Session Fest Kicks Off Tonight at Naked City Taphouse Featuring 25 Breweries

June 26th, 2014 · Events

I’m of the opinion that we can’t have enough options for flavorful beers that weigh in at 5% ABV or less. Lucky for me, I’m not the only one. The Northwest Beer Guide has teamed up with Naked City Brewery and Taphouse for Session Fest, which kicks off tonight at 6pm. The event will feature beers from 25 breweries, all of which will be 5% ABV or less. There will of course be many hoppy session IPAs and pale ales, but also look for English-style bitter, Berliner Weisse, German-style lagers and more.

The fun kicks off tonight at Naked City at 6pm with a Brewers Night. Feel free to have a couple pints.

More info from NW Beer Guide:

Ses-sion, Pronunciation: \?se-sh?n\ Function: noun, a meeting devoted to a particular activity; “a filming session“; “a gossip session” Function: adjective, the name of a perceived style of beer usually associated with an ale or lager that is equal to or less than 5.00% Alcohol by Volume.
Returning after a one year hiatus, Seattle’s only ‘light beer’ festival, features over 25 breweries from the Northwestern region and California. This year stands to be our best yet, featuring numerous Session India Pale Ales, India Session Ales, Stouts, and even Berliner Weisse in the Walrus beer garden at Naked City (8564 Greenwood Avenue North Seattle, WA 98103). Breaking it down by state, we’ll have 18 participating breweries from Washington, 6 from Oregon, plus 1 each from Montana and California.
New to this year’s Session Fest is the introduction of the “Best in Show” and “ISA: Interesting Session Ale” awards, for people’s favorite and the best India Session Ale.
Kicking off on June 26th, at 6pm, with a Brewers Night and an outdoor bar, you’re invited to stop by and grab a pint (or two) while enjoyingSession Fest!
Participating Brewery Beers
Washington State
7 Seas Life Jack Session India Pale Ale
4.90% Airways Sunjet Hybrid Ale
4.80% Amnesia Summer Breeze Golden Ale
4.60% Big Time Millenium Falconer Session-style Pale Ale
4.90% Black Raven Nothing But Flowers Session-style India Pale Ale
5.00% Dirty Bucket Hefen’ Pineapple
3.70% Engine House Berliner Weisse
Elliott Bay Brewing *To Be Determined
Epic Ales Brewing *To Be Determined
4.50% Fremont Wandering Wheat *with a secret addition
4.30% Foggy Noggin’ Little Lucy English-style Special Bitter
4.20% Kulshan Full 90 Session Ale
4.70% Port Townsend Yoda’s Green Tea Golden Ale
4.50% Rainy Daze Session India Rye Ale
4.90% Reuben’s Dry Stout (on Nitro)
4.60% Schooner Exact India Session Ale
4.50% Scuttlebutt Earthy Blonde with Rooibos Tea
5.00% Seapine La Fantasma Blonde Ale
5.00% Silver City Ziggy Zoggy German-style Lager
Two Beers Day Hike Summer Session Ale
4.90% Basecamp Hop in the Pool Helles
4.40% Breakside Passion Fruit Sour Ale
3.90% Caldera Lawnmower Lager
4.50% Crux Fermentation Northwest Pale Ale
4.70% Oakshire Smokin Helles Rauch-style Helles
4.50% pFriem Family Little Saison
4.50% Upright Four Saison
4.50% Stone To Go India Session India Pale Ale
4.20% Big Sky Pygmy Owl Session India Pale Ale
In addition, a special selection of Session Fest beers will be on tap during the Greenwood Car Show and 5th Annual Beer Can Derby in the Walrus beer garden at Naked City on Saturday, June 28th. High Noon.

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Pike Releases No. 4 Session IPA in Honor of Lou Gehrig and to Support Ales for ALS

June 24th, 2014 · Uncategorized

Cheers to Pike Brewing for supporting the “Ales for ALS” campaign, which supports ALS research. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion created Ales for ALS and each year provide a special hop blend to participating brewers to brew a beer with. There are 69 total breweries participating this year, including 6 from Washington. Pike releases their No. 4 Session IPA today, and you can also look for Ales for ALS beers from Bale Breaker, Fremont, Mt. Tabor, Triplehorn and Two Beers.

The hop blend features Citra, Mosaic and 4 other experimental hops, one of which is now named Equinox. You can read more about the blend here.

More info on the release from Pike:

Lou Gehrig died prematurely of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain.

Pike’s No. 4 Session IPA was brewed for the Nationwide “Ales for ALS”™ promotion. Inspiration for the name came from the fact that Lou Gehrig’s New York Yankees jersey, bearing the No. 4, was permanently retired when he died. A very limited quantity of this beer was brewed and, with this tap label Pike honors Lou’s memory and hopes to raise awareness and encourage donations to research so that a cure for ALS might be found.

Pike is donating $1 for every pint sold at The Pike Pub, and we are encouraging our restaurant and bar partners to do the same. There will be select Pint Nights and Pike Beer Dinners around town where No. 4 Session IPA will be poured. Make it a hit by donating $1 donating to the cause. Individual donations are welcome too.

Pike No. 4  Session IPA is full-flavored with a lot of hop flavor and aroma, along with notes of citrus and stone fruit. At only 5.0% ABV  IBU 40  OG 1.048, It’s a perfect beer for summer!



“Ales for ALS”™ was the brainchild of Loftus Ranches and Hop Union to support ALS research. They have offered participating brewers access to a proprietary hop blend, free of charge, in exchange for participation in Ales for ALS™. The ALS Blend is a combination of Mosaic, Citra, and four different experimental varieties, one of which is now named Equinox.

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Plough Monday Organic Brewing Debuts at Uber Tavern on Wednesday

June 23rd, 2014 · Beer Releases, Oregon Breweries

*Edit* This event is on Wednesday, not Monday as previously stated.

If you are looking for something to do this Wednesday, head on up Aurora Ave and don’t stop until you hit that little bar with the big selection, Uber Tavern. They will be debuting three beers from Plough Monday Organic Brewing of Veneta, OR, which is co-owned by Charlie Whedbee, who is also the manager at Uber Tavern.

A quick google search tells me that “Plough Monday” is the term used for the traditional start of the English agricultural year. The name is fitting here, as their brewery is actually set up on a small organic hop farm in Veneta where they have been growing their own hops since 2008.

I’ll send you over to this informative piece at The New School, where you can read about the struggles of their organic hop farming and plans for the future.

If you’ve been to Uber Tavern a few times, chances are that Charlie has poured you a beer or 10. Stop by tonight to try the beers and congratulate him on getting the brewery up and running!



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New Belgium Teams Up With 3 Floyds for Lips of Faith Grätzer Release

June 18th, 2014 · Beer Releases

gratzerHere is a new release in the New Belgium Lips of Faith Series that I am quite excited to try. Grätzer is an old Polish style of beer that traditionally features smoked wheat malt, a high bitterness and a light sourness. For more on the style, I’ll send you here and here. New Belgium and 3 Floyds are two outstanding breweries, and this collaboration might be the only way that most people in the NW have any hope of getting their hands on a beer made by 3 Floyds, which barely distributes outside of the Chicago area. 

The Grätzer style has seen a modest revival here in the US, but it has not yet been embraced like the also-almost-forgotten style of gose. The only version I’ve tried from a NW brewery was from Burnside in Portland in 2011, and that was quite enjoyable. Here in Washington, Wingman Brewers just took home a bronze medal in the Specialty Beer category at the 2014 Washington Beer Awards with their 3.7% Gratzilla, which incorporates smoked bacon. A quick search tells me that Outlander and Deschutes have also made the style at some point. There may have been others, but you get the point. 

Up until 2012, there was no commercially available smoked wheat malt, which meant breweries had to smoke their own. But, Weyermann now makes an Oak-Smoked Pale Wheat Malt, which makes brewing a Grätzer quite a bit less labor-intensive. Hopefully, that means we’ll see more breweries experimenting with the style.

