back towards downtown (it was beautiful out, remember?) to visit the new Fat Head’s Brewery in the Pearl District. This Ohio-based brewery made a lot of people scratch their heads when they announced in 2013 that they were planning to open a PDX pub. They have a great reputation for their hoppy beers and have won several medals at GABF, but the move to open a pub in one of the most competitive beer markets in the country was an interesting one. Their huge 300-seat pub opened towards the end of 2014, and the initial reports are that Fat Head’s beer can hang with Portland’s best. They had a large selection of 18 house beers available, as well as probably 20 more guest taps. Two of their most popular beers are the Head Hunter IPA and Sunshine Daydream Session Ale, and after sampling them I can certainly see why. We also quite enjoyed the Bean Me Up Imperial Coffee Stout & Weiss Weiss Baby, their #PDXNOW collaboration with Breakside. The beer lineup was interesting, and everything we had was well-made. Fat Head’s is a great addition to the PDX beer scene and I’ll be making it a regular stop in future trips. My only gripe? The food menu. I don’t mind at all if you want to feature comfort food straight off menus from the Midwest (who wouldn’t want to try a sandwich with a freaking pierogie on it?), but please offer 1/2 sizes for appetizers and dishes were it makes sense. The “Frickles” were a $9 basket of fried pickle chips that were outstanding and the portion was large enough to feed two people for a full meal. We felt bad leaving more than half of them to be wasted, but we had to save room for dinner. There was really nothing on the menu that fits into the category of a light snack while drinking a couple beers.

After a quick power nap back at the hotel our last outing for the day was a Portland Dining Month preview up at North Light back up on N. Mississippi Ave. Portland Dining Month features 3-course meals for $29 from some of Portland’s best restaurants, including North Light and Aviary, where we went on Friday. North Light’s 3-course meal was outstanding, especially for the $29 price. A roasted beet salad to start was anything but ordinary, with pickled beet tops, frisée, spiced almonds and blood orange-goat cheese dressing. The main course was a combo of duck confit and seared duck breast served with parsnip purée, marasca cherry demi-glace and radicchio salad. For dessert, we split a crème fraîche cheesecake with oat shortbread, citrus supremes and blood orange coulis. North Light is also one of the select Portland Dining Month restaurants offering suggested beer pairings. While the beers were nothing out of the ordinary, Hopworks Organic Lager went nicely with the salad and Deschutes Black Butte Porter was a perfect pairing for the duck. Honestly, it had been entirely too long since I’d had a Black Butte, and I was happy to realize that it is still one of the best porters out there. As for the meal, it was a ridiculous value at $29 per person. If you don’t trust me, Eater PDX recently named North Light as one of their best deals for Dining Month.

We wrapped up the weekend on Sunday with breakfast at Mother’s Bistro right downtown (excellent) and then a couple of hours at the Portland Art Museum to catch their special exhibit on Italian Style. Overall, this was another great Portland weekend. I was a bit sad to not have time to hit some of my favorite spots, like Cascade, The Commons, Apex, Hair of the Dog, Belmont Station, etc…but I’ll certainly plan to be back soon for more fun.

 

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Registration Now Open for 2015 Washington Beer Awards

March 2nd, 2015 · Washington Breweries

WA BEERLast year, more than 460 WA beers competed for 100+ medals in the inaugural Washington Beer Awards. As the event returns for a third year, the competition is again expected to grow. This is a great way for local WA breweries to gain some recognition; the winners will be announced at the Washington Brewers Festival in June. Interested breweries can register for the competition from now until March 30. Actual submission of beer for the competition won’t take place until early May. More info can be found below and at www.wabeerawards.com.

Press Release:

Specialty Competitions LLC is proud to announce the return of the Washington Beer Awards®, the craft beer competition designed specifically to support Washington’s professional brewers. This is the third year for the Washington-only competition that provides an opportunity for all of Washington’s craft brewers to compete in a blind judging format and fosters recognition of brewing excellence in Washington.

Only Washington breweries with beers produced and sold in Washington can enter the competition. The event is endorsed by the Washington Beer Commission as a way to help promote our excellent Washington brews and raise awareness of our rich brewing culture.

In 2014 more than 70 breweries submitted over 460 beers to the competition spanning nearly 100 styles from the Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines. Judging was conducted by dozens of trained judges who assessed the technical and stylistic accuracy of the entries. More than 100 gold, silver, and bronze medals were presented recognizing brewing excellence in the state.

The 2015 competition is expected to grow with additional entries and award categories. The competition will also recognize “Breweries of the Year” who receive multiple awards in various categories and also feature a “Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer” special award. This year’s competition will include a “Pro-Am” category recognizing collaborations of homebrewers and professional brewers who have scaled up homebrewer recipes for production on a commercial scale.

Breweries can register entries from March 1 through March 30th. The 2015 judging will be conducted in May with the winners being announced at the Washington Brewers Festival in mid-June. Details on the competition (including rules and registration information) as well as a list of the previous winners can be found at www.wabeerawards.com.

We look forward to recognizing another great year of Washington beers! Cheers!

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Lucky Envelope Brewing Looks to Join Ballard Beer Scene

February 27th, 2015 · Washington Breweries

Raymond Kwan & Barry Chan of Lucky Envelope.

Raymond Kwan & Barry Chan of Lucky Envelope.

The Ballard beer scene just keeps booming. Lucky Envelope Brewing looks to become the *10th brewery operating in Ballard when they open the doors to their tasting room at 907 NW 50th St., hopefully sometime in April or May. I had a chance to meet with co-owners Raymond Kwan & Barry Chan yesterday, and crews were hard at work getting their 15-barrel brewing system ready, as well as the tasting room out front. They were hoping to do their first test brew on the system today or sometime this weekend.

Chan will be the Brewmaster at Lucky Envelope, and he appreciates that many of the brewers in Ballard started out just like they are. He says, “The Ballard area is prime with examples of homebrewers going pro…we’ve been getting a lot of support from the local guys where we’ve needed it as we get things set up. They have been more than willing to lend their expertise where they can.” Kwan adds, “We had considered various locations…but one of the big things about Ballard is that it is an established destination for craft breweries. That was a big draw for us. From a business standpoint it just makes sense. It really is a great neighborhood.”

As for the beer, Chan says the beers will be culturally inspired. “That is a very broad term, but it does mean first focusing on the Northwest. So, having a solid IPA is essential as well as a hoppy pale ale. We also want to have a German lager available most of the time…the two I really like are Munich Helles and Schwarzbier.” Both Kwan & Chan are of Chinese ethnicity, and they also plan to occasionally incorporate Asian flavors into some of their beers. Chan says, “The one we are definitely going to bring out is a Belgian trippel with some Thai ingredients. That was one that did very well at the National Homebrew Conference.”

Like many before him, Chan started out as an avid homebrewer. “I caught myself at one point criticizing a beer, and I realized how unfair that was since I didn’t know how to make beer. That was in about 2008. It was kind of a self-realization point. I had to put my money where my mouth was, so I headed over to Bob’s Homebrew, picked up a kit and started getting into the nitty-gritty of it all, from the chemistry to recipe formulation and it really was the most perfect combination of science, technology, engineering and magic….it just clicked with me.” He does have a bit of experience brewing on professional systems. He says, “We did an immersion course in Colorado with Echo Brewing Company, and then I also spent some time interning in Napa at Downtown Joes.”

Kwan says that they were hoping to be able to open in early March, but that isn’t realistic at this point. “We’re experiencing some of the normal delays as everyone else. We were hoping to be open early March, which isn’t going to happen, but hopefully it won’t be much longer. I’d say it will be an April to May time frame as long as nothing major goes wrong.” Like most Ballard breweries, Lucky Envelop will be focused on on-premise consumption to start. The tasting room will be kid & dog friendly, and they’ll be able to throw some seating out in the parking lot when the weather improves. Over time, they will look towards distributing to local bars & retailers.

Check out Lucky Envelope on their website, Facebook and Twitter for more info and to keep up-to-date with when they will be open.

* Note that this number has fluctuated recently. 2nd Chance Brewing was a nanobrewery that was briefly open near Stoup, but their web presence seems to have disappeared. Urban Family Brewing moved to Magnolia.

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