Yep; it’s Fall. It may not quite be official yet by the calendar, but that chill is back in the air and our days have grown noticeably shorter with fewer hours of sunshine to enjoy. Summer may be fading away, but we still have plenty of things to look forward to. One of those things is Washington Cider Week, brought to you by the Northwest Cider Association.
Kicking off one week from today, on September 10th, Washington Cider Week brings cider tasting events, paired dinners and more in a 10-day celebration of Northwest craft cider.
The 4th Annual Bellingham Beer Week (BBW) is almost here. Kicking off this year on Friday, September 11th, BBW is a 9 day long event designed to celebrate and promote craft beer in Bellingham and beyond.
Fremont Brewing has released a special Bellingham Beer Week beer each year. This year’s release is already on tap in the Fremont Brewing beer garden and will be coming in bottles this Labor Day weekend.
What’s with all these Fall beers coming back? The pumpkin ales are popping up everywhere, harvest ales are starting to show up, etc. They’re on schedule but, somehow, it just seems a bit too soon this year. I’m not done with my Summer yet!
Well, it looks like Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is about to add to my seasonal woes. Set for release this coming Saturday, August 29th Black Raven’s Fall Seasonal Marzen Style Lager, Hochtoberfest, makes it’s return. Since I’m a fan of Marzen Style Lagers, however, I think I can forgive them for reminding me that Seattle Summer is winding down.
Counterbalance Brewing Company is gearing up for a unique Seattle phenomenon: the dual-sport Doubleheader. On Sunday, October 4th, come cheer on the Mariners as they face the Oakland A’s at 12:10 PM. Then, come enjoy some delicious Counterbalance beers between games before seeing the Sounders take on the LA Galaxy at 6:30 PM.
It’s been nearly 2 years since Seattle Cider Company started producing cider as the first cidery within Seattle City limits since the days of prohibition. It’s amazing to think, in that short time, how many new ciders they’ve introduced and how far they’ve expanded. Since first launching on August 24, 2013, Seattle Cider has more than tripled their production capacity to 23,000 barrels and expanded into over 10 states across the U.S., with expansion to over 45,000 barrels and even more states coming soon.
Now, as their popularity continues to grow and they continue to expand, Seattle Cider Company is set to celebrate their 2nd Anniversary one week from tomorrow, on Saturday, August 29th.
As a serious hophead, I always look forward to the return of Fresh Hop season. Summer is still here but Fall is just around the corner. The hop harvest is in, and brewers across the Northwest and across the nation are preparing to brew their Fresh Hop Ales.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) always seems to get a bit of jump on the competition in the Fresh Hop category, and this year is no different. After a one day trip up and back to the Yakima Valley, Two Beers founder Joel VandenBrink arrived at the brewery on the afternoon of August 5th with a truckload of hop vines. Upon his arrival he was greeted by a crowd of local fans eager to help him pick the hops off the vines for this special annual release.
“It’s The Water.” That’s the famous slogan you may have heard for Tumwater Washington’s own Olympia Beer. It went hand in hand with their advertising campaign, which highlighted the use of “Artesian” water (Olympia Brewing Company ceased the use of Artesian well water when they were acquired by Pabst Blue Ribbon in 1983). Olympia may not be ‘craft’, but it’s Artesian goodness is part of Washington State’s rich brewing history. Well, it’s time once again to celebrate that history.
Set for next Saturday, August 22nd, is the 3rd Annual Tumwater Artesian Brewfest. Don’t worry though; this won’t be a macro-fest (though you will find original Olympia Beer on tap!). Over 30 different Washington breweries (plus Wineries, Distilleries and food vendors) are set to descend upon the Tumwater Valley Driving Range for this very special event.
La Petite Mort is one of the most popular Belgian styled offerings from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor). It’s a Belgian Dark Strong Brown Ale with slightly sweet caramel notes and pleasant flavors of dark fruits like plums, raisins and dates. Coming in at a respectable 8.8%, La Petite Mort has earned rave reviews from beer aficionados everywhere. Last time Black Raven Brewing offered La Petite Mort at Belgianfest, it didn’t last long.
So what happens when you take an already impressive beer like La Petite Mort and age it for a year in Kentucky Bourbon barrels? You get La Mort Bourton, a rare annual offering from Black Raven. The time spent in bourbon barrels brings La Petite Mort to a whole other level and bumps up the alcohol percentage to 11.2%. The 2015 vintage of La Mort Bourbon is set for release next Tuesday, August 18th.
There are several different style of Belgian beers out there: Belgian Pale Ales, Witbiers, Saisons, Lambics, Gueuzes, Blondes, etc. I enjoy them all, especially the stronger varieties like Golden Strong Ale, Dark Strong Ale, Belgian Dubbels and Belgian Tripels.
Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) appreciates a good Belgian as well and have produced several over the years including: Diamond Tail Northwest Imperial Wit, Feral Hybrid Saison, Jackdaw Pumpkin Dark Saison, La Petite Mort (and it’s cousins, La Mort Bourbon and La Mort Rouge), Pour Les Oiseaux Wine Barrel Aged Saison, Raven de Garde Strong Pale and more.
Craft beer has always had a conscience and a desire to give back to the community. In my travels, I’ve been to countless craft beer events that also serve to benefit various charitable organizations and raise money for some worthwhile causes, etc. In that spirit, Bellevue Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) has teamed up with KZOK (102.5 FM) and Columbia Distributing to introduce KZOK Classic Rock Amber.
Set to release tomorrow, August 6th, this complex and hoppy Amber Ale will not only quench your thirst for delicious craft beer but also help benefit a number of different local charities.