Each year, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) hosts a Summer Beer Tasting. This year will be the 10th year for this fun event, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 18th from 4-7 PM at the Phinney Neighorhood Association. This year’s theme is “Beer Oasis – Draughts not Drought”.
I remember when I first heard about Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery. It was April of 2011 and, at the time, there were only 9 members (the original founding members/owners). I was excited about the idea and became member number 12. By August of 2011, Flying Bike had rapidly grown to over 400 members and, by September of 2011, I was elected to the Flying Bike Coop Board of Directors.
For the year I was on the Board of Directors, our primary focus was on building the membership and, more specifically for me, organizing member homebrew competitions so that Flying Bike could start coming up with our first beers. Also during my time on the Board, I led a few sensory tasting classes. These classes were a member-only benefit, designed to educate cooperative members who were interested in learning how to better articulate the different sights, aromas and flavors they experience when tasting different craft beers.
Now, four years later, it’s finally happened. As many of you may know, Flying Bike secured a space in early 2015, right next door to Naked City Brewery And Taphouse. Since then, they have been busy building out the space, hiring their head brewer, Kevin Forhan, and obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses to get things up and running.
If you’re from the Seattle area and you enjoy Georgetown Brewing Company‘s beers, then there’s a good chance you know the story behind Bob’s Brown Ale. For those of you who aren’t aware, Bob’s Brown Ale is a special beer that Georgetown brews just once a year, in honor of their dearly departed friend, Charles ‘Bob’ Hirsch. Bob was a child fighting cancer at Ronald McDonald House and Georgetown’s own Manny Chao was Bob’s camp counselor at Camp Goodtimes.
After Bob lost his battle, Georgetown wanted to help others in need. So they donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Bob’s Brown Ale each year to the Ronald McDonald Charities of Western Washington and Alaska. For this special event, The Westin Bellevue is donating all of their proceeds for this special release of Bob’s Brown to Ronald McDonald House Charities as well.
It’s not exactly stout season out there right now. Our warm temperatures over the past few days have been increasing my appetite for great IPAs, Pales and perhaps the occasional Hefeweizen. However, that doesn’t mean I still don’t crave the occasional stout, porter or Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Not to mention the fact that the particular beer I’m about to tell you about has never before been bottled. So picking up a few to cellar for a while might not be such a bad idea.
Today, when they open their doors at 3:00 PM, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) will release 2015 Great Grandfather Raven Bourbon Imperial Stout. This 11.7% Imperial Stout has been aged over a year in 20 year old bourbon barrels.
It takes a lot of courage, dedication and countless hours of hard work to turn a dream into reality. Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company founder, Joel VandenBrink, found the courage to follow his dream way back in 2007 and, this week, the next part of that dream comes alive.
Two Beers’ first tiny tasting room opened in 2009 at their current location on Ohio Avenue South. With just 6 seats at the bar and four beers on tap, it wasn’t long before it was clear that an expansion was needed. So, in late 2011, Two Beers Brewing opened The Woods 2.0 (the first version of the taproom to officially sport ‘The Woods’ moniker). The new, larger space featured more taps, a 45 foot reclaimed wood bar top and a ‘woodsy’ tree line painted on the walls.
For a long time, the craft beer World was dominated by men. That may still seem like the case on the surface, but more and more women are discovering their love of craft beer and have become an important demographic. Unfortunately, the marketing we see aimed at women, even for craft beer, is often somewhat demeaning or degrading, perhaps suggesting that women will only like the lighter, sweeter, more easy-drinking craft beers offerings out there.
I can tell you from my own personal experience, including with my own wife (whose favorite styles are Belgian Ales, Scotch Ales and Stouts) that is definitely not the case. Girls Pint Out, a national craft beer organization for women, understands this. Their mission is to build a community of women who love craft beer and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community. They hold regular ‘Pint Night’ events at various locations and also host other special events.
Seattle definitely knows its craft beer. That’s an indisputable truth. On many national lists of where to find the best craft beer, Seattle sometimes gets overlooked for our friends to the South in Portland but, when it comes to craft beer selection at MLB stadiums, Safeco Field is tough to beat.
Last year, they were ranked right at the top among several lists of the best stadiums for craft beer in the nation and the list of great beers available at the Safe continues to grow. According to The Daily Meal: “The ballpark is actually known nationally for its reputation as a good place to watch baseball and drink good beer. They feature both locals and national breweries — and there’s a long list of them.”
All those other airlines suck. Fly Lagunitas! How would you like to win a Labor Day weekend trip for two to visit Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California? I know I’d like to. I actually used to live in Petaluma several years back, but I moved away at just about the same time Lagunitas was just getting started there and never had the chance to check them out. I tried to visit last year but, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to cut my trip short and wasn’t able to visit. Even so, they’re still one of my favorite breweries and make some truly amazing beers.
Burdick Brewery first opened their doors back October of 2013, serving up small-batch craft beers (including even a few barrel-aged selections) in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. Their 1 barrel brewing system, however, made it difficult for them to keep up with demand and limited their ability to fill growlers. So, by August 2014, founder Max Leinbach made the decision to close their taproom for an estimated 6-8 months while Burdick could concentrated on an expansion and upgrade to their equipment.
Most of the time these days, when we hear about a brewery using a new ingredient in their beer, it’s usually either a new variety of hop, a new strain of yeast or perhaps some type of fruit or vegetable (Pumpkin, Peach Ale, anyone?) For the most part, the bulk of the main ingredient that makes up the beer, the malt, gets overlooked.
Pike Brewing Company wants to change that. They’re working with local craft maltster, Skagit Valley Malting, to create a malt with fuller flavor, as opposed to the high protein but lower flavor malts available from the maltsters who supply most macrobreweries.