There’s no denying that IPA is the most popular style of craft beer out there. While most beer lovers I know enjoy a wide variety of styles, the IPA is still king for many. There’s just something about the right combination of malt and the right hops in a good IPA that can be quite satisfying with a good meal or all on its own.
Even with the incredible number of different IPAs out there though, many of them still manage to set themselves apart, particularly to those with more discerning palates. Piney, citrusy, dank, earthy, floral and herbal, along with fruit notes of all varieties and other undertones, are just a few of the many adjectives one might use to describe the dizzying array of aromas and flavors found in a well made IPA. Over time, some IPA lovers get to know the flavors of their favorite IPAs so well they an even pick them out blind.
Lowercase Brewing Company first opened their doors back in January of 2014, just a few months after the launch of Burdick Brewing Company, who they share a building with in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. A few months back, however, the City of Seattle decided that the building that houses their taprooms was insufficient as it was and was requiring both breweries to make major and expensive upgrades to the building if they wanted to keep their taprooms there.
Unfortunately, this demand was too costly for either brewery. Burdick Brewing has since closed their taproom and, at least for now, become strictly a production brewery. They deliver kegs and bottles to local craft beer bars and bottle shops. Lowercase Brewing wanted to keep their taproom open, but couldn’t stay in the same location. As a result, the last day for Lowercase Brewing’s current taproom in South Park will be May 2nd, with a ‘Last Hurrah’ party scheduled for next Saturday, April 30th (followed by a ‘Kill the Keg’ party on May 1st). They will be moving to a new taproom on Airport Way South, set to open sometime this July.
As craft beer drinkers, we see a lot of different beer labels. Some of them are rather plain, while others can be quite fancy and artistic. They are all unique in one way or another and each one tells a story of sorts, giving you at least some hint of what to expect from what you find inside the bottle.
With their 10 year Anniversary coming up this Summer, Ninkasi Brewing Company has decided that it’s time for an update to the labels for their Flagship beers. It’s an update they feel better represents the personality behind each brand, with each new label telling a bigger visual story.
Nobody likes to see craft breweries fighting with each other. Unfortunately, however, disputes occasionally arise between breweries over beer names, label designs and other issues relating to intellectual property rights. Craft breweries are businesses after all, and must sometimes act to protect themselves. Thankfully, most of the time these disagreements are resolved amicably rather than through litigation and, in some cases, have even led to craft breweries collaborating with each other to produce a new beer.
Now, collaborative beers are everywhere. Avery Brewing and Stone Brewing gave us Collaboration Not Litigation (a strong, dark Belgian ale they collaborated on after discovering they had both named a beer ‘Salvation‘), Elysian Brewing did collaboration beer with The Bruery and Stone Brewing called La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado (an Amber Ale with pumpkins, yams, rye, toasted fenugreek, birch bark, and lemon verbena) as well as a whole series of collaborative beers dubbed the ‘Trip‘ series with New Belgium Brewing, and Fort George Brewing has had great success with their 3-Way IPA series, collaborating with different breweries for each iteration.
Seattle Beer Week 2016 is coming up soon and, although we may have to wait a month for the flood of annual beer week events to begin, you can start celebrating early with the official beer of the 8th Annual Seattle Beer Week, Daily Pale, from Reuben’s Brews.
Daily Pale is a hop-forward IPA (perfect for our hop-loving palates here in the Northwest) and very sessionable at just 4.9% ABV. It’s available now, so go pick up a six pack today and start making your plans for Seattle Beer Week #8.
I never cease to be amazed at how much the Seattle craft beer community does for charity. Breweries, craft beer bars and, of course, all of us craft beer lovers can always get behind helping those in need. Of course, it’s nice when providing that help also gives us the added bonus of even more great craft beer to drink.
Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) is one of those breweries that loves to give back. They have teamed up with Lifelong, a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS since 1983, to create Lifelong Lager, which will benefit Lifelong’s food program, Chicken Soup Brigade – providing nutritious meals in Washington to those living with serious illnesses like HIV, AIDS and cancer.
There will be a special preview event for Lifelong Lager at Two Beers Brewing’s tasting room, The Woods, on Friday, April 22. Then, Lifelong Lager will be tapped at more than 150 restaurants throughout Western Washington on Thursday, April 28, supporting Lifelong’s Dining Out for Life event. For every keg sold, Lifelong will receive a $50 donation to help fund the Chicken Soup Brigade.
People are always interested in the ‘hot’ new brewery in town, the ‘new guys’, the place that gives you that great ‘this is my first time here’ feeling and, here in the Seattle area, that’s pretty easy to do, since so many new breweries are opening all the time. In our rush to check out all the new breweries out there, however, we sometimes overlook those well-known, tried and true breweries that not only helped shape the craft beer culture in Seattle, but are still putting out great beers.
One of those breweries, and one whose founders were instrumental in helping make Seattle the craft beer city we know and love, is Pike Brewing Company. Now, with Spring upon us, Pike is ready to release their Spring Seasonal, Pike Hive Five.
Sometimes ‘real life’ can be a pain. I’m a writer/blogger on the side, but I still have a regular, full-time job and the same day-to-day responsibilities as everyone else. That means, just like many of you, I don’t have unlimited time (nor an unlimited budget). This means that, unfortunately, I don’t always make it to all the new Seattle area breweries I’d like to as soon as I’d like to. Of course, that’s a challenging prospect with so many new breweries opening around here all the time.
One of the new breweries that I haven’t found the time to visit yet is Sumerian Brewing Company up in Woodinville. I have enjoyed a few of their beers at some events and festivals I’ve attended, but I really need to visit the taproom and get to know more about them and their beers. With their 1st Anniversary coming up next month, I’ll have to see if I can find the time for a visit.
I’ve told you before about how quickly Seattle Cider Company has taken off since they first launched back in 2012. Their astounding increase in sales and distribution shows no signs of slowing. They already distribute to 11 states including: Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Austin, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Nevada and Missouri. Now, they’re ready to expand distribution once again.
Get ready, Colorado, because Seattle Cider is coming your way. They should arrive in Denver starting tomorrow, April 6th, and will begin rolling out in other locations across Colorado throughout the year. See below for the details of all Denver launch events.
Just this February, I told you about Payette Brewing Company out of Idaho. Their founder, Mike Francis, is a Boise native who spent some time in the Seattle area before returning to his home town to open Payette.
Payette’s beers first arrived in Seattle on February 15th and you can find their Rustler IPA, Rodeo Rye, North Fork Lager and Pistolero Porter at your local bottle shop. Now, joining that lineup is Payette’s Summer Seasonal, Fly Line. A Vienna style Lager, Fly Line arrives at Payette’s taproom in Boise on April 8th, and will appear soon after in cans across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada.