The holiday season kind of snuck up on me this year. Just yesterday, my wife and I had to go out to run a few errands and we were amazed at how large the holiday shopping crowds were. Granted, it was pretty nice out this weekend; cold but sunny and clear, so I suppose there were a lot of people trying to get a jump on their shopping.
As busy as everyone gets this time of year with family, shopping and general holiday preparations, it’s important to schedule a few diversions; y’know, to get your mind off all the happy, merry, cheery, I’m going to go insane if I hear ‘Jingle Bells’ one more time, omnipresence of the season. To help you out on that front, here are 10 great craft beer events coming up between tomorrow, November 18th and Thursday, December 18th, just one week before Christmas.
When Joel VandenBrink from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) decided to launch Seattle Cider Company just over a year ago, he had no inkling of the incredible demand that would follow. Launching in August 2013, they laid out their sales goals based on expected demand. Their calculations were way off – in the best way possible. A mere six months after launching, Seattle Cider Company hit their 5 year sales goal. That’s right. They sold the amount of cider they had expected to sell in 5 years time in just six months. It was clear. Seattle was cider hungry and very happy to have the first cidery since prohibition back within the city.
Also in that short time, Seattle Cider Company has expanded their distribution. You can currently find ciders from Seattle Cider Company in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Illinois. Next up for distribution as they continue to expand is Austin Texas.
Airways Brewing Company first opened their doors to the public in March of 2010. A mere year and a half later, in November of 2011, their second location, Airways Brewing Beer & Bistro, opened their doors. Featuring Airways Brewing beers, guest taps and an ever changing menu, the Bistro became very popular. So much so that they are currently in the midst of an expansion to meet demand.
Coming up this Friday, November 7th, Airways Brewing Beer & Bistro will be celebrating their third anniversary.
I don’t really have one favorite beer company. With the incredible plethora of craft beer choices out there it’s impossible for me to pick just one, but I do have several favorites and Firestone Walker Brewing Company is indeed on that list of favorites. For years now, my favorite IPA has been Firestone Walker’s Double Jack Double IPA. Brewed with a veritable garden of hops, including: Warrior, Columbus, Cascade and Centennial and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Simcoe, Double Jack is a complex, smooth and incredibly well balanced double IPA.
After first declaring it my favorite a few years ago, I wanted to make sure my choice of Double Jack as my favorite IPA wasn’t a fluke so, over the past couple of years, I have participated in several blind IPA tastings. Every single time Double Jack was included in one of those tastings, I selected it as my favorite. So I know my choice is based on Double Jack’s appearance, aroma, flavor and mouth feel, and is not just an arbitrary selection due to my fondness for Firestone Walker and all the other amazing beers they create.
“Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) can’t think of a reason either so, back for the season, is their Gunpowder Plot Nitro Porter. Releasing on November 5th, of course, this coffee, cocoa and bourbon-infused ale comes in at 6.9%.
I’ve been living in Washington state since 1998. Upon my arrival from Northern California, I was pleased to discover that leaving the Bay Area definitely did not mean leaving craft beer behind. Indeed, some of my favorite breweries in the World are right here in the Puget Sound (Two Beers (CBM Sponsor), Black Raven (CBM Sponsor) and Fremont, just to name a few).
Before discovering any of the amazing breweries the great Northwest had to offer, however, I already had a small stable of favorite breweries from Northern California. Lagunitas Brewing Company out of Petaluma, California (and Chicago, Illinois) has always been right near the very top of that list. Simply put, they don’t make a single beer I don’t like. The quality and consistency of their beers is absolutely top notch, which is why I’m looking forward to trying their latest offering: Born Yesterday.
The holidays are upon us, and with them all those glorious Winter seasonal beers are making their return. If you’re a fan of stouts, spiced holiday beers and other Winter seasonals, then you’re probably on your way to Nirvana about now. Make sure you don’t leave though, without picking up some Festivus Holiday Ale from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
Set to release next Tuesday, November 4th, this spiced holiday ale is teeming with cirtus peels, cranberries, galangal root and a whole host of secret holiday spices.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has been quite a success story. From their humble beginnings back in 2007, brewing just 100 barrels a year, Two Beers Brewing has grown steadily and now brews nearly six thousand barrels of beer per year out of their brewery on Ohio Avenue South in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. ‘Officially’, according to their website, they brew twelve distinct beers, but that number jumps to more than twenty when you include all of their seasonals, casks and infusions.
Two Beers Brewing Company is also one of those breweries that I can put on a very short and very special list: the list of breweries that, I can honestly say, don’t brew a single beer that I don’t like. Granted, not every one of their beers is my favorite, but every beer in their lineup is solid, brewed to style and a genuine pleasure to drink. There will be a new addition to their ever-growing lineup as well, when Two Beers celebrates their 7th Anniversary on Saturday, November 8th. That date will mark both the return of Overhang Bourbon Imperial Porter from Two Beers’ Alta Series as well as the release of a special 7th Anniversary American Sour Ale. Both beers will be available on tap during the anniversary celebration and in bottles to go.
Located in Kent, Washington, Airways Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) first opened their doors to the public in March 2010. In October of that same year, they introduced their signature IPA: Sky Hag, the first new beer to be added to the Airways Brewing lineup since their launch earlier in the year.
Now, with Halloween fast approaching, it’s time once again to celebrate Sky Hag’s birthday and Airways Brewing has decided to combine that celebration with a Halloween party and costume contest at the brewery on Friday, October 31st. Also on tap for the celebration will be a keg of Ol’ Wooden Hag – Sky Hag’s ‘sister’ (aged on toasted oak), as well as Loud Lady Imperial IPA.