It’s Summer in the Northwest and the aroma of hops is in the air. Next Friday, August 1st, is National IPA Day and it’s also nearly time for the annual crop of fresh hop ales to start showing up. It looks like Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) will be first out of the gate this year with their 2014 Fresh Hop IPA, which is set to make its debut on Saturday, August 9th at The Woods – the taproom Two Beers Brewing shares with their sister company, Seattle Cider Company.
If you’d like to be involved with helping Two Beers make this year’s Fresh Hop IPA, your chance is coming up this coming Monday, July 28th. On that day, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, head down to The Woods (4700 Ohio Avenue South, Seattle) and help Two Beers pick the hops for this special ale. Fresh hop vines will be trucked in from the Yakima Valley right to The Woods, and they’ll need as much help as they can get all the hops off the vines and into the brew. You’ll score a free 22oz bottle for your efforts when it’s released.
It seems these days that there’s a ‘National Day’ for just about everything. We have National Hamburger Day, National Random Acts Of Kindness Day, National Chocolate Chip Day, National Book Lover’s Day, etc. etc. The list is nearly endless, with more ‘National Days’ than there are days of the year. One such day on the list you may care about as a craft beer lover is coming up on August 7th. That day? That would be National IPA Day.
Granted, who needs a special day to celebrate IPA’s, right? For hopheads like me, nearly every day is IPA day. I don’t need to wait for a special occasion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also enjoy it when a special day dedicated to one of my favorite beer styles comes around.
I’m quite a fan of Scotch Ales. Granted, I’m a major hophead and think that single, double and even triple IPAs are still my favorite overall style. However, when I’m in the mood for something more on the malty side, Scotch Ale hits the spot; particularly ‘Heavy 70’ or ‘Export 80’ Scotch Ale for you beer geeks out there. My favorite locally-brewed Scotch Ales are Fat Scotch & Fat Woody from Sliver City Brewery, Scotch Ale from Bellevue Brewing and, of course, Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor).
So, how do you take an already delicious Scotch Ale and make it even better? Barrel age it! That’s what Silver City does for their Fat Woody Scotch Ale, and that’s what Black Raven has done with Splinters: a bourbon barrel aged version of their Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale.
Burdick Brewery (CBM Sponsor) is one of Seattle’s newest craft breweries. They opened their doors just this past October in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, sharing the building they occupy with another Seattle newcomer: Lowercase Brewing. Burdick is a great place in South Park to enjoy a few pints, catch some sports on their large-screen projection TV or even attend their occasional waffle breakfasts on weekends (Check Burdick’s Facebook page for upcoming events).
Dedicated to brewing great beers, including the occasional small batch bourbon-barrel aged ale, Burdick Brewery also seeks to provide a creative space for artists to express themselves and has hosted other musical artists in the past, including local singer/songwriter, Camila Recchio. It’s an intimate spot, where you can get up close and personal with the artists and, with our warm Summer nights back for a few months, Burdick will have their roll up door open so you can enjoy the Seattle evening air with your beer and music.
Reuben’s Brews was opened in Ballard back in August of 2012 by Adam and Grace Robbings. Named for their son, Reuben, the brewery has grown in popularity and has been putting out some great, award winning, beers. Reuben’s Brews is, perhaps, best known for their Rye beer such as: American Rye, Imperial Rye IPA and Roggenbier, among others.
Now, adding to their accolades, Reuben’s Brews has been named one of the top 10 breweries in the U.S., coming in tied for 4th place. They also picked up a few more medals for a few of their outstanding brews.
The results have been announced, and top honors go to Dirty Bucket Brewing, who won Best In Show with their ‘Hefen’ Pineapple’, and Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor), who won most ‘Interesting Session Ale’ with their popular ‘Nothing But Flowers’. Congratulations!