Washington Breweries Bring Home 14 Medals from Great American Beer Festival

October 8th, 2016 · Washington Breweries

Image from Georgetown Brewing's Facebook page.

Image from Georgetown Brewing’s Facebook page.

The 2016 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is in the books, and Washington was well-represented on the winner’s stage. Washington breweries took home a total of 14 medals, including 7 gold medals. Georgetown Brewing made the biggest splash, taking home a gold medal in the category with the most entrants, American-Style IPA with 312 entries, as well as a gold medal in another very competitive category, Coffee Beer with 168 entries.

Also impressive, Washington breweries took both gold and silver medals in the German-style Sour Ale category, which had 141 entries. Reuben’s Brews took the gold, while Kulshan Brewing took the silver.

Competition is fierce for medals at GABF. Brewers work hard on their craft, and taking home one of these medals is a rewarding result of their long hours and dedication.

Cheers to all of the Washington breweries that took home hardware from this year’s competition, and I hope to see even more breweries submit beers and find success at the 2017 competition.

Details on the winning WA beers:

Gold Medal: Black Raven Brewing Co.
Red Feather
Extra Special Bitter – 71 Entries

Gold Medal: Chuckanut Brewery
Chuckanut Helles
Munich-Style Helles – 84 Entries

Gold Medal: Georgetown Brewing Co.
Bodhizafa IPA
American-Style India Pale Ale – 312 Entries

Gold Medal: Georgetown Brewing Co.
Gusto Crema
Coffee Beer – 168 Entries

 

Gold Medal: Perry Street Brewing Co.
PSB Session IPL
Session Beer – 52 Entries

Gold Medal: RAM/Big Horn Brewery – Lakewood
Hometown Blonde
English-Style Summer Ale – 68 Entries

Gold Medal: Reuben’s Brews
Gose
German-Style Sour Ale – 141 Entries

Silver Medal: Chainline Brewing
Polaris Pilsner
Bohemian-Style Pilsener – 62 Entries

Silver Medal: Dick’s Brewing Co.
Barley Wine Ale
Barley Wine-Style Ale – 60 Entries

Silver Medal: Kulshan Brewing Co.
Gose
German-Style Sour Ale – 141 Entries

Bronze Medal: Barrel Mountain Brewing
Starway Stout
Export Stout – 43 Entries

Bronze Medal: Fish Brewing
Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen
American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast – 31 Entries

Bronze Medal: Ghostfish Brewing Co.
Grapefruit IPA
Gluten-Free Beer – 37 Entries

Bronze Medal: Propolis Brewing 
Pi
Fruited Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 82 Entries

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New High-Tech Tavern & Bottle Shop Set to Open This Month in South Lake Union

October 4th, 2016 · Uncategorized

More beer is on its way for the South Lake Union neighborhood. Teku Tavern will celebrate its grand opening on October 18. Check out the press release for more info.

Press Release

SEATTLE – October 4, 2016 – Teku Tavern, a new high-tech tavern and bottle shop in Seattle, offers 50 taps and three cask stations serving draft beer, plus 29 refrigerators containing bottles of beer, cider, wine, and mead available for retail sale. The dog-friendly space will feature a custom 40-foot bar alongside 9-foot beer hall tables, providing seating for up to 140 people, with patio seating to be added next spring. Hours will accommodate Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners and NCAA football games. Snacks will be available onsite and patrons will be encouraged to bring in food from the many neighboring eateries.

 

Looking to elevate the beer scene in Seattle, owners, Rich Powell and Karrie Stewart, are demanding a higher caliber drinking experience at Teku Tavern.

 

“There is a lot of great beer being made and served in Seattle, and we wanted to continue that trend but with a more focused effort on holding every stage accountable, from brewer to glass,” Stewart said. “From hand-selecting each beer that goes on tap, to ensuring lines are thoroughly cleaned between kegs, as well as hiring Cicerone certified beer servers, we’re hoping that we can help educate our customers and encourage them to expect more while enjoying a beer.”

 

Each draft beer will be served through a custom built four-gas-blend system ensuring each beer is poured at the right flow rate and carbonation level for its temperature. The Digital Pour inventory system will be used to track real-time availability of beers on tap, as well as the retail selection and fridge location in-store. This information will be accessible in the tavern via tablet kiosks as well as online at the tavern’s website.