Press Release:

Ft. Collins, Colo., – June 17, 2014 – 3 Floyds, a small brewery in Munster, Ind. with a big reputation, and New Belgium Brewing, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., have partnered to create Grätzer. This bold-flavored ale brings back to life the long-buried Grätzer style from Poland, which primarily uses oak-smoked wheat. This collaboration beer also incorporates Midnight Wheat malt, which provides a mild sweetness. It pours pure black and has a subtle, spicy note from Polish Lublin Hops. At 4.5% ABV and 30 IBUs, Grätzer is sessionable and has a nice, light body, despite its dark appearance.
“The beer turned out really refreshing and the tartness complements the smoke and makes the whole drinking experience harmonious,” said Chris Boggess, Head Brewer at 3 Floyds. “We’re also excited about the label art. We tried our best to push for some gruesome artwork and the label is pretty brutal – gooey brains and zombies!”
“We definitely had a fun time partnering with them to create Grätzer,” said Lauren Salazar, New Belgium’s wood cellar manager and sensory specialist. “3 Floyds is in the heart of the Midwest and although they have limited distribution they are known far and wide for some amazing beers, so it was an honor to partner alongside them.”
Grätzer is available now through September, while supplies last, in 22-ounce bombers and on draft.
To find New Belgium beers near you, visit the libation locator at
About New Belgium Brewing Company 
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews nine year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more

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Record 8,172 Beers Judged in 2014 National Homebrew Competition

June 17th, 2014 · Homebrewing

As competitive as the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and The World Beer Cup (WBC) are for professional breweries, the number of entrants in those competitions pales in comparison to the 8,172 beers that were judged as part of the 2014 National Homebrew Competition (NHC). That number is almost twice as many as were entered at last year’s GABF (4,809) and this year’s WBC (4,754). The high number of entrants for NHC is made possible due to the fact that there is a first round of regional judging at 12 locations across the country (including Seattle), and then the top entries from those sites move on to the final round of competition, which is held at the National Homebrewers Conference each year. The 2014 conference was held last week in Grand Rapids, MI, and 1,020 entries were judged in the final round by 212 of the country’s top beer judges.

You can keep reading the below press release for more information on overall winners and the conference itself, but I want to congratulate a few local Washington homebrewers who took home awards:

Kyle Schmitt of Clarkston, WA – 1st place in Bock category (232 entries)
Brian Searfass of Everett, WA – 2nd place in English Brown Ale category (235 entries)
Derek Immekus of Seattle, WA – 2nd place in Sour Ale category (286 entries)
Mark Griffin of Sammamish, WA – 3rd place in Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer category (483 entries)
Jovilin Grunewald of Oak Harbor, WA with Mark Tanner – 3rd place in Melomel (Fruit Mead) (127 entries)


Grand Rapids, MI ? June 14, 2014 — The National Homebrew Competition boasted one of the most competitive fields of entries ever, with 8,172 homebrews judged in 2014. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) awarded the best homebrewers for their efforts at the conclusion of the National Homebrewers Conference, held at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich.

With a 45 percent increase in the number of competitors, this year’s National Homebrew Competition is the world’s largest beer competition. The top three entries from 28 style categories at each of 12 first round judge centers advanced to the final round of competition at the National Homebrewers Conference. There, 1,020 entries were evaluated by 212 of the country’s top beer judges.

Robert Hilferding of Zephyrhills, Fla. won the Homebrewer of the Year award with his best-in-show entry in the Scottish and Irish ale category. The Meadmaker of the Year award was presented to Matthew Weide of Minneapolis, Minn. for his melomel, and Edward Walkowski from N. Abington Twp., Pa. won the Cidermaker of the Year award.

Jeremy Voeltz was recognized as the winningest homebrewer in the final round with the Ninkasi Award. He hails from Lakeside, Ariz. and brews with the Arizona Society of Homebrewers.

Homebrew clubs were also recognized at the award ceremony in Grand Rapids. The Brewing Network narrowly won their fourth Homebrew Club of the Year award—a mere six points separated them from the runner-up, QUAFF. The Gambrinus Club award was given to the Minnesota Home Brewers Association.

“This year’s National Homebrew Competition fielded the largest group of entrants in the competition’s 36 year history,” said AHA director Gary Glass. “The level of competition has never been higher, meaning the National Homebrew Competition winners are truly among the most talented brewers in the world.”

New for 2014, the Radegast Club of the Year award was presented to the AHA-registered club that made the most exceptional and positive impact on its local community. The Carolina BrewMasters of Charlotte, N.C. earned that honor by developing close connections with their local community through tremendously successful charitable donations, which amounted to $77,500 in 2013.

A total of 25 homebrew clubs were nominated for the Radegast award, and then reviewed and voted on by an impartial panel of judges from the AHA Governing Committee and select members of the brewing community. The Carolina BrewMasters will receive a stipend of $500 for the club as well as a $500 donation to the charity of the club’s choice.

complete list of 2014 National Homebrew Competition winners can be found on

Homebrewers didn’t need a competitive streak to enjoy the National Homebrewers Conference. The event offered 75 expert speakers, including authors, professional brewers and homebrewing savants. Over the course of three days, the more than 2,700 attendees picked from a diverse slate of 55 educational seminars, ranging from “Obscure and Ancient Beers” to “Water Chemistry and Beer pH.”

Plus, conference attendees were treated to some of Michigan’s best beer. The Michigan Brewers Guild played an instrumental role in curating an impressive list of more than 50 breweries from around the state to serve the homebrewers at the event’s Welcome Reception.

About the American Homebrewers Association:

The American Homebrewers Association has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of more than 43,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) organizes events including the National Homebrewers Conference and National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes Zymurgy magazine. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association, whose Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers and anyone interested in making their own homemade beer are invited to learn more at Follow the AHA on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

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2014 Washington Beer Awards Winners Announced – Kulshan Brewing & Gordon Biersch Get Top Honors

June 14th, 2014 · Washington Breweries

The winners of the 2014 Washington Beer Awards were announced at today’s Washington Brewers Festival. A huge congrats goes out to Kulshan Brewing of Bellingham for taking home the Large Brewery of the Year and to Gordon Biersch’s Seattle brewery for taking home Small Brewery of the Year (I told you they rock).

Here are the full results:

Pale Lagers:

Gold: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Golden Export

Silver: Icicle Brewing Company – Crosscut Lager

Bronze: Ten Pin Brewing – Ten Light


Amber and Dark Lagers:

Gold: Hi-Fi Brewing – Blue Danube

Silver: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Schwarzbier

Bronze: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Vienna Lager


Strong Lagers:

Gold: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Maibock

Silver: Riverport Brewing Co. – Bedrock Bock

Bronze: Anacortes Brewery – Mai-Oh-Maibock


German Hybrid Beers:

Gold: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Kolsch

Silver: White Bluffs Brewing – Red Alt

Bronze: American Brewing Co – American Blonde


Wheat and Rye Beers:

Gold: Stoup Brewing – Stoup Hefeweizen

Silver: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Rainy Rye IPA

Bronze: Gordon Biersch Seattle – Hefeweizen


American Light Ales:

Gold: Chuckanut Brewery – Chuckanut Yellow Card

Silver: Puyallup River Brewing – Cream Ale

Bronze: Valholl Brewing Co. LLC – Golden Warrior


Session Ales:

Gold: TripleHorn Brewing Co. – Enabler

Silver: Stoup Brewing – Stoup ISA

Bronze: Fremont Brewing Company – Session Pale Ale


English Ales:

Gold: Flyers Restaurant and Brewery – Humbles Blonde

Silver: Flyers Restaurant and Brewery – Barnstormer Brown

Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – English Pale


British Strong Ales:

Gold: Silver City Brewery – Old Scrooge

Silver: Ten Pin Brewing – Snake Eyes Stout

Bronze: Sound Brewery – Old Scoundrel


Scottish Ales:

Gold: Silver City Brewery – Fat Scotch Ale

Silver: Paradise Creek Brewery – Scottish Stovepipe

Bronze: Old Rock Brewery – Misery Whip Scotch Ale


Irish Red Ales:

Gold: Loowit Brewing Company – Two-Sixteen Red Ale

Silver: Republic Brewing Company – Falligan’s Irish Red

Bronze: Menace Brewing – Menace Self-Titled Red


Robust Porters:

Gold: Reuben’s Brews- Robust Porter

Silver: Stoup Brewing – Stoup Porter

Bronze: Republic Brewing Company – Big Mischief Porter


Other Porters:

Gold: Kulshan Brewing Co – Trans-Porter

Silver: Skookum Brewery – Brown & Hairy

Bronze: American Brewing Co – Baltic Porter


Irish and British Stouts:

Gold: Fish Brewing Co. – Over & Out Oatmeal Stout

Silver: Wander Brewing – Correspondent Foreign Extra Stout

Bronze: Loowit Brewing Company – Shimmergloom Stout


American Stouts:

Gold: Elysian Brewing Company – Dragonstooth Stout

Silver: Odin Brewing Co. – Saga Stout

Bronze: Pike Brewing Company – Pike 5X Stout


Imperial Stouts:

Gold: Der Blokken – Double Black

Silver: Silver City Brewery – Imperial Stout

Bronze: Kulshan Brewing Co – Russian Imperial Stout


American Pale Ales:

Gold: Fremont Brewing Company – Summer Ale

Silver: BaleBreaker Brewing Company – Field 41 Pale Ale

Bronze: Elliott Bay Brewing Co. – Virgil Sunshine Session Ale


Other Pale Ales:

Gold: Ten Pin Brewing – Deadwood Pale Ale

Silver: Icicle Brewing Company – Bootjack IPA

Bronze: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Belgian Bastard


American Amber Ales:

Gold: River City Brewing Company – River City Red

Silver: Wander Brewing – Washington Uncommon California Common

Bronze: Standard Brewing – Wheated Red Ale


American Brown and Black Ales:

Gold: Populuxe Brewing – Cinderblock CDA

Silver: Harmon Brewing Co. – Black Tartan IPA

Bronze: Standard Brewing – Cascadian Dark Ale


American-Style India Pale Ales:

Gold: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Renegade IPA

Silver: Bainbridge Island Brewing – Eagle Harbor IPA

Bronze: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Ruud Awakening IPA


Imperial or Double India Pale Ales:

Gold: Rainy Daze Brewing Co. – Hypocrite Double IPA

Silver: Skookum Brewery- Mammoth Jack IPA

Bronze: Fremont Brewing Company – The Brother


American Barley Wines:

Gold: Fish Brewing Co. – 10-Squared Barley Wine

Silver: Elliott Bay Brewing Co. – Portside Barleywine

Bronze: TripleHorn Brewing Co. – BYGG VIN


Belgian Ales:

Gold: Bainbridge Island Brewing – Bainbridge Blonde

Silver: Valholl Brewing Co. LLC – Poulsbo Abbey Wit

Bronze: Propolis Brewing LLC – Litha


Abbey-Inspired Ales:

Gold: Sound Brewery – Tripel Entendre

Silver: Sound Brewery – Dubbel Entendre

Bronze: Sound Brewery – Entendez Noel


Belgian Strong Ales:

Gold: Kulshan Brewing Co – Hop Howdy

Silver: Airways Brewing Company – 3rd Anniversary

Bronze: Wingman Brewers – Stratofortress


Farmhouse Ales:

Gold: Hilliard’s Beer – Saison

Silver: E9 Brewery – Farmhouse Quatre

Bronze: Kulshan Brewing Co – Saison Du Kulshan


Sour Beers:

Gold: E9 Brewery – Golden Berry Wild

Silver: E9 Brewery – Verre Violet

Bronze: Paradise Creek Brewery – Huckleberry Pucker


Fruit Beers:

Gold: Icicle Brewing Company – Colchuck Raspberry Wheat

Silver: Hopped Up Brewing Company – Lemon Quality Cream Ale

Bronze: Big Block Brewing – Raspberry Blonde


Spice, Herb, and Vegetable Beers:

Gold: Menace Brewing – Menace Chile Bravo

Silver: Puyallup River Brewing – Black Pumpkin Saison

Bronze: Northwest Brewing Company – Bad Panda Ginger Pale Ale


Specialty Beers:

Gold: Laht Neppur Brewing Co. – Spiced Peaches ‘N’ Cream Ale

Silver: Kulshan Brewing Co – Black Forest

Bronze: Wingman Brewers – Gratzer


Wood and Barrel Aged Beers:

Gold: Iron Goat Brewing – Gin BA Head Butt IPA

Silver: Strong Arm Brewing – Cincinnatus Rum Barrel Aged

Bronze: Puyallup River Brewing – Oak Aged Point Success Porter


Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beers:

Gold: Skookum Brewery – Barren Wood

Silver: Iron Goat Brewing – BA Goatnik Russian Imperial Stout

Bronze: Elysian Brewing Company – The Dread


Washington Pro-Am Award:

        Gold: Reuben’s Brews and Dan Hansen – Cream Ale


Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer
(Selected by Washington Agricultural Commission)
Big Block Brewing – The Boss


Small Brewery of the Year

(Sponsored by Washington Hop Commission)

Gordon Biersch – Seattle


Large Brewery of the Year

(Sponsored by Briess Malt and Ingredients)

Kulshan Brewing Company

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Odin Brewing Relocating & Expanding to Facility in Tukwila

June 13th, 2014 · Washington Breweries

Big news from Odin Brewing, which has been set up down in South Park since opening back in 2009. Over the next 18 months they will be moving into a new facility in Tukwila that will allow them to grow their operations and have an onsite tasting room.

They have not had a retail presence at the South Park brewery since they ceased growler sales several years ago. So,from a consumer perspective there isn’t much of a change here. The press release mentions nothing about changes to their Asgard Tavern in Fremont, which currently operates as their satellite tasting room.

Press Release:

After 5 successful years in its current facility in South Park, Odin Brewing is relocating and expanding to a 15,000 sq. ft. facility in Tukwila, WA. Located at 402 Baker Boulevard, the new facility offers far more long term potential, both from a brewing as well as a Tasting Room perspective.

“While we have experienced tremendous growth since our inception at our current location, we have become a victim of our own success and have outgrown the facility in South Park faster than we expected”, says Dan Lee, Owner & Founder. “Our production in 2014 is getting squeezed as we simply don’t have the physical space to meet the growth in demand. Our new home in Tukwila is going to afford us the space and facilities we need, in order to continue to grow successfully.”

The new facility will be built out in stages over the next 18 months, beginning with the retail tasting room. “The plans call for over 1500 sq. ft. of retail space, including an indoor patio located in the production hall. We will also enjoy a permanent outdoor patio and ample parking for our guests. The City of Tukwila has been very supportive of our move, and we are excited about becoming a permanent resident.” The official launch date will be announced in the next few weeks.

As for the current 5,000 sq ft facility in South Park, Dan adds, “It’s been a good home for us, and if there is interest from other brewers or breweries that are just starting out, we would be happy to speak with them and work with them about transferring in. This is a great opportunity for a smaller start up brewery to get to the next level quickly.”

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Central District Beer News: Chuck’s Hop Shop Adds Patio, New Single Hop & Bottled Bee’s Wine at Standard Brewing

June 12th, 2014 · General Beer News, Washington Breweries

I love that the Central District has two very worthy places to report beer news on these days.

Chuck’s Hop Shop opened up at 20th and Union back in January, and since then business has been booming. I’ve been able to visit several times, and the neighborhood definitely seems to be excited to have them around. Just in time for summer, Chuck’s announced yesterday that their patio is now open for business. Situated on the north side of the building, this patio should get plenty of afternoon and evening sun. I can’t wait to make use of it. As you can see from the image, it looks to be a pretty decent size.

