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.
Fall has indeed returned to the Northwest and yes, Winter is on the way. One reason I don’t really mind the return of the cold, wet weather too much is that, along with it, return some of my favorite styles: Winter Seasonals, Imperial Stouts and Holiday Ales. While I may be a hophead at heart, my palate gets a decidedly seasonal craving for stronger, darker, maltier, wood-aged and even spicier beers around this time of year.
The craft brewing industry in Seattle and indeed across the nation owes a lot to the dedicated efforts of Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. After a chance meeting at a wine tasting in 1968, Charles and Rose Ann teamed up and founded Bon Vin, America’s first boutique wine distributor. A few years later, in 1974, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel sold Bon Vin to the owners of the St. Michelle Winery and moved to Seattle.
In 1978 there were only 40 breweries in the entire United States, and every one of those breweries but one were using corn syrup, rice and other fillers and adjuncts in their beers. Unfortunately, that also included most of the small, independent brewers, many of which Charles visited, dismayed to discover they they were copying the ‘big boys’ in their methods as well as their sub-par ingredients. That’s not what the Finkels were looking for. So Charles and Rose Ann founded a second importing company to bring in more of the authentic beers they craved from Europe. In the years that followed, the Finkels became the exclusive agents for such beers as Orval, Samuel Smith, Traquair House, Ayinger, Lindemans and several others. At the same time, they set out to educate the American beer drinker about the classic and authentic styles these breweries put out, and encouraged independent American brewers to do better.
I love a good IPA. If you’re one of my regular readers, then you know this all too well. Of course, sometimes I want the hoppy character of an IPA without the high ABV that will make me want to take a nap after having a few. Enter the Session IPA. ‘Session’ beers are designed to be lower in alcohol, so you can drink more at a stretch without getting too silly.
Granted, I enjoy the extra flavor kick a decent ABV gives a good IPA, which is why most of my favorite IPAs are actually Double/Imperial IPAs. Still, I have found a few different session IPAs that I really enjoy despite the lower ABV, simply because they are hopped properly (aggressively, some might say), giving you that hop kick you expect from a good IPA. One session IPA that does this particularly well is Nothing But Flowers Session IPA from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
After years of planning and preparation, Head Brewer Colin Lenfesty, President Adam Paysse and VP of Sales Mike Murphy, are preparing to start distributing beers from Holy Mountain Brewing in the Seattle market.
Starting out in a small industrial space in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood back in 2010, Colin and Adam spent their evenings brewing pilot batches, refining their brewing techniques and recipes along the way. Holy Mountain Brewing will specialize in seasonal releases, including barrel-fermented beers. They intend to create a brewery that will prominently feature several different unique, barrel-aged beers, with no particular ‘Flagship’ beer in mind.
Fall has returned to the Northwest. I can already feel that little chill in the air, telling me that shorter days and grayer skies are indeed on their way back. I don’t really mind the Fall. In fact I’ve always enjoyed the cooler weather (especially after a particularly hot Summer) and the grey skies.
Now, Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has given me yet another reason to enjoy the return of Fall: Grey Skies Dark Pale Ale. I know, I know. Don’t get me started on the whole ‘Dark Pale’ thing (perhaps it should be called ‘Cascadian Pale Ale’ – similar to the term that was settled on for what used to be called ‘Black IPA’ (now ‘Cascadian Dark Ale’ or ‘CDA’)).
At last year’s event, attendees had the opportunity to vote on Brewery of the Year. In 2013, that honor went to Big Al Brewing, who will be returning as this year’s defending champion. Will Big Al be able to retain their title for 2014? Why not help decide. This year’s event takes place on October 10th and will feature over 25 Seattle Breweries and even more great local food.
Are you ready for some football? I – can’t – hear – you! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!? As I’m sure you know, the Seattle Seahawks‘ home opener is this Thursday the 4th. Football fans around the Sound and around the nation have been eagerly awaiting this day and the start of the Seahawks’ march towards another Superbowl victory.
Also making its return on Thursday the 4th is the beer formerly known as ‘Skittles 12th Man IPA’. As you probably know, both Skittles candy and Texas A&M didn’t think too highly of that name so the brewer, Foggy Noggin Brewing, decided to change its name to Cease & Desist IPA; very clever.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), who was just named one of the Top 10 Up And Coming Beer Companies by Ask Men magazine, brews a wide variety of styles to compliment every season. Now, with Summer starting to fade and Fall hot on its heels, Black Raven is preparing to release their Fall seasonal lager: Hochtoberfest.
A few years ago, I didn’t know a thing about craft cider. I was so focused on craft beer that I had virtually ignored the craft cider revolution that’s been gaining steam these past few years. I started taking more notice when one of my favorite local breweries: Two Beers Brewing Company, announced that they would be expanding and launching Seattle Cider Company – the first cidery in Seattle since the days of prohibition.
After tasting several different ciders (both at Seattle Cider Company and at various places around the Sound) and attending a few different cider events at Seattle Cider Company, including the 1st Annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards and the recent 1st Anniversary celebration at Seattle Cider, I’m a bit more knowledgeable but still eager to keep trying new ciders and learning more.