 

“Being in Seattle, a tech and craft beer hub, it was important for us to integrate technologies like Digital Pour which do a great job enabling accessibility and understanding,” said Powell. “With a digital menu and inventory system, we’re able to organize offerings by flavor profile, then add more detailed descriptions for each beer, displaying all the information in real time. The same technology that helps make beer accessible to the novice beer drinker also helps the seasoned veteran find something new.”

 

The 3,700-square-foot tavern will have plenty of space to host large parties and private events. Regularly scheduled brewer’s nights will allow breweries to come in and not only showcase their beers but also host classes covering topics such as food pairings, storing and aging, as well as tasting panels highlighting the impact serving temperature and glassware can have on the flavors of a beer.

 

“We’re not only passionate about quality but almost more important to us is educating others, because that’s how we fell in love with craft beer,” said Powell. “Our appreciation for beer is more than just an enjoyment of what we’re drinking. We study it. We take time to break it down, learn the history, understand why we enjoy it, and we want others to feel that excitement too.”

 

Stewart, a former Flight Test Engineer for Boeing, and husband Powell, a Product Manager for Amazon, developed their own passion and high standard for quality through years of attending lectures and beer education events from coast to coast. Both are Cicerone certified beer servers and Powell has received his Associates from The Siebel Institute in Brewing Technology.

 

“We’re committed to providing a large bottle selection where anyone can walk in and find something new or an old favorite,” said Stewart. “As well as serving each beer on tap through clean lines in the appropriate glassware to ensure the aromas and flavors are featured exactly how the brewer intended.”

 

Don’t miss the grand opening celebration on #TekuTuesday, Oct. 18 and visit www.tekutavern.beer for more information on events, the history of the Teku Glass and beer education resources.

 

Taproom Address: Teku Tavern, 552 Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98109

 

 

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Fresh Hop Beer Season in Full Swing – Updated Events & Random Thoughts on Yakima

October 4th, 2016 · Uncategorized

It was just over a month ago that I posted about the arrival of fresh hop season. While offerings were a bit limited and sporadic at that point, right now there is great fresh hop beer pouring all over town. Check out the updated list of events and tappings below.

At Yakima Fresh Hop Fest

At Yakima Fresh Hop Fest

My wife & I made it back to the Yakima Fresh Hop Fest this past Saturday for the first time since 2008 (pics here). Back then, the fest was less of a feature for fresh hop beers and more just a big old party for locals, at least that’s what it seemed like to us. Several breweries pouring at the fest at that point didn’t even have fresh hop beer and were just offering their regular lineup. But, the festival has certainly evolved and now rightfully has its focus squarely on the special fresh hop beers of the season that make Yakima and the NW such a special place to be this type of year. There were lots of great beers. Too many to list, but a few that I had not tried around Seattle that stuck out to me were: Bale Breaker/Cloudburst Citra Slicker, Fat Heads Kinda Is, Barley Brown’s FH Pallet Jack (yes!), Black Raven FH Pale Ale (1st time I’ve really liked a FH beer from Black Raven) & Ninkasi Total Crystalation (better than I remember from previous years). I was bummed to miss out on the pFriem Citra Pale, which blew just as I walked up to it. I was looking forward to trying the Holy Mountain/Cloudburst Wet Wired collaboration, but the line was insane. They also had a bike going around the fest pouring special beers (fresh hop and not), and I enjoyed the hell out of my mostly-full pint of Founder’s Breakfast Stout for a single ticket. Overall, the atmosphere and selection at the Yakima Fresh Hop Fest are something that every fan of fresh hop beer should experience at least once. With so much great beer around Seattle, there is no need to go every year, but it makes for a great road trip. You can also combine the fest with a visit to Bale Breaker, Snipes Mountain and other breweries in the area.

Fresh Hop Events:

Fresh Hop Week at The Beer Junction
Saturday, October 1 to Sunday, October 9
Continues through October 9 with 25+ taps devoted to fresh hop beers. Check out their live tap list to see what is pouring.

Mini Fresh Hop Fest at Slow Boat Tavern
Tuesday, October 4
Slow Boat will be rotating fresh hop beers for the next couple of weeks, and they are starting things off today by pouring Reuben’s Amarillo Pale, Flying Lion Simcoe Pale, Cloudburst Water Weight, Double Mountain Killer Red, Ecliptic Amarillo/Simcoe Pale, Alpine DIPA and Breakside FH Wanderlust.

Fresh Hop Fest at The Pine Box
Thursday, October 6
More than 40 fresh hop beers will be pouring all at once. Confirmed breweries so far include: Backwoods Brewing Company, Boundary Bay Brewery, Breakside Brewery, Cloudburst Brewing, Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom, Ecliptic Brewing, Fremont Brewing, Fort George Brewery, Georgetown Brewing, Hale’s Ales, Holy Mountain Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, Lucky Envelope Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers, Reuben’s Brews, Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery, Silver City Brewery & Taproom, Stoup Brewing, & more…

Citra Slicker Release at Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square
Thursday, October 6
This collaboration fresh hop from Bale Breaker and Cloudburst was one of my favorite in Yakima. Also on tap: Cloudburst POM POM IPA, Cloudburst Boom Roasted!, Bale Breaker Triple IPA X (infused with peaches) and Bale Breaker Piled High Fresh Hop IPA.

Odin Brewing Fresh Hop Release
Thursday, October 6 (in Tukwila)
Cost is $5 and includes a taster glass of all 3 of our new Fresh Hop releases. Join the brewers for a tour of the brewery and tasting right off of the tank! This just in! Andrew has made a super secret special Fresh Hop beer that will be included in the tasting as well!

Fresh Hops Festival at Hale’s Palladium
Friday, October 7 & Saturday, October 8
A new festival for 2016 that will feature fresh hop beers from 20+ breweries. Featuring: 20 Corners Brewing, Bad Jimmy’s Brewing, Counterbalance Brewing, Diamond Knot Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Flycaster Brewing, Fremont Brewing, Ghostfish Brewing, Hales Ales, Kulshan Brewing, Lowercase Brewing, Locust Cider, Lucky Envelope Brewing, Microhops, Northsound Brewing, Outlander Brewing, Postdoc Brewing, Schooner Exact Brewing, Scuttlebutt Brewing, Seattle Cider Co., SnoTown Brewing, Two Beers Brewing, Triplehorn Brewing, Widmer Brewing, Woodinville Ciderworks and more breweries TBA Soon!

Populuxe Fresh Hops & Pop
Saturday, October 8
Populuxe will release three fresh hop beers starting at noon: Fresh Hop Citra Pale Ale, Fresh Hop Mosaic IPA and Fresh Hop Sim City Simcoe DIPA. Then at 6 PM, local legends Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks, The Young Fresh Fellows, Thee Sgt Major 3, etc etc) and Jim Sangster (The Young Fresh Fellows, TRIPWIRES,Picketts, etc etc) will be spinning 45’s both Classic and Not So Much! R&B Raunch, Solid Soul Senders, Saucy Surf, Crunchy Garage, Loud Sounds both Rock AND Roll, and perhaps a dose of Classic Punkers! Music that pairs well with beer presented with panache and verve from well patina’d seven inch platters that matter! Chavoya’s Hot Dogs will be serving up franks and Balleywood Creamery will have specialty ice creams including Fresh Hop ice cream.

“Hopfest” at Brouwer’s Cafe
The whole month of October
Hopfest is a long running event at Brouwer’s that they have been tweaking over the past few years to focus on fresh hop beers. Things are still in development for this year, but they are leaning towards celebrating hops the entire month of October, instead of the typical one day or weekend event. One can expect at least 10 fresh hop beers on draft at any given time throughout the month, and they will host a different special event each week of the month. Following are the loose details they have at the moment (subject to change):

Fremont Fresh Hop Showcase
Saturday, October 8th at 3pm
Fremont is putting out a rotating series of Fresh hop beers, dubbed the Field to Ferment, throughout the month of September. One each week for the month of September. We are going to hold on to one of each and tap them on this day— we are hoping to have some surprises as well.

Skookum Brewer’s Night – Or lets celebrate Washington Fresh Hops—the details on this are still being figured out.
Thursday, October 13th
Details to come but expect an event on this day.

Hoppy Sour Night
Thursday October 20th at 6pm
4 hoppy sours from Almanac, in addition to New Belgium Le Terrior and some Mikkeller hoppy sours.

Heavy and Hoppy
Thursday, October 27th
Heavy Metal and Big Heavy Ipas—
We will be tapping:
Dogfish Head 120 min
Evil Twin Molotov Heavy

Also, I sporadically like to search on Twitter for “fresh hop” to see what people are saying. You should give it a try. All the non-beer tweets that combine “fresh” and “hop” are pretty entertaining.

 

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Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Announce Merger with French Farmer-Run Cooperative

September 27th, 2016 · Uncategorized

Very interesting news for Two Beers Brewing & Seattle Cider Company. I don’t know anything about Agrial, but it looks like the company generates about $5B in revenue per year. That should mean that Seattle Cider/Two Beers will have even more resources for expansion and growth.

Cheers to founder and CEO of Two Beers & Seattle Cider, Joel VandenBrink. Quite an amazing journey from starting out brewing in an ActiveSpace!

Press Release:

SEATTLE (September 27, 2016) – Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing have announced a merger with French farmer-run cooperative Agrial. The two Seattle based companies – which share the same leadership team and have seen immense growth over the past few years – will continue to operate independently in Seattle, while merging with the leading French cider producer.
The merger and further partnership will help Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing grow through Agrial’s international distribution network, gaining access to developing craft beer and cider communities around the world. It will also allow for needed capital expansion projects for the growing brewery and the cidery. Additionally, the partnership provides Agrial with the opportunity to gain access to the American craft cider and beer market, as well as distribute a selection of its French cidre brand, Louis Raison, to the US.
“The amazing growth and expansion we’ve seen over the past three years has taken us by surprise, and as I looked at where I wanted to take Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing into the future, I knew we would need a partner to be able to achieve our long term goals,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder and CEO of Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing. “Agrial has impressed me with their belief in our mission and vision, and even more so with their desire to support Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Co. as we continue to grow our brands the way we have in the past.”
As
Through the partnership, Seattle Cider Company, Two Beers Brewing and Agrial remain dedicated to product quality, as well as maintaining the culture and dedication to craft built by Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing. Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing will continue to operate independently in Seattle, maintaining control of the day-to-day operations. Joel VandenBrink, founder of both companies, will remain as CEO. Leadership, staff, brewers, cidermakers, distributors and most importantly, the beer and cider people have come to know and love from the two companies will also remain the same.
“Seattle Cider Company has changed the face of cider in the United States in the past three years and it’s been exciting to watch. We’re thrilled to now be a part of it, and watch the companies continue to push the boundaries of cider and beer in the US and beyond. We feel strongly about the success of these brands, and share the same vision and mindset Joel has set forth for the companies,” added Franck Malinowski, the historical CEO of Agrial’s beverage division.
Seattle Cider Company, which celebrated three years in August, has quickly grown to become Washington’s largest cidery, seeing an expected production of 21,000 barrels in 2016. Now available in 12 states, it continues to push the boundaries of craft cider. Two Beers Brewing, nearing its ninth anniversary in November, continues to grow as one of Seattle’s beloved craft breweries, expecting to reach 8,000 barrels in 2016.
Famous for traditional French cidre, as well as a variety of brands valuing farmer developed products, Agrial is the number one cidre producer and seller in France. One of its missions is to support entrepreneurs transforming apples into value-added beverages and apples products. Owned by a large community of growers, Agrial offers more than 100 years of experience, a dedicated quality and innovation team, and distribution connections in more than 30 countries.
Cascadia Capital is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company in the transaction, while Miller Nash is serving as legal counsel.
For more information about the joint venture and thoughts from Joel VandenBrink, founder of Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company, visit the company’s blog at seattlecidercompany.com and twobeersbrewing.com.
About Seattle Cider Company®
Not your standard cider. Seattle Cider Company was founded in 2013 as 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, uniquely dry cider, Seattle Cider Company’s year round and seasonal offerings 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 Company’s products are handcrafted with all natural ingredients and never from concentrate. For more information, visit seattlecidercompany.com, or follow Seattle Cider Company on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@seattleciderco).
About Two Beers Brewing Co. ®Two Beers Brewing Co. began operations in a small Seattle basement in 2007 and today, produces more than 14 unique beers including year rounds, seasonal and a host of intricate infusions in its SoDo-based 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 4660 Ohio Ave. S. in SoDo, open weekly TuesdayThursday from 3-9 pm, Friday from 1-10pm, Saturdays from 1-10pm & Sundays from 1-6pm. Select brews can also be found in 12-ounce cans and 22-ounce bottles through the tasting room, as well as local retailers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. For more information, visit www.twobeersbrewery.com.
About AGRIAL
AGRIAL it is one of the leading French agricultural and food-processing cooperative groups. Its beverage division also produces and sells other types of apple-related products such as cider, apple juice, vinegar. A major player in agricultural production in its area, AGRIAL as a cooperative aims to create sustainable added value for its members by providing, on a day-to-day basis, technical, economic and environmental support for its members on their holdings.

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Holy Mountain Brewing Takes Top Spot at 6th Annual Fresh Hop Throwdown

September 26th, 2016 · Events, Oregon Breweries, Washington Breweries

Thanks to +Russ for the image.

Best of Show round judging. Thanks to +Russ for the image.

The 2016 Fresh Hop Throwdown at The Noble Fir is in the books, and Cone & Cone from Holy Mountain Brewing took top honors from the judges. 19 fresh hop beers from WA and OR were featured at the event. There was a blind  judging of all the beers earlier in the day, and the beers that placed in the Best of Show round are (in order):

1) Holy Mountain Brewing Cone & Cone (Citra)
2) Georgetown Brewing Fresh Johnny Utah (Citra)
3) Aslan Brewing Azacca Fresh Hop IPA (Azacca)
4) Stoup Brewing Simcoe Fresh Hop (Simcoe)

There were a lot of great beers pouring (full list included below) and there was stiff competition across the board. Overall, the scores from the judges were higher than in past years. A big thumbs up to the entire staff at The Noble Fir for another great year. Also, a big thanks to the judges that participated and the breweries that were a part of the Throwdown. This event is a always a lot of fun.

The line to get in at opening was not as bad as in past years. Thanks to +Russ for the image.

The line to get in at opening was not as bad as in past years. Thanks to +Russ for the image.

I would imagine that several of these fresh hop beers are still on tap at The Noble Fir, so if you missed the event you can stop by when they open back up Tuesday (4pm) to see what is left.

The full beer list:
Aslan Brewing Azacca Fresh Hop IPA (Azacca)
Bainbridge Brewing WA SMaSH! Fresh Hop Ale (Amarillo)
Breakside Brewery Fresh Hop Simcoe IPA (Simcoe)
Chainline Brewing Company Wet Season (Cascade & Willamette)
Cloudburst Brewing Water Weight (Simcoe)
Double Mountain Brewery Killer Red (Perle & Centennial)
Fort George Brewery Fresh IPA (Amarillo)
Georgetown Brewing Fresh Johnny Utah (Citra)
Hellbent Brewing Company Amarillo Fresh Hop (Amarillo)
Holy Mountain Brewing Cone & Cone (Citra)
Laurelwood Brewing Fresh Hop Workhorse (Amarillo)
Machine House Brewery Simcoe Session Fresh Hop (Simcoe)
Mazama Brewing Green Magic (Centennial)
pFriem Family Brewers Fresh Hop Mosaic Pale Ale (Mosaic)
Populuxe Brweing Citra Pale Ale (Citra)
Salish Sea Brewing CompanyFresh Hop Blonde (Cascade)
Schooner Exact Brewing Company Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA (Amarillo)
Stoup Brewing Simcoe Fresh Hop (Simcoe)
Triplehorn Brewing Fresh Hop Enabler ISA (Citra)

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Fresh Hop Throwdown Tomorrow at The Noble Fir – Beer List

September 23rd, 2016 · Events, Oregon Breweries, Washington Breweries

Fresh Hop Throwdown in 2011. Thanks to +Russ for the pic.

The 6th Annual Fresh Hop Throwdown kicks off at 4pm at The Noble Fir tomorrow (Saturday, September 24). Hope to see you there. The full beer list follows with the type of fresh hops used included. We ended up with 13 beers from Washington and 6 beers from Oregon. The list is subject to change…several of these are arriving at the last minute.

Click here for more info on the event.

Aslan Brewing Azacca Fresh Hop IPA (Azacca)
Bainbridge Brewing WA SMaSH! Fresh Hop Ale (Amarillo)
Breakside Brewery Fresh Hop Simcoe IPA (Simcoe)
Chainline Brewing Company Wet Season (Cascade & Willamette)
Cloudburst Brewing Water Weight (Simcoe)
Double Mountain Brewery Killer Red (Perle & Centennial)
Fremont Brewing Field to Ferment (Centennial)
Fort George Brewery Fresh IPA (Amarillo)
Georgetown Brewing Fresh Johnny Utah (Citra)
Hellbent Brewing Company Amarillo Fresh Hop (Amarillo)
Holy Mountain Brewing Cone & Cone (Citra)
Laurelwood Brewing Fresh Hop Workhorse (Amarillo)
Machine House Brewery Simcoe Session Fresh Hop (Simcoe)
Mazama Brewing Green Magic (Centennial)
pFriem Family Brewers Fresh Hop Mosaic Pale Ale (Mosaic)
Populuxe Brweing Citra Pale Ale (Citra)
Salish Sea Brewing CompanyFresh Hop Blonde (Cascade)
Schooner Exact Brewing Company Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA (Amarillo)
Stoup Brewing Simcoe Fresh Hop (Simcoe)

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Stoup Brewing Collaborates with Jameson Irish Whiskey for Dublin Down Imperial Irish Red

September 13th, 2016 · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

jameson

That’s a whole lot of Jameson barrels.