Standard Brewing has been open for business for just over a year now, and owner/brewer Justin Gerardy seems to be settling in quite nicely. Lately, he has been having fun experimenting with single hop pale ales. I loved the Nelson Sauvin single hop that I tried when I stopped by a few weeks ago. Yesterday, they released their new Falconer’s Flight single hop; get it while it lasts. More info on this beer:

Today we are releasing the latest variety of “Single Hop”. It gets quotes, because it isn’t really a single hop, but rather a proprietary blend called “Falconer’s Flight”. A combination of a whole bunch of Northwest grown hops put together by Hop Union in honor of Glen Hay Falconer, it includes Simcoe, Citra, and Sorachi Ace, as well as some experimental varieties. The blend is kind of a special thing, not just because proceeds from these hop sales go toward the Falconer Foundation, which supports the brewing industry, but because it really is a kind of perfect union of hops. It sits beautifully between all the pine, grapefruit, citrus and tropical fruit notes you’d expect from an IPA hop. Come refresh yourself with this highly quaffable 5.4% beer.

In other exciting news for Standard, they also now have their 2% ABV Bee’s Wine ginger beer available in 12oz bottles. Despite my love of all things low ABV and ginger beers, I haven’t tried this…but I certainly look forward to it! More info on Bee’s Wine:

It’s a big week for us here at Standard. We’ve been slaving for months to get the Bee’s Wine into 12 oz bottles. You’ve probably seen the brite tank sitting in the background, connected with tubing and a nifty silver jacket. I had to build a bottling line, a new walk in, and figure out infrastructure for handling pallets worth of bottles, labeling, etc … but today you can walk in and leave with a 6 pack of Bee’s Wine in bottles!! If you’re new to the Standard Brewing blog, Bee’s Wine is ginger beer as you won’t taste from anyone else. It is ginger beer as it originally was, fermented with a very specific culture that was originally required just to call it “ginger beer”. If you find another ginger beer on the market that uses fermentation at all, it is likely ale or champagne yeast, and not this special culture. It’s about 2% alcohol, extremely refreshing, and now you don’t have to drink 64 oz of it from your growler all at once, just to keep it from going flat! Mix cocktails with it, drink it straight from the bottle, take it camping and cure your hangover with this little number. Come and get it. $5/bottle, $28/six pack.

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Grab A Beer: Fort George/Block 15/Boneyard 3-Way IPA

June 9th, 2014 · Beer Releases, Beer Reviews, Oregon Breweries

Fort George/Block 15/Boneyard 3-Way IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 7.2%

3waylifestyleOnce I heard about this year’s participants for the Fort George 3-Way IPA, I have to admit I was pretty excited to taste the results. While I have not tried much from Block 15 (they don’t distribute in Seattle), they have a good reputation & I’ve heard that their Alpha IPA is one to seek out. The other collaborator, Boneyard, makes one of my favorite IPAs on the planet: RPM IPA. Fort George’s own Vortex IPA is no slouch, either.

Look for the 3-Way IPA Tour to celebrate the release of this beer, with stops featuring a full tap list of Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15 IPAs in cities all over the Northwest. The full list of events is below, but they will be at The Noble Fir on June 13 and at The Pine Box on June 14.

My expectations for this year’s 3-Way were understandably high. So, how did it hold up?

Pours a hazy dark golden with a moderate head that sticks around for awhile. Loads of citrus and tropical fruit hops come popping out in the initial aroma along with a bit of lightly sweet malt. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for those aromas to diminish quite a bit. Citrus (lots of lemon) and tropical fruit hops are the focus in the flavor, with some earthy notes and a little raw green hop flavor coming through as well. The use of Mosaic hops is unmistakable, which just happens to be one of my favorite hop varities. It really is just a big blast of dank, fruity hop flavor with a solid base of pale malt to carry it. It has a very light sweetness and finishes with an assertive, but not unbalanced, bitterness. It is very drinkable all the way through for such a hoppy beer.

This is a great example of a “new-world” IPA featuring the Mosaic and Citra hop strains (with Chinook as well). It highlights the hop flavors without ramping up the IBUs crazy high, it isn’t a big, sweet, syrupy mess and it’s clean and begs me to come back for another pint. Don’t mind if I do. But, at 7.2% I’m glad I’m sitting here on my patio and don’t need to go anywhere…this is the type of beer you have to be careful with. Very easy to drink, but certainly not a light enough ABV to have a few of and drive. In an ideal world, this beer would be 4.5% ABV with all the same flavors and body, but sadly science just doesn’t work that way.

I actually picked up a growler of my beloved RPM IPA for comparison. The hop profiles are similar, but the malt profile of the 3-Way is a little more straightforward and less sweet. The RPM is darker in color and smoother than the 3-Way. For my tastes, I think I actually prefer the 3-Way IPA by a nose. I think the difference maker may be those Mosaic hops…

Verdict: 4 1/2 out of 5 Booyas
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Commercial Description/Press Release:

Everyone knows great things come in threes. Grain, Hops and Yeast. Rock, paper, and scissors. Beer, beer, and beer. Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15. This summer, 3-Way IPA is back, combining the best of these three breweries into one IPA.

This year’s collaboration began several months ago when Nick Arzner (Block 15 – Lead Vocals) and Tony Lawrence (Boneyard – Lead Guitar) traveled out to Astoria to visit with Fort George. Following a tour of the waterfront, and a few balsa wood airplanes tossed from the Astoria Column, everyone sat down to sample IPAs and hash out the recipe.

“We like to work with breweries that we think are doing amazing things,” says Fort George co-owner Chris Nemlowill (Rythym Guitar – Flying V). “Boneyard and Block 15 are making some of the best IPAs in the Northwest. These collaborations give all of us a chance to learn from one another, and to keep improving our beers and brewing techniques.”

Organic 2-row barley (Fort George still couldn’t get 3-row) gives 3-Way IPA a solid, crisp profile and clean, straw-colored hue. Showcasing a trifecta of hops with Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook, this beer packs a huge citrus punch, with earthy hop undertones. With a respectable ABV of 7.2% and IBU’s at – well, you’ll just have to taste for yourself and decide.

The 3-Way IPA Tour starts now, with stops featuring a full tap list of Fort George, Boneyard, and Block 15 IPAs in cities all over the Northwest, including:

June 4th – Longview, WA – Porky’s – 5pm – 8pm
June 12th – Eugene, OR – Tap & Growler – 5pm – 9pm
June 12th – Vancouver, WA – By The Bottle – 6pm – 9pm
June 13th – Portland, OR – Horse Brass Pub – 5pm – 9pm
June 13th – Seattle, WA – Noble Fir – 6pm – 9pm
June 14th – Seattle, WA – Pine Box (Tricycle Races!) 4pm – 7pm
June 17th – Boise, ID – Bittercreek Alehouse – 4pm – 9pm
June 18th – Tacoma, WA – Parkway Tavern – 4pm – Close
June 20th – Corvallis, OR – Les Caves Bier & Kitchen – 4pm – 7-pm
June 21st – Bend, OR – Broken Top Bottle Shop – 5pm – 8pm
June 21st – Spokane, WA – Lantern Tap House – 4pm – Close

Look for Fort George 3-Way IPA in 16-oz four-packs and draft throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This summer seasonal is a limited run available from June to September 2014. To find 3-Way IPA at a retailer near you go to and click “Find it.”

In the interest of full disclosure to satisfy the FTC regulations, this review was of a sample bottle received from the brewery.

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Boundary Bay Brews Their 5,000th Batch of Beer – Help Them Name It

June 5th, 2014 · Washington Breweries

Cheers to Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, who last week made their 5,000th batch of beer. That’s an impressive mark. They brewed a special imperial porter for the occasion, and they are asking fans to help them name it. You can submit your ideas on their Facebook or Twitter feeds using the hashtag #batch5000.

More from their blog post about Batch 5000:

18 years in the craft brewing industry and over 21 million pints sold, last week we began brewing our 5,000th batch of beer! This marks a significant milestone, and a point of celebration, not just for Boundary, but for the Bellingham community that established who we are, and what we’re all about.

“Our 5,000th batch highlights the local craft beer following, and just how much the industry has grown as a whole.” states Ops Manager Casey Diggs. “We couldn’t have done this without the support of the community. Not only in Bellingham,” Casey adds, “but the accounts all around Washington who continue to pour Boundary Bay Beer”.

In celebration of this achievement, our 5,000th batch will be a one-time-only Imperial Porter, and we’re asking that the public name it. Submit your ideas via FacebookTwitter or Instagram using the hashtag #batch5000. Cheers, and thank you for your support!

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