Two Beers & Seattle Cider Partner With Agrial Cooperative

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We’ve seen our share of ‘buyouts’ in the craft beer World.  You know the feeling – that heartbreaking moment when you realize that one of your favorite craft breweries has ‘sold out’ to the big boys: InBev or SABMiller.  This is NOT one of those moments.

Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company, the first cidery in Seattle since the days of prohibition, are pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with French, farmer-run cooperative Agrial.  They’ve struck a great deal that allows for additional expansion of both Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider, without giving up any control.  Both brands will continue to operate completely independently, right here in Seattle.

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Come On A Beer Tasting Dinner Cruise With Two Beers Brewing

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For pretty much my entire life, I’ve lived near the ocean.  I was born on the Gulf Coast, grew up part of the way in New Jersey and have spent most of my life on the West Coast (California and Washington).  There’s just something about being near the water that appeals to me.  It’s a unique feeling – that aroma of sea air – the beautiful sunsets, the easy access to lots of great seafood.

One thing I regret, however, is that even though I’ve lived near the water most of my life, I don’t spend nearly enough time out on the water.  I used to do quite a bit of sailing when I was younger, but keeping and maintaining a boat isn’t a cheap prospect and, frankly, I can’t afford waterfront property in Seattle.  That’s why I’m really looking forward to October 7th, when my wife Lynn and I will be attending a Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) beer tasting and dinner and cruise, courtesy Waterways Cruises And Events.

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Fresh Hop Pale Ale Arrives Tomorrow From Black Raven Brewing

 

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We’re well into Fresh Hop season here in the Northwest (in fact the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival is coming up this weekend).  The Puget Sound’s proximity to the Yakima Valley means that local craft breweries have incredible access to the nation’s largest hop producing region.  This allows local breweries to produce what I believe are the best Fresh Hop beers available anywhere in the World.

Most Fresh Hop beers (also sometimes referred to as Wet Hop) are brewed using hops that were still on the vine less than 24 hours ago.  This gives them a unique hop character you won’t find in other, regular, IPAs or Pale Ales.  With all the Fresh Hop releases coming one after the other right now, it’s like Disneyland for hop heads.  Someone get me an E ticket!

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Deschutes Brewery & Bendistillery Release Black Butte Whiskey

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Deschutes Brewery out of Bend and Portland Oregon puts out a wide variety of Ales.  Their most recognizable beers include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Jubelale and, of course, their Black Butte Porter – both the regular and the annually-released, barrel-aged version.

The barrel-aged version of Black Butte is a bit different each year and can include additions like chilies, cranberries, orange peel, figs, vanilla beans or any number of other special ingredients.  I particularly enjoyed this year’s release of Black Butte XXVIII.  It had smooth well-blended flavors of vanilla and cocoa with just a touch of smoke, giving you a feel for the barrel the beer spent 12 months maturing in.

Now Deschutes has teamed up with Bendistillery, the same distillery that created the Crater Lake line of spirits, to bring to us a project 20 years in the making: Black Butte Whiskey.  Double distilled from the wash of Black Butte Porter, it sort of brings things full circle.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Turns 20

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There are far too many great breweries out there for me to pick a single favorite.  There are a handful, however, that I would consider my top ranked breweries.  High up on that list is Firestone Walker Brewing Company.  They are masters of barrel fermentation, barrel aging and blending, and I have never had a single beer from them that wasn’t outstanding.

Now, as they prepare to turn 20, they have a whole list of special events planned.  Unfortunately for us here in Washington, most of these events take place down in California so, unless you have the mean to head South for a visit, we’ll have to celebrate vicariously with some delicious Firestone Walker beers.

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The 3rd Annual Summer End Pig Roast Is Coming Up At Stogies n Hops

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Summer is fading away in Seattle.  Our temperatures are down, the rain is back and the leaves are already starting to turn.  Heck, I’ve even already started drinking Oktoberfest beers (the official dates for Oktoberfest this year are September 17 thru October 3).  Fall is still officially a couple of weeks away though, so there’s still time for a few more Summertime celebrations before we welcome back the grey skies and rain for months.

Stogies n Hops (CBM Sponsor) is all set to celebrate the end of Summer with their 3rd Annual Summer End Pig Roast, which is also a celebration of the 20th Anniversaries of both Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Company.

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Flocktoberfest 2016 Happens This Saturday at Black Raven Brewing

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Everyone loves a good party, and Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) certainly puts on quite a celebration each year for their annual ‘Flock Party’.  They provide great beers, food trucks, live bands, etc.  I’ve been to their Flock Party many times, and it’s always a great time.

It seems that this year, however, just one Flock Party isn’t enough for Black Raven.  So, this Saturday, September 10th get ready for Black Raven’s Flocktoberfest.  As with their annual Flock Party, there’ll be great beers, including the release of their Flocktoberfest Lager, great food, games and more.

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Cease & Desist IPA Returns For Seahawks Season From Foggy Noggin Brewing

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Are you ready for some football?  If you are (and I know you are!) then you’re also ready for the return of a Seahawks/Marshawn Lynch-inspired IPA.  They can’t call it “12th Man” or “Skittles” (due to a cease & desist order from Texas A&M University), so please welcome back Cease & Desist IPA from Foggy Noggin Brewing Company.

Only around for the Seahawks season, Cease & Desist IPA gets its unique, slightly tart flavor from the addition of Marshawn Lynch’s favorite fruity candy.  Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.  Cease & Desist IPA returns this coming Saturday, September 10th – just in time for the Seahwaks home opener against the Miami Dolphins on the 11th.  Go Hawks!

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Good Food & Drinks At Moctezuma’s

 

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There’s more to life than just beer.  Yep, I said it, and it’s true.  Sometimes, even someone who loves craft beer as much as I do needs a change of pace.  Also, since I love Mexican food – both traditional and Tex-Mex, a good Margarita and perhaps a shot of tequila or two is something I always enjoy.

This past Saturday, my wife Lynn and I were in the mood to go out for dinner and a few drinks, so we headed to Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar at the Southcenter Mall, who had learned about my interest when I emailed them with a Margarita question, and graciously offered to buy us dinner and drinks.  Moctezuma’s also has locations in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and a new location coming soon in Silverdale.  The Tacoma location was their first, having been opened back in 1978 by Arturo and Magdelena Garcia.  Their son, Bernie, took the reigns from Mom & Dad and is the one responsible for their continued success and expansion.

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