Stoup Brewing was one of seven breweries chosen to collaborate with Jameson Irish Whiskey on a beer that was then aged in Jameson barrels. Read more below about the 10% ABV Dubln Down Imperial Irish Red, which will be released on September 28 at a special event.

Press Release:

STOUP BREWING IS ONE OF SEVEN AMERICAN BREWERIES INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE JAMESON CASKMATES® DRINKING BUDDIES® COLLABORATION

Seven Hand-Selected Craft Breweries Across the U.S. Create Limited Edition Beers Aged in Jameson Whiskey Barrels

Seattle, WA – (September 12, 2016) Stoup Brewing has been selected by Jameson Irish Whiskey to participate in the Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies program.  A collaboration that includes seven American craft brewers, Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies is the result of bringing like-minded individuals together with a common bond of creating superior quality beer and whiskey.

Inspired by the creation and end result of Jameson Caskmates, a one-of-a-kind whiskey born out of conversation and collaboration with local Irish craft brewery, Franciscan Well, Jameson took a similar approach and worked with the U.S. breweries by giving us Jameson barrels to age our craft beer for a select period of time. The end result? Limited edition, regional beers featuring hints of Jameson Irish Whiskey incorporated with our already distinct craft beer flavors.

“At Stoup we were inspired to obtain our malt from Malting Company of Ireland, the same maltster that supplies the distillery,” notes head brewer, Brad Benson. “With this as our base, we crafted an Imperial Irish Red.” After extended time in Jameson barrels, the resulting beer, Dublin Down Imperial Irish Red, is a rich malty beer with notes of caramel and toasted bread. The time in Jameson barrels adds a depth of richness and added structure to the beer. The subtle grainy sweetness of Irish malt is balanced by a strong addition of bittering hops and warming alcohol of 10% ABV.

When asked about participating in the program, co-owner Lara Zahaba expressed pride. “We are honored to be recognized as having the shared passion for quality and craft that Jameson was seeking in these seven partner breweries.”

“Jameson Irish Whiskey has always taken pride in celebrating those who share the same passion and focus when it comes to their craft,” said Sona Bajaria, Vice President, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Pernod Ricard USA. “Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies allows us to put the spotlight on these local craft brewers who ultimately embody the same spirit as our motto, Sine Metu.”

Sine Metu, means without fear, and the Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies program celebrates the fearlessness of each brewer as we continue to pursue our passions. The same spirit and tradition of the family motto lives on through this creation and partnership.

Dublin Down Imperial Irish Red will be released at a celebratory event on September 28th, 2016. For more information on how to attend this event, craft beer lovers should join the brewery newsletter at http://www.stoupbrewing.com/signup/.

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Fresh Hop Season is Here – Seattle Event Listing

August 31st, 2016 · General Beer News

Thanks to +Russ for the image.

Thanks to +Russ for the image.

My favorite time of the year is here. It will be about another month until fresh hop beers are here in full force, but they are starting to show up in limited numbers now.

The unofficial kickoff of fresh hop season around here in recent years has been the release of Two Beers Brewing Fresh Hop IPA. This year, they picked the hops and brewed the beer on August 2, and the resulting beer was released on August 19. It’s now available on draft and in 12oz cans (for the first time) throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

From here, we will see other fresh hop beers start to trickle in, with things really picking up at the end of September through mid-October.

The best way to try multiple fresh hop beers at once is to attend one of the events here in Seattle that focus on them. Following is a list of upcoming events featuring fresh hop beers in Seattle. Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll add it to the list.

If you are interested in more details on fresh hop beers, here is a Q&A with Colin Lenfesty (now of Holy Mountain Brewing) from a few years back.

Fresh Hop Events:

The Fresh Hop Throwdown at The Noble Fir
Saturday, September 24
There will be 18 fresh hop beers on tap when the doors open at 4pm for this 6th annual event. There is a judging competition of the beers earlier in the day and the top 3 beers will be announced at the start of the event.

Fresh Hop Week at The Beer Junction
Saturday, October 1 to Sunday, October 9
You can expect a whole bunch of fresh hop beers rotating on tap throughout the event dates. Don’t forget to take some bottles/cans home.

Fresh Hop Fest at The Pine Box
Thursday, October 6
More than 40 fresh hop beers will be pouring all at once. Last year’s participating breweries included: 3 Magnets, 7 Seas, Backwoods, Bainbridge, Bale Breaker, Ballast Point, Bellevue, Black Raven, Breakside, Crux, Deschuttes, Double Mountain, Ecliptic, Elysian, Everybody’s, Fort George, Fremont, Gilgamesh, Good Life, Hales, Heathen, Holy Mountain, Hop Valley, Lagunitas, Laurelwood, Loowit, Maritime, Melvin, Odin, Outer Planet, Pacific Brewing, pFriem, Pike, Reverend Nat, Ruebens, Schooner Exact, Silver City, Snipes, Spinnaker Bay, Stoup, Two Beers, Wander, & More.

Fresh Hops Festival at Hale’s Palladium
Friday, October 7 & Saturday, October 8
A new festival for 2016 that will feature fresh hop beers from 20+ breweries.

“Hopfest” at Brouwer’s Cafe
The whole month of October
Hopfest is a long running event at Brouwer’s that they have been tweaking over the past few years to focus on fresh hop beers. Things are still in development for this year, but they are leaning towards celebrating hops the entire month of October, instead of the typical one day or weekend event. One can expect at least 10 fresh hop beers on draft at any given time throughout the month, and they will host a different special event each week of the month. Following are the loose details they have at the moment (subject to change):

Fremont Fresh Hop Showcase
Saturday, October 8th at 3pm
Fremont is putting out a rotating series of Fresh hop beers, dubbed the Field to Ferment, throughout the month of September. One each week for the month of September. We are going to hold on to one of each and tap them on this day— we are hoping to have some surprises as well.

Skookum Brewer’s Night – Or lets celebrate Washington Fresh Hops—the details on this are still being figured out.
Thursday, October 13th
Details to come but expect an event on this day.

Hoppy Sour Night
Thursday October 20th at 6pm
4 hoppy sours from Almanac, in addition to New Belgium Le Terrior and some Mikkeller hoppy sours.

Heavy and Hoppy
Thursday, October 27th
Heavy Metal and Big Heavy Ipas—
We will be tapping:
Dogfish Head 120 min
Evil Twin Molotov Heavy

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Lagunitas Brewing Set to Take Over Hilliard’s Space in Ballard

August 25th, 2016 · California Beer, General Beer News, Washington Breweries

Welcome to Seattle, Lagunitas.

When Hilliard’s Beer was recently purchased by Odin Brewing Company, the old Hilliard’s brewery and tasting room space in Ballard was put up for sale. Odin took some of the fermenters and the canning line, but they were selling the Ballard space as a turnkey operation with most of the brewing equipment included. This certainly seemed like a great opportunity for some hopeful new brewery to open up in a prime location. Or, how about a 20+ year-old brewery based out of Petaluma, CA? Say hello to the new space for the Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary.

Tony Magee, the outspoken owner & founder of Lagunitas Brewing, announced last night via a short series of tweets that they would be taking over the Hilliard’s space. I had a chance to chat with Magee last night to confirm the news and get a few details.

In a nutshell, Lagunitas will be taking over the space with the existing brewing system and turning it into what he is calling for now the Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary. They will make some tweaks to the system and expand the footprint a bit, but this will very much be a small operation meant to meld with the existing vibe of the neighborhood. Magee says, “Yeah, we’ll be buying everything that is there. Odin kind of worked with Hilliard’s to wind it down….the brewhouse and the rest of it is all still there. So, we’re just going to operate it like a small brewery and make one-offs right there and have it be a whole separate adventure…It’s a really cool thing that Hilliard’s had going on there. But, he didn’t have the money to see it all the way through. The old building needs sprinklers and stuff and so his attendance limits were held down and the city was putting pressure on him. So, we’re going to try to fix the place up. There’s a space in the front of that building that’s a really large space that Hilliard’s sublet to a machine shop that we are going to incorporate into it, so the whole of that old car dealership will be the site…Hilliard’s had a really nice outdoor seating area that we’ll expand, so we’ll have a beer garden aspect to it like in Petaluma.”

Magee says that becoming a part of the Seattle brewing scene and the Ballard neighborhood is an exciting prospect. “Well, I would love to be part of Seattle….and the nature of craft brewing is local. And, if you want to be local you have to walk the talk. There’s a whole scene there (In Ballard). To me, it’s a place where there is already a lot of energy and enthusiasm about beer…We just want to be able to be there and participate in that flow of folks. Hopefully, by putting our toe in the water we can add something to it. That’s the big job, right? Not simply to carve something off, but to add some energy.”

For those that aren’t familiar with Lagunitas, it was #6 on the Brewers Association list of the Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies for 2015. A little less than a year ago, Lagunitas formed a joint venture with Heineken, and Lagunitas continues to operate fully independently. Since then, they have announced regional partnerships with small breweries in South Carolina, Texas and California, as well as new event space openings in Portland & San Diego.

Magee explains that there isn’t exactly a set long-term strategy to what they are doing around the country. “The truth of the matter is, this and the other ventures that we are undertaking all over the country, all of these things have a question mark attached to them. They aren’t really statements, like we have a business plan and this is what we are going to achieve. It’s not quite like that. It’s more like, what would happen if we did this? It’s like just continually starting Lagunitas over and over again in a way. Walking in and seeing a 20-barrel kettle, it’s like having a second child.”

Some local beer drinkers will certainly be turned off by the brewery’s partnership with Heineken. Magee says, “Heineken actually has no role in any of this at all. That’s the god’s honest truth, it’s not spin. All these things we are doing on our own balance sheet. That’s why we are partnering with small breweries, because that is what we can afford for an investment…The thing I did learn from Heineiken, is that it is in the Dutch nature to collaborate and to partner. Everywhere in the world, beer is local. And, so Heineken was able to make themselves global by partnering with local players. So, my thinking is that the United States is not just one place, it’s a lot of different places. There’s this rising sense of regional identify returning and I think craft brewing has something to do with that. And, so my thought was that we can emulate that model here in the 50 states by making partnerships.”

To sum up his intentions for the new Seattle taproom, Magee says, “The real intention is to just have a place where people can come and party with us. Show them the things that we know and learn from them what they know….The trick is, the whole thing comes with a question mark.”

Magee notes that they have some work to do to get the space licensed and built out how they want it, so it will be “a few months” until it opens.

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Populuxe Brewing to Expand Brewery & Taproom in Ballard

August 18th, 2016 · Washington Breweries

Image from Populuxe Facebook page.

Good news from Populxe Brewing in Ballard. They are moving into a larger space, right next door to the brewery’s current location, which will allow for more of everything: more beer, a larger taproom and expanded days and hours.

Congrats to the crew at Populuxe!

Press Release:

August 17, 2016. Seattle, WA.  Populuxe Brewing officially announced its plans to move into a new, larger space next door to their current space at 826 NW 49th Street. The move to the 4000 square foot space, which once housed Ballard’s infamous Oddvars Automotive, will feature a 7-barrel brewhouse, 15-barrel fermenters, a larger taproom with 20 taps, a sizable beer garden with food trucks and cornhole, more seating, and large screen TV’s for showing Sounders and Seahawks games and other major events.

Beer fans will also be able to enjoy Populuxe seven days a week! The new taproom will be open MondayThursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

When co-owners Peter Charbonnier and his wife Amy Besunder opened the doors in March of 2013, they had just three beers on tap. They quickly became a neighborhood favorite, winning awards for their beers and praise for their relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.  The tap list now boasts upwards of ten different brews at any time and the brewery hosts a bevy of free community events like Family Happy Hour with children’s entertainers and Record Store Day, with DJ’s spinning live music.

“We are excited for the next chapter,” said Charbonnier. “Our goal is to open the new space this spring, likely in March or April”.

Populuxe is currently working with architects and the city to design the space, but here’s what we can tell you so far:

  • The taproom room will move from the current location to the new one, where it will be bigger, open longer hours, and have even more taps.

  • The new space will have more room, so we’ll be able to brew more beer! We’ll retain the same feel of our current space by keeping the brewery operations connected to the taproom.

  • The new space will enable us to expand our barrel-aging program, increase our bottling capacity, develop our sour beer program, create more experimental beers and include a lab for advanced quality assurance.

  • We will have a separate room to accommodate private parties.

 

You can follow the progress of the expansion on Populuxe’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

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