We may still be in the middle of Winter (damn, it was cold at my house this morning!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream ahead. Spring is a mere 2 months away and with the return of Spring comes the Cask Beer Festival, presented by the Washington Brewer’s Guild.
Not familiar with Cask Ale? Traditionally, Cask Ales are matured after fermentation in the container (the Cask) they are to be dispensed from, and are served without any additional carbonation beyond what carbonation they obtained from the Cask conditioning. This is why Cask Ales tend to be less carbonated and, often, served a bit warmer than their kegged counterparts.
Payette Brewing Company‘s founder Mike Francis has spent plenty of time in Seattle. A former industrial engineer for Boeing, Francis left the corporate life to work on his associate’s degree in Brewing Technology at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. After earning his degree, he spent some time brewing for Seattle’s Schooner Exact Brewing Company.
He left the Seattle area after working for Schooner Exact to head back to his home town of Boise, Idaho and in 2010 Payette Brewing was born. Now, Francis is ready to make his return to Seattle, when Payette beers debut here next month.
There seem to be a lot of high alcohol beers around lately. With Barrel Junction wrapping up at The Beer Junction (lots of high ABV, barrel-aged beers – a few are still on tap) and the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow right around the corner (starting this Thursday at Brouwer’s Cafe and running through the 14th at various locations), we really have to pace ourselves. That can be difficult to do, however, when even more high alcohol beers are right around the corner.
Each year, as Spring approaches, I look forward to the annual return of Barleywines from all around Washington State and all across the U.S. Two of the biggest and best local events for enjoying all those wonderful Barleywines are returning soon. I’m talking, of course, about the Barleywine Bacchanal at Beveridge Place Pub and the annual Hard Liver Barleywine Festival at Brouwer’s Cafe.
Last October I told you about Beardslee Public House, the new restaurant and brewery from the John Howie Restaurant Group. Since their opening, they have earned rave reviews for their beers thanks in no small part to Head Brewer Drew Cluley and assistant brewer (and Certified Cicerone), Paige Zahnle.
Beardslee opened their doors with an impressive 12 beers on tap right from the get go and now, less than a year old, they’re announcing even more new beers going on tap as well as their first ever bottled beers.
The Very Tin Dog That Tin Dog Brewing Is Named After
Nearly two years ago, I first told you aboutTin Dog Brewing in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. Founded by the husband and wife team of Lisa and Eric Rough, they have an emphasis on Belgian style beers including Wits Saisons, Belgian Pale Ales and more. It seems like just yesterday they were opening their doors to the public, but it was back on Saturday, February 5th 2014 and now, they’re preparing to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary.
With the Oscars airing the same date as Tin Dog’s Anniversary celebration, Sunday, February 28th, Tin Dog has decided to throw an Oscar-themed party – no tuxedo or red carpet gown required. Just bring yourself, your thirst for good beer and your Oscars trivia knowledge.
Back in September, I published an article that gave you lots of great reasons to visit some of the breweries in Seattle’s South end (I can’t believe I neglected to include Big Al Brewing Company in that article. I’m so sorry, Al! I’ll come by for a visit soon.) Now I’ve got another reason for you to visit the South end. Coming up on Saturday, February 20th is South Seattle Poker N Pints.
This one day, multi-brewery event lets you enjoy great craft beer from local breweries and play a little poker to win some swag, all while helping raise funds for the Washington Brewshed Alliance who has taken over the organization of this event this year from Lisa Rough of Tin Dog Brewing Company.
Oh hops, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. Actually, I’d better not. With so many amazing hoppy beers out there, counting them all would take quite a while. For the moment, I only want to worry about a particular set of hoppy beers that are back and ready to hit the road. Returning for its third year and kicking off this week is the Washington Hop Mob Triple IPA Roadshow.
I first told you about this event last month and now I wanted to update you with the full details. Set to make its first stop this Thursday the 4th at Brouwer’s Cafe, the Hop Mob Roadshow will also hit several other locations around the Sound, bringing you the biggest, boldest, strongest and, of course, hoppiest beers around.
Originally inspired by the rather ridiculous amount of hype attributed to a particular Triple IPA from a well known Northern California brewery, the Hop Mob set out to prove that Washington Brewers can make triple IPAs just as well (and in my opinion even better) than just about anyone else.
Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away and that means romance, fancy dinners, jewelry, stuffed animals and, of course, chocolate. However, don’t go for that same old boring heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolates. That’s boring. Instead, why not satisfy that chocolate craving by getting local and indulging your love of great craft beer?
Starting this coming Saturday, February 6th and running through Valentine’s Day on the 14th is The Beer Junction‘s 4th Annual Chocolate Beer Week. All week long, the taps at the Junction will be flowing with chocolaty beers of every variety. Most will be Stouts and Porters, since those styles lend themselves so well to the use of chocolate, but there will be other offerings as well.
There are still some South Sound breweries I haven’t had the chance to visit yet. With so many craft beer events, new releases, beer pairing dinners and more happening right in and near Seattle, I sometimes overlook the more outlying breweries for too long. One such brewery that I have yet to visit is Top Rung Brewing out of Lacey, Washington.
When the crew at Top Rung isn’t busy brewing or minding the taproom, they are full-time firefighters (IAFF L3825) in the Olympia area. According to their website: “Our friendship and love of brewing culminated into this dream turned reality of opening a craft brewery. This couldn’t have become a reality without the support of our investor group and the support from our families.”
This coming Saturday, January 30th, Top Rung is ready to release Equinox Pale Ale. This is the 5th release from their Pale Series since early 2015 and is said to have citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook, then you know that nearly every week I’ve been giving you a heads up about special Cask Alerts from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). Each week, Black Raven has been featuring a different beer on Cask with special additions.
Last weeks’ Cask, for example, was ‘Citrus-thingy with Simcoe hops and conditioned with Tasmanian pepper berries, grains of paradise and Indian coriander’. The week before that it was ‘Second Sight Scotch Ale with Cedar and Sage’.
Starting next Wednesday February 3rd, however, Black Raven Brewing has decided that they’re going to dial things back a bit and put on just one special Cask each month instead of doing one ever